Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bright Ruined Things” as Want to Read:
Bright Ruined Things
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bright Ruined Things

by
4.19  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  33 reviews
"A deftly-plotted tale about ambition and belonging, Bright Ruined Things takes Shakespeare’s The Tempest and brilliantly reimagines its themes of family and love. Cohoe writes with a magic that dazzles and cuts right to the core." - Chloe Gong, New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights

Forbidden magic, a family secret, and a night to reveal it all...


The o
...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: October 26th 2021 by Wednesday Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bright Ruined Things, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bright Ruined Things

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  37 ratings  ·  33 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Bright Ruined Things
Nilufer Ozmekik
Apr 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Imagine yourself at the era of 20s, trapped in an island where the magic controls the entire area and poor spirits who serve for the best benefits of their master are in danger as the notorious family members scheming against each other and keeping so many deadly secrets.

Tempest is one of the last and underrated, unknown plays of Shakespeare play centered on an island and a deadly power and revenge game of sorcerer Prospero lives with his daughter Miranda( like our MC Mae: but she’s not the da
...more
Chloe Gong
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A deftly-plotted tale about ambition and belonging, Bright Ruined Things takes Shakespeare’s The Tempest and brilliantly reimagines themes of family and love. Cohoe writes with a magic that both dazzles and cuts right to the core.
Samantha
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I think it's really good. ...more
Starr ❇✌❇
1920's retelling of The Tempest???

From the author's twitter this has-
"rich families with ~secrets~ behaving badly
Shakespearean intrigue
mysterious magical islands
badass girl pilots
grumpy magicians
enchanted gala
unlikely heroine clawing her way up from the servants’ quarters"

Yeah, sign me up.
...more
Lisa DeSelm
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was utterly captivated by the world Samantha Cohoe conjured on this mysterious island, where magic and power rule hand-in-hand with intrigue and desire. A wealthy family, a web of secrets about the past, and a cast of glittering characters who feel like they just stepped out from one of The Great Gatsby's legendary parties—what's not to love? I was swept right along with Mae as she digs in to uncover the truth behind the magic wielded by the Prosper family and wrestles with her own desire to g ...more
Allie
give me ALL the shakespeare retellings!!
Kal ★ Reader Voracious
A retelling of The Tempest with Gatsby vibes? I need this book like I need air

eARC provided by Wednesday Books for my honest review. This has not affected my opinions nor the contents of my review. Quotations are from an unfinished proof and are subject to change upon final publication.
Blog | Twitter | Pinterest
...more
Gabby
Mar 29, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2021
Trigger Warnings*: alcohol and drug abuse (mentioned), coercion (some characters try to use sexual advances as manipulation), death of multiple characters (some happened before the events of the novel), homophobia/outing (outed via rumours, mentioned, and homophobia attitudes are present via other side characters), suicide (mentioned/briefly described), suicide ideation (not pov character, but a side one considers it), supernatural possession & slavery, violence (slapping & gun shot wounds)

*I wo
...more
Sara G
Mar 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
4.5 out of 5 Stars

***ARC received from Wednesday Books and NetGalley in exchange for honest review, opinions are all my own. Thank you!***

I will admit, I have not read Shakespeare’s The Tempest so I can’t comment on how this is inspired by that story so I’m just going to go off what I have read.

Mae is an interesting character, I both liked and disliked her throughout the book. She has never left the island and doesn’t ever want to leave the island, her home is there it is where she feels like
...more
Jackie
Apr 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, 2021-reads
A beautiful cover, an interesting premise and a lackluster plot.

“Bright Ruined Things” follows Mae as she eagerly awaits for the return of her friends Coco and Miles to the island she calls home only to she stumble into an engagement with the wrong Prosper grandson. With her attention focused on climbing the social ladder she quickly finds that things are not as they appear and the magic she so desperately craves may cast a shadow over a much darker secret.

Let’s start with what I enjoyed.

Mae
...more
Taylor Sedona
Apr 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me a complimentary advanced copy of Bright Ruined Things by Samantha Cohoe in exchange for my honest review.

