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An Education in Ruin

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  122 ratings  ·  49 reviews
A sophisticated standalone YA suspense for readers of E. Lockhart and Karen McManus, featuring themes of scandal, deception, wealth, and greed, by the acclaimed author of Happily and Madly.

The Mahoney brothers are the golden boys of Rutherford Institute.

Collins Pruitt is going to ruin them.

Theo Mahoney is well-connected and popular. He’s charming and beloved. But he’s hidi
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 7th 2020 by Tor Teen
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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  122 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Leah Waters
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was SO GOOD.

Nonstop entertainment! Wow, this was even better than I expected. There's drama, twists, romance, a revenge plot--and it all takes place at a boarding school! The characters are morally gray, which makes the drama even more fun. The characters are also super unique and interesting, and everyone has secrets (even the main character keeps secrets from the audience!) so I was flying through the pages, desperate to learn what happened.

And when everything came together, I was s
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fun romantic suspense book featuring two of my favorite things: rich kids and boarding school! Collins has transferred to Rutherford, prep school for the rich & richer, with the sole purpose of "getting" to Jasper and Theo Mahoney so she can ruin them. You don't know why at first, only that Theo has a secret Collins is determined to uncover by infiltrating his friend group, and Jasper is a mark for a different reason--Collins is going to make him fall in love with her.

The build up of the book
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you know Alexis Bass, you know she writes unlikeable characters doing unlikeable things that you end up cheering for. An Education in Ruin is exactly that with a side of dark academia. If you love the drama of Gossip Girl, this is your book!


Check out the cover of An Education in Ruin, get your preorder on, and be sure it's on your TBR!

Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

Mildly surprised at just how bad this was.

Some 17-year-old girl whose name I've forgotten enrols in a fancy private school to take revenge on a couple of boys. Her 'vengeance plan' is laughable, half-baked, and anyway falls to pieces instantly when she falls head-over-heels for one of her targets.

As if that's not bad enough, the writing is insanely stilted and the dialogue is unrealistic as hell.

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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
I love a good boarding school book. AN EDUCATION IN RUINS is not one of those books.

The reason for the revenge plot doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, given that the woman who put Collins up to exacting revenge is unscrupulous, which Collins knows.

Trust no one.
Lisan (lovesbooks)
I loved this book, it gave me strong wattpad vibes but it was actually written really well and didn't drag.
I loved the plotting aspect in the beginning, where Collins was planning how to make Jasper fall in love with her.
The flash backs got me really intrigued into the backstory, it was all very mysterious.
The flash forwards were the ones that broke my heart though, because you could see what was going to happen in the end, yet it didn't really make any sense but I really couldn't wait.
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
"I looked at him in that moment before he went in for a kiss, his soft expression, the way he leaned toward me, and I knew I could've taken anything from him that I wanted. Twenty dollars or a date to prom or the next five years."

I could not put this book down. I don't know what it was really, the characters were all morally grey and some downright despicable, but I just wanted to keep on reading. I think it's because I knew eventually everything was going to come crashing down and it's one of t
Anna Bright
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary, mystery, ya
i was intrigued from the get-go by this premise-- a girl heading to boarding school for the express purpose of ruining two brothers. i was tired when i first opened it, but by the time i closed it to sleep, i'd somehow read 30% of the book. alexis bass's prose is perfect and her plot is just as perfectly twisty. for anyone who loves boarding school intrigue or the machinations of rich kids' parents! ...more
Nov 20, 2020 marked it as dnf
dnf @ 77%

all of the reviews suggested this was a mystery/thriller/suspense revenge plot but it's literally just a girl going to school and talking more about "getting revenge" than doing anything lmao
Jill Hart
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I sped through this book - so good!
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Such a fun read!!
Feb 21, 2021 added it
Rich kids, boarding school, and a villain who bears a striking resemblance to Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos fame? Sign me up
Czytam z Kotem
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
DNF @20%

I am having a hard time getting into this book. The main character is really dislikable and the story is quite far-fetched. Also, there is no introduction to the characters or the story at the beginning of the book. It just jumps right in and leaves you trying to figure out the details. Not for me.
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you net galley for the advance reader copy of this novel. Wow what a read! This was a cont contemporary YA novel regardless part romance and part sleuthing through details to figure out what was going to happen to the elite at a boarding school. Collins, Theo and jasper are all at a bordering school and the story revolves around a serious misdeed by jasper, another misdeed by his brother Theo, and a bunch of tech savvy investors that are influenced by Colllins Dad. I loved that the story p ...more
Hope Hunter
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Collins is the only daughter of uber-weatlhy investment mogul Jacob Pruitt. As such, she has always enjoyed an easy and sheltered life. The summer before her junior year in high school her aunt speaks with her to reveal that her father is having an affair with a woman who is using him as a bail-out for her family's dire financial straits. Aunt Rosie convinces Collins to move schools to the elite Rutherford School and get close to the woman's sons in order to find damaging information to use to c ...more
Jan 22, 2021 rated it liked it
I don't know how this happened exactly, but this book was a complete hit until the very last chapter (epilogue? Last couple of paragraphs?). It's like watching an excellent TV show that nosedives in the final episode (looking at you, How I Met Your Mother and Sky Castle).

