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The Ruining

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  1,885 ratings  ·  323 reviews
Annie Phillips is thrilled to leave her past behind and begin a shiny new life on Belvedere Island, as a nanny for the picture-perfect Cohen family. In no time at all, she falls in love with the Cohens - especially with Libby, the beautiful young matriarch of the family. Life is better than she ever imagined. She even finds romance with the boy next door.

All too soon crack
Hardcover, 313 pages
Published February 7th 2013 by Razorbill
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Average rating 3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,885 ratings  ·  323 reviews

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Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, own
I've always found something fascinating about mental illness. As much as I find it fascinating, though, it's equally terrifying. It renders you helpless to your own mind, and oftentimes medication can not be relied upon. The Ruining is the perfect read for those who also share the same intrigue on our brain's workings--or malfunctions. Reminiscent of the short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper (super short and seriously creepy ending), The Ruining is the story of a girl who ...more
Dec 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya, romance, suspense
Blech. I was hoping for a pulp-Gothic, Rebecca-for-teens-esque experience with this book, but it was just a mess. Between the dumb-as-bricks narrator and the ridiculous events after the first half, it was entertaining in a trainwrecky way but certainly not a good book. I knew what the outcome was going to be, but kept reading just because the whole thing was so ludicrous.

Annie is a recent high school graduate from Detroit who packs up and moves to San Francisco for a nannying job. She's excited
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
I don't know what to say.

I was reeeeally interested in this book in the beginning. The eeriness really drew me in. However, it failed in execution.

I liked Annie's backstory. Yes let's make the main character someone with a very difficult past. Yes, let's make the MC a victim of mental illness. Why not? This gave Annie some dimension and honesty. I am tired of the perfect MC who doesn't know she's pretty and is clumsy and adorable. In other words, I'm am so tired of Bellas!!! Make it stop! Anna,
Wendy Darling
Almost a great book, but what started out with a great premise became too obvious, heavy-handed, and melodramatic after the first third or so.
Farah Jay
Nov 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The best part of starting a book with no expectations, is when you end up loving it. I started The Ruining without even knowing weather it was a contemporary or a paranormal. All I knew for sure was that I just LOVED the cover. The book starts off with the main protagonist, Annie, wanting to get away from the life she's living. Annie lives with a horrible stepdad, and an alcoholic mother. When she gets accepted to her dream university, and gets a job opportunity at the Cohens family, she doesn't ...more
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed-2015
Good heavens, it’s been ages since I’ve last read a book with this many plot holes and such an unlikable protagonist. Oh no, wait, I finished Fifty Shades of Grey recently. Well then, apart from that, I can hardly recall when last a book has annoyed me as much as this one did with its nonsensical storyline and dumbass female lead.

I have countless complaints about this book, but instead of listing it all here, I’ll try to keep it to a brief summary. I was eager to read this book because of the bo

So, on the one hand, this is a really interesting idea, and done in an interesting way. On the other hand, I can't say it's done well.

In a way, this reminded me somewhat of Nova Ren Suma's Imaginary Girls, in that we are expected to believe that the main character is convinced of another character's all around awesomeness even while ourselves feeling an overwhelming sense of revulsion for that same person. And, for me at least, it just doesn't work. All I do is lose all respect for an
I lied, dear goodreads friends.

I told myself earlier I'd go to bed at a decent time. That I'd get some sleep before work in the morning.

Instead, I stayed up until midnight, frantically turning pages, desperate to know what happened to Annie.


What was coffee discovered for if not for this exact reason? ;D

Anyway! I picked this one up at dollar tree in January, but just now got around to reading it. I work there & I love when we get new shipments of books, cause I always get
Megan Hibbs
Aug 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved the ending and romance plot of this book. However, I clearly didn’t read the inside cover thoroughly. I thought I was getting a nice summer story about a nanny. It ended up making me think I was going mentally insane. Really graphic, vivid, messed up stuff in this book. I’m shook.
Marie  Grey
I wanted to love this book. I almost thought I did but every time I think about it, the way the story progressed, the way it ended it makes me want to forget I ever read this. Am I too harsh? Sorry. Oh god, I hate writing negative reviews.