**4.5/5 stars to be exact

Bright Ruined Things is a 1920s style re-imagining of the The Tempest, that definitely serves Gatsby vibes at time. A thrilling ride from start to finish I read this one in less that 12 hours. All Mae has ever known is the island and the magical family that inhabits. Mae strives to feel like she has a plac
...more
Dana Herondale
Apr 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Bright and Ruined Things is a retelling of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” that is set in the 1920s. You’ve got enchanted galas, you’ve magic islands, you’ve got rich families with secrets, and most importantly you’ve got a heroine who clawing her way up from the servants quarters. The world building was done beautifully. Something I particularly liked about this book was the pacing.

I found Mae frustrating at first when reading this book simply due to how she let people walk all over her. However I
...more
Dana Herondale
Bright and Ruined Things is a retelling of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” that is set in the 1920s. You’ve got enchanted galas, you’ve magic islands, you’ve got rich families with secrets, and most importantly you’ve got a heroine who clawing her way up from the servants quarters. The world building was done beautifully. Something I particularly liked about this book was the pacing.

I found Mae frustrating at first when reading this book simply due to how she let people walk all over her. However I
...more
everafter09
Apr 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
A 1920s retelling of Shakespeare's "The Tempest". While I personally have never read "The Tempest", this retelling definitely made me want to check out Shakespeare's book. I really enjoyed reading this novel and it was a very quick read and engaging where I didn't want to put it down. If you're looking for a gothic vibe novel, this is the one for you. I did struggle to imagine myself in the 1920s with this book and think it could use more description to remind you of the time period it's suppose ...more
Meghan
Apr 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library, netgalley
This book was received as an ARC from St. Martin's Press - Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

This book was unlike any fantasy novel I have ever read. I loved the concept of Mae being adopted and unfamiliar with her past in her adoptive Prosper family protecting her and introducing her to a magic unlike any other. Now as she turns 18, Mae has a chance to be on her own and see her calling learning about the new ma
...more
Lauren Morgan
Apr 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
So I'm not the person to compare this retelling to the original The Tempest. It was not one of the Shakespeare stories that I had to read in high school, so I'm not sure what was taken from the original story. The bulk of this novel takes place on a mysterious magical island run by the wealthy Prosper family with outcast orphan Mae as the main character. Mae has never left the island and has been surrounded by her adoptive family's magic since her father's death as a young child. She has been de ...more
Yves Donlon
Apr 05, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2021-dnfs, 2021-reads
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC of this book.

I ended up DNFing BRIGHT RUINED THINGS about 20% of the way through. It was a disappointment because I was excited about a retelling of a Shakespeare play I don’t know much about, but in the end that wasn’t enough to keep me reading.

I know this is supposed to be set in the 1920s, but the only way I knew that was from reading reviews. I wouldn’t have known that from the text itself, which created this sense of timelessness
...more
Amanda Callies
Apr 08, 2021 marked it as to-read
William Shakespeare is one of my favorite playwrights . His ability to draw you into a world full of so many different topics is inspiring. He inspires me-his ability to connect with all of his readers.

Bright Ruined Things had The Tempest vibes going and once I found out it was based on that play I knew I was going to love it. It is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays other than Much Ado about Nothing. What’s better than a play about pirates, shipwrecks and magic? A book about all those things
...more
Katie Canfield
Mar 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
One more chapter... I just need one. More. Chapter.

Humanity is messy, dirty, and life isn't perfect. Sometimes it's bliss to be left in the dark. Sometimes it's better to know.

This is Mae's story about her life and the people she holds as the closest thing to family that she knows. It's her journey to find herself and her chance to stand up for what she wants. I loved this book and just need one more chapter. Not 'want'. Need. It was a great YA read.

This book was a quick read with a fun storyl
...more
Amanda
Mar 30, 2021 rated it liked it
Bright and Ruined Things is an intriguing story that follows Mae who lives on a mysterious island that is powered by the Prosper family. As Mae and her friends search to find answers to the mysteries of the island, they discover family secrets and unfold the truth of how the magic is wielded by the Prosper family.

The relationships between Mae and members of the Prosper family were the most entertaining parts to read, especially the family drama. There were points in the story where I wished the
...more
Liv
Apr 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
After enjoying Cohoe's debut last year, I was eagerly anticipating this book, even though I haven't seen The Tempest in years and remembered only the bare bones of the story. However, I didn't expect to fall so head over heels in love with this book!