The mystery and the secrets were intriguing. The short snippets of future conversations were captivating. There was even a twist that I was unable to guess! Alexis Bass is a master at creating the most screwed up people ever; p
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2020, ya, arcs
I'm being quite serious: don't read this unless you're okay with delving into a world of morally gray, often loathsome wealthy people. If you don't have the energy for a real viper pit of #richpeopleproblems, pick up something else.

I understand the compulsion to compare with The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and at first I would have chosen that as a readalike based on the boarding school setting, the inclusion of a secret society, and a deceptive main character, but I didn't fin
Dec 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
This has an interesting premise: girl starts at new school specifically to ruin the life of a stranger. Good for her! And then it fails spectacularly at living up to that.
The main character is pretty boring. She blindly follows whatever anyone tells her, and refuses to do any critical thinking. She never seemed to committed to the plan, but then followed through on the plan anyway? And the whole thing could have been avoided if she just talked to her father.
Then there's the whole "scandal" that
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads, favorites
Boarding school drama: check. Revenge scheme: check. Complicated romance: double check.

I have to admit I read about three quarters of An Education in Ruin in half a day, which says something about the storytelling as I'm a strange and slow reader at times. I stumbled across Alexis Bass's new novel online and the blurb hooked me in right away (do not let the blurb fool you, as I went in thinking this was going to be some messy Gossip Girl love triangle, but it's not!) and I was very delighted wit
Jennifer Hill
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
Edelweiss DRC review:

If you enjoy unreliable narrators, then this book might be for you. I have trouble deciding if Collins is unreliable or just been lied to so much she doesn't know what's true. There are also LOTS of secrets in this book, which don't really come out until the very end, and even then you are left wondering.

Collins is headed to boarding school. Her aunt has tasked her with finding some dirt on two boys, brothers, in order to break up their married mom with her dad. Aunt Rose c
Jun 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
"Can you worm your way into people's lives, get to know all sides of them, without also starting to feel close to them?"

This is the struggle of Collins Pruitt, who transfers to Rutherford Institute, a prestigious boarding school. She has a hidden agenda, and is determined to learn the truth in order to help her family. But as truth comes to light, and feelings get real, will she be able to follow through?

It took me several chapters to get into the story, but once I did, it was a fairly quick rea
Final rating: 3/5

I guess I can see now why the low rating.

I think I would have preferred this book to have flashbacks instead of flashes to the future. It just distracts from the current timeline. It also gives some people, like me, a reason not to keep reading. Like, why keep reading if I already know what was going to happen?

There's also a character that reminds me of Elizabeth Holmes. Unfortunately, it feels very open-ended, regarding on what happens to this character and her impact in the b
Nov 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, read-but-unowned
I received this free eARC novel from the author and Edelweiss. This is my honest review.

Ummm... what...? I seriously felt like I spent the last few hours binge reading a book that really had no purpose. Collins gets into this school to ruin 2 brothers, but she's really knowledgeable about her fathers work about stocks or something and becomes one of the popular people, but she's really trying to sabotage lives, only to do none of that and everything falls apart anyway...?

Also, I feel like Jaspe
Christine Hazel Murphy
Collins Pruitt has it all... or so she thinks: a loving relationship with both her parents, wealth, acceptance into a prestigious and exclusive boarding school. But someone in Collins's life tells her that all of what she loves most is at stake, and how to fix it, if she's brave enough.

I liked Bass's overall story crafting in "An Education in Ruin." Bass writes her protagonist in a way that allows her morals to be tested, and Collins is certainly an interesting character. I wanted to keep readin
Lori Goldstein
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I count myself as incredibly lucky to have had the chance to read an advance copy of AN EDUCATION IN RUIN. Alexis Bass's writing is lush and immersive. I was instantly drawn into the world she creates at this elite private school. The ensemble cast of characters is expertly drawn, with each feeling distinct and real. The main character of Collins is as flawed as she is fearless, making choices to help and protect those she loves, fighting hurt and betrayal, and coming to understand what it truly ...more
Haley Campbell
Jul 11, 2020 rated it liked it
If you write a book about boarding school, rich kids getting into trouble, and mysterious back stories... I’m in there like swimwear.⁣
I loved the setting, the academics, the gossip and cliches. Collins seemed very real - with real struggles. The brothers, Theo and Jasper were interesting as well, but I never really felt a connection to Jasper.⁣
I enjoyed the writing style and had a hard time putting this one down. Each chapter ending makes you want to see what happens next. I will say that certai
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Thoroughly enjoyed the characters with their drama and angst.
There was tension and intrigue in the writing style that had me hooked from page 1.
I would have liked more emphasis on the school setting to make it more like dark academia. It kind of IS dark academia, but also not.
I would have liked to have seen the ending expanded just a little. i'm all for open endings but sometimes I just want a little it more.
These are privileged people doing bad things, thinking there won't be consequences b
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Alexis Bass grew up in Washington, went to college in Arizona, and spent her early twenties in Seattle. She currently lives in Northern California with Dylan McKay, her gorgeous and rambunctious golden retriever. She loves good fashion and good TV as much as a good book, and is a huge advocate of the three C’s: coffee, chocolate, and cheese. LOVE AND OTHER THEORIES is her first novel.

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