It started out really gooood. I swear to God it was really good at first. But then it suddenly became boring and melodramatic. And the worst was the ending, I felt like it was rushed out just to have a ''good'' ending. The first half was good albeit kind of slo
BookChic Club
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. I have seen some mixed reviews of it (one of which led me to an awesome blog- David Reviews!), but I enjoyed it. I had problems stopping and just wanted to keep reading until I got to the end. I would read so many pages in one sitting.

Throughout the book, I was trying to figure out if Annie was being an unreliable narrator, or if Libby was really being manipulative and/or just plain crazy, thus making Annie doubt herself. It was a nice twisty tale, keeping me on my toe
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
I read this based on a twitter recommendation that this book showed the potential range for New Adult (NA) books. And this is true - unlike the other NA novels I have read, this is not simply a contemporary romance, but contains a heavy dose of gothic-like horror. Ultimately it fails not because of the subject matter but because of the characterization of Annie. Her admiration for Libby is never truly felt even though we're told of it many times. Without this connection, the transformations that ...more
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Oh wow, I totally forgot I read this book! I really liked it, it was good!
Michelle Wrona
Okay seriously, this book was some

From the summary, who'd expect this to be a jaw-clenching, spine-chilling thriller? I was totally expecting an average contemporary novel with a few secrets in between, but I got something more and deep.

Here we have Annie, who is living in horrible conditions with her mom and stepfather, Dean, in Detroit. All she wants is to get out of there and never come back. When a spiking new job opportunity in sunny California pops up to be a babysitter f
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
I tried to forgive this book its many faults. I can be a nit-picky reader at times. When Annie describes watching Detroit fade away as she flies out of DTW and I thought, "I've flown in and out of that airport dozens of times heading to or coming from the west and have never seen the city from the airplane," I try to forget that. And when Annie is surprised to read "The Yellow Wallpaper" in the feminist literature section of her lit survey as though it is not the starter short story for reading ...more
This is a bit of a struggle to review, because I wished it was better than it was. I also quickly read The Yellow Wallpaper to know the inspiration for this book and have a comparison, and unfortunately The Ruining falls short of the former's tense and (what I feel) would be a more accurate depiction of a woman's descent into madness.

This isn't to say that this was a horrible book. I just wish the writing was better, and the characters' (mostly Libby's) motivations less shaky. I didn't hate Anni
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
I LOVED this book. It sucked me in from the beginning and didn't let go until the very end.

The book followed Annie, a young girl with a troubled past looking for a fresh start in life. She finds this by becoming an au pair for Libby and Walker Cohen in an upscale neighbourhood in San Francisco. By taking this on, it will allow her to live with them while attending college in exchange for watching their 2 children Zoe and Jackson part-time. But it's the old saying....if it seems to good to be tru
May 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
It took me a few minutes to decide whether to give this 3 or 4 stars. I did like this book, I enjoyed the story and I couldn't put it down, but there's just something about it that seems a little.. off. I'm not sure what it is. I think it might be the fact that I couldn't sympathize with the protagonist. I enjoy books that make me feel the way the protagonist is feeling, and in this book I didn't. Maybe it's the writing style, or maybe it's the way things happened. The book dragged on a little a ...more
Dec 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Hmm. I'm really disappointed about this one. It started out SO FREAKING GOOD. It was such a mindfuck. So much so that I wanted to just get it over with so that I could get out of that crazy house. But once I got past the middle of the book, I was just...frustrated. The main character Annie is kind of clueless. A definite Mary Sue. So many red flags are popping up and she just keeps on ignoring them and justifying them. I mean really fucked up things are happening. Her employers (she's a live in ...more
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
I requested this ARC via Net-Galley because the premise sounded really creepy and interesting. At first, I enjoyed the story of a family that might not be what it seems, but as the story progressed, it became less and less believable that Annie, the novel's protagonist, didn't have a clue what was going on around her. It became a particularly frustrating read when Annie vacillated between her feelings on who she should trust--flipping 180 degrees between two characters at least three times withi ...more
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pre-read: I like this cover WAAAAY more than my ARC. I'm humbled I actually got this from the author and publisher and hope to read it soon.