The world building is gripping and the storyline so well crafted I was kept guessing the whole was through. The writing style had me completely enthralled, and I was never completely sure which characters I liked and which I didn't!

There was nothing
...more
Michelle
Apr 08, 2021 rated it liked it
It took me a while to become invested in the story and I had a hard time piecing everything together in the beginning as it felt like I was missing something. I thought that Mae was a boring doormat of a character and Miles was just...meh. Actually, pretty much all the Prospers were terrible and it was hard to drum up any sympathy for them. Ivo was the one character with the most promise but hw didn't get enough play in the story. I also wanted more references to the 1920's other than the refere ...more
Mia
Mar 31, 2021 rated it liked it
3. 5 stars

Bright Ruined Things is a fantasy retelling of The Tempest set in 1920s on magical island.
I'm someone who loves historical fiction, but this was just amazing. I loved the world-building, the setting, the way magic was woven so subtly into the story.
I liked Mae as a protagonist. She was strong and you can easy sympathize with her and her struggles. I liked side characters especially Ivo.
Without spoiling anything, this was a compelling story, that is hard to put down it moves quickly a
...more
Ruby
Apr 07, 2021 rated it liked it
What I really enjoyed about this book was the story and its setting. As I was reading I felt like I was on the island with Cohoe's characters. The character's were great too. There were some disagreeable characters but it worked the story.
The only thing I disliked was the wordage. It felt like the novel was going between modern language and language that was used earlier (maybe during the time the Tempest was written). Even though the book was mostly written in today's wordage, those sporadic m
...more
Kyla Vaughan
I do love a good Shakespeare retelling! Mae as our protagonist was easy to root for, and I enjoyed learning more about the Prosper family and their magic and she did. The dynamics between the members of the family were filled with tension and emotion, which I also enjoyed. The ending felt a little flat to me, as the reveal just didn’t pack the punch I wanted it to. I also wanted more Ivo and Mae content, as I never liked Miles much.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free arc in exchan
...more
Allie
Mar 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Bright Ruined Things is a fun retelling of The Tempest set in the roaring 20s. It follows the rich Prosper family and their control of the only island containing magic and the daughter of their steward, who learns more than she should about controlling the magic. While entertaining, I felt the story went in directions that left me wanting more from it at times. It had potential and lived up to some of it but didn't quite hit the mark at other times. Overall, I'd give it 3.5 stars.

Thank you to S
...more
DJ
Apr 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Bright Ruined Things is a 1920's take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It's such a fun and unique story that I was completely immersed in. I normally struggle with fantasy books but I loved this one. The author has the ability to completely sweep you away with her storytelling. The story isn't hard to follow and the magic is just sprinkled in throughout which just made for a dazzling tale. Bright Ruined Things is the best
...more
Elena
Mar 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Let me start by saying I liked this book. I read it in less than 24 hours.
The plot intrigued me, I liked the characters yet I wish some things were explored more in depth.
This book is good. It has magic, a family secret and a mysterious island. I liked seeing Mae grow more and more confident each chapter and I liked finding out all the secrets with her!
Kaylee Clark
Apr 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Meh. This wasn't a particularly unique novel. The idea had promise, but the execution - not so much. Maybe it's one of those it's not you, it's me situations, but nothing about Bright Ruined Things truly called to me. ...more
Faye Rix
Apr 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The flow of the story was perfect. If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to hardy@novelstar.top or joye@novelstar.top
« previous 1 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • You've Reached Sam
  • The Push
  • A Deadly Education (The Scholomance, #1)
  • You Deserve Each Other
  • Fortune and Glory (Stephanie Plum, #27)
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea
  • The Return
  • Twice in a Blue Moon
  • Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life
  • Shade's First Rule (Divine Apostasy, #1)
  • Big Nate: Pray for a Fire Drill
  • Exhalation: Stories
  • Stories of Your Life and Others
  • Skyward (Skyward, #1)
  • Well Met (Well Met, #1)
  • The Collectors
  • Untethered (Shielded, #2)
See similar books…
183 followers
Samantha Cohoe writes historically-inspired young adult fantasy. She was raised in San Luis Obispo, California, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood of beach trips, omnivorous reading, and writing stories brimming with adverbs. She currently lives in Denver with her family and divides her time among teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs. A Golden Fury is her debut nov ...more

Related Articles

As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
42 likes · 10 comments