Post-read: Review to come. This book took me literally months to read of picking it up and putting it down in spells, but nonetheless, I'm finished now. It was okay, but I did have issues with it. I expected a bit more than what it provided me, but I'll explain that in the full review. I'll give myself a day to decide whether I want to bump up the rating or
Kristi Zimmerman
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: not-a-series
So up until the end, I thought I liked this book. I was into Libby's odd behaviors and the idea of second chances for Annie. The book moved at a steady pace throughout the entirety of the novel. but then....WA BAM - shit storm of emotion and sentence flailing and anxiety and...a love story that literally seemed to progress from nothing to saving 3 pages?

I didn't like the way the end made me feel. and I am pretty pissed about it, actually. the end.
Dec 05, 2012 rated it liked it
For the first half of The Ruining, I was sure I had at least a 4-star review – possibly a 5-star review! – on my hands. Tension, suspense, fear, doubt, secrets – everything one hopes for from a great psychological thriller was present. But as I headed into the end of the second half, the plot escalated much too quickly for my liking, and I found myself being pulled out of the creepy atmosphere as I found more and more things to question.

The Ruining’s buildup to Annie’s mental breakdown started o
Stefanie Michelle
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-hardcopy
Full review HERE

★★★★ 4 Stars

"That night, I slept restlessly, and the yellow wallpaper entered my dreams, blending my waking and sleeping states into some kind of suspended, nightmarish haze."


This book has been on my shelf for like three years. I love the cover, and the premise sounded amazing. Little known fact about me - I was a nanny for a wealthy family (not like the book level w
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Overall I liked this book. The story starts off with Annie who is trying to get the hell of of Dodge -well Detroit anyways- and her horrible life there. The chance at being the nanny to a rich family is the break she needs. As a poos sucker tossed into a rich man's world, she is immediately blinded by all that glitters. For a nice word or two, she forges an immediate connection with the lady of the household. Things begin to happen that toss her new found peace upside down.

The author does a won
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
It never ceases to amaze me the amount of power the act of persuasion and manipulation has over some people. Sure there might be easier targets than others but still it doesn’t stop fascinating me. This book was pure manipulation in its highest form, it was crazy with a capitol C and I loved every minute of it. Psychological in all the right ways.

We meet Annie who has just moved out of her home in Detroit to California to be a nanny to a family she met online. That alone is enough to be shady in
Oct 30, 2012 rated it liked it
While I’m a fan of horror featuring monsters, ghosts, and other things that go bump in the night, there’s often nothing quite as satisfying as a good psychological thriller. That’s why I was so eager to read The Ruining when I first saw its description. I really enjoy stories where the character is driven slowly mad. Unfortunately, I found the plotting to be too uneven, and the character’s reactions to be too far-fetched to really fully enjoy this book. Instead, it started to irritate me.

Annie h
Sophie Snow
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I am exhausted. Totally exhausted.

I can't believe I only started this book two hours ago? I feel like I'm been reading for days!

I really liked this one, though I missed the mystery element since I figured out the big plot twist very quickly. The way the author wrote Annie's voice was fascinating! Even I was getting confused about certain things- whether or not she was just hearing people call her Nanny etc.

The descent into Annie's breakdown was perfectly done. It was just disjointed and crazy e
Samantha Tan
Dec 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
The Ruining was definitely a worthy read. Throughout the book, Collomore had dashed in incidents or thoughts from Annie that would identify her as crazy. From her mishearing of "nanny" instead of Annie to the excessive admiration towards Libby(always making excuses for her). I just feel like everything was very well-planned and super connected ; Collomore managed to actually give me the creeps of someone watching me.
I also thought that Zoe(the child Annie babysitted), who had constant nightmar
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Anna Collomore is the pen name of Anne Heltzel, a New York City-based author and book editor.

@anneheltzel on Twitter

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