Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ruined (Ruined, #1)” as Want to Read:
Ruined (Ruined, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Ruined #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  12,786 ratings  ·  1,378 reviews
A gripping YA supernatural novel set in New Orleans: Twilight with a ghostly twist.

Rebecca couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year while her dad is traveling. She's staying in a creepy old house with her Aunt Claudia, who reads Tarot cards for a living. And at the snooty prep school, a pack of filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like s
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Point
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

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

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,786 ratings  ·  1,378 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Ruined (Ruined, #1)
Carolyn  Storer
Ruined is marketed as a ghost story and it is a story about a ghost, but it's not what I expected. It's not scary, or spooky or spine-tingling. It's just about a girl who happens to be a ghost. The plot is quite good and we are introduced to Rebecca, who is the only person (or so she thinks) that can see the ghost, Lisette. They form a friendship, but behind it there is a secret which Rebecca slowly unravels and discovers the truth.

Rebecca is a nice girl, but we don't really get to know her, an
Rusty Grey
Jun 29, 2018 rated it liked it
This was my first ever library book. Lol. There were almost no interesting books available . So I picked this one up . Surprisingly satisfactory . This not horror . Just as Twilight is has vampires . This has a ghost . So don't expect to be horrified . But the descriptions of New Orleans were breath taking .
Nicole Peterson
Dec 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: YA Readers
Recommended to Nicole by: My very ownself
Rebecca's Dad has to go to Japan for six months and is going to have to go and stay with her Aunt Claudia. As if leaving New York isn't bad enough, she also has to start prep school. All of the girls are pretty snotty and have a high opinion of themselves, being from the richest familys in New Orleans.

One night Rebecca hears voices and sees several of the girls she goes to school with along with some boys from boys' prep school. She decides to sneak out of the house and see what they are doing
Even better this time around. This is one of the reasons why I love rereading; it also has a downside I always fear when I start a reread: what if I don't love it as much as I did the first time? Or even worse: what if I'm indifferent to it; what if I can't even fathom why I shelved it as "dear most dear books?"

I'm so glad I own the sequel. And I'm in New Orleans heaven right now: rereading Ruined, the sequel, and The Casquette Girls!
Nothing beats New Orleans as a setting.
Dec 19, 2010 rated it did not like it
this was a poorly written story that obviously needed to be revised, with hardly any good character. It was like they were all literally ghosts, no emotions whatsoever. I could sum up the book in just a few paragraph's as easy as this;

Great, im moving in with my voodoo aunt, who isnt really my aunt, and ive only met her a few times, wait why do i call her auntie? Im best friends with my twelve year old cousin,and im 16, beat that. So my aunt tells me that people get murdered in the grave yard, a
Sep 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Well it was an interesting one. I loved it from start to finish and it was an interesting look at today's society levels.
At first I was a bit irritated that the South was painted in such a mean way, when Southerners are usually quite nice people. Then again I've never met the high society Southerners like Helena Bowman so I can't know if its that bad or not. But I got over it really quick and loved the way Morris depicts ghosts in this story.
All the characters where rich and believable and it a
Katieeoh Lacanlale
Hi! I just posted this review on my blog:

First and foremost, I loved the cover. Its very mysterious and at the same time it tells a dark, witty story. For me I love books that are filled with mystery, horror and suspense. But I never loved books that’s all about vampires and werewolves and fallen angels…whatever. I hate those kind of books. It shifts my mind into something that is so unraveling and simply…weird. I never loved it, just like Twilight, Falle
Nov 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Like the main character, Rebecca, I knew very little about New Orleans before Katrina. What I did know came from sources like movies, novels, comic books and random historical facts that stuck in my head from American history classes. Pop culture painted a surrealistic view of the city--populated by a people who have lived and thrived on traditions for centuries and Mardi Gras, was the talk of the world. I was intrigued and terrified by the thought of going to the city.

And then Hurricane Katrin
May 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Ruined is a creepy, gothic ghost story, the perfect read for the Halloween season. The setting and the entire tone of the book are so eerie! The book is never too scary, but it gives the reader the perfect amount of chills and thrills.

I'm usually much more into characters than settings, but in this story, New Orleans seems like it's own character. I learned so much about the city's history as well as how the upper class live there today. Rebecca is very much involved with the "old families" in t
Margaret Stohl
Aug 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I am a sucker for these things: the south, graveyards, good writing, a well spun multi-generational yarn, a curse, ghosts, and tarot card readers. How could I not like this book? Different books fit into my bookshelf in different ways, and I have very few like this one. So happy to have it!
EDIT: HOOOOOLLLLDDDDD up, does the description really say 'Twilight With a Ghostly Twist'? That is the most ridiculous thing I think I have ever seen. First off, talk about dating this book. Second No. No. No. This book has absolutely all of 0 in common with Twilight. (And I'm no lover of Twilight. I just really can't think of anything these books have in common that aren't held in common by Every. YA. Novel. Ever.)

I'm soooooooo.....FRUSTRATED.

This book could be the poster chil
Mar 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Paula Morris

This great book was a true ghost story. I truly enjoyed reading it. It took place in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I loved the historical references in the story. They gave an aura of truth to what I was reading. In a nutshell…

Rebecca has been told by her father that he has a 6 month stay in China. They are New Yorkers and Rebecca is not happy about the fact that because of this she must spend the next 6 months with her Aunt Claudia in New Orleans at a private school
Educating Drew
Dec 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-love, 2010, spooky, mystery
Isn't that cover absolutely gorgeous, if a bit misleading (the ghost in the story is a young black girl and the woman in the picture, well, she doesn't look young or black, does she?)

It being a ghost story wasn't really what pushed me into this purchase, rather it was because the ghost story's setting is New Orleans. I have no ties with NOLA outside of doing the touristy visits. Still, in all of the places that I have travelled, NOLA is the only city that I can still visualize, the only place wh
I love a good ghost story so maybe my expectations going into this book were too high since I've never read anything by this author before. Needless to say, Ruined was a bit of a let down.

The ingredients are all there. A great setting to facilitate a spooky atmosphere, good historical details, and an unique and well-set up plot with an outcome that wasn't obvious. Despite all of this, there was something missing from the overall story.

Perhaps it was that I didn't find the heroine, Rebecca, symp
Jul 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Rebecca, a 15-16 yr old teen from NY stays in New Orleans( Post hurricane Katrina) for 6 months while her father works in China. While there she lives with her aunt and attends a snobbish school with established families children. She end up in the local cemetery and meets a ghost, she does not figure that out right away. There is a great and terrible history behind this ghost and Rebecca is thrust into it. She tries to remain strong, but the darkness being reveled is truly shocking, and could c ...more
Oct 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you're a reader that's looking for a teeth grinding, heart pounding, sleep with the lights on ghost story, read no further. You will likely be disappointed by Paula Morris' freshman effort, Ruined. Not that Ruined is a poor book - - far from it. But it's more like a ghost story with less calories and a lighter taste.

Ruined is aimed for the Young Adult audience but it's perfectly acceptable as an adult read as well. This adult enjoyed it thoroughly from page one. And while it's marketed as a
Ellz Readz
Nov 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
My thoughts...This book can best be described as flavorful. The reader gets tastes of New Orleans history, Mardi Gras excitement, Haitian magic and an old-fashioned ghost story. The main character Rebecca is thrown into post-Katrina New Orleans in a house with a view of the famous Lafayette Cemetery. Curiosity gets the better of her and she finds herself face to face with a real ghost. Her aunt believe in old magic and voo-doo. She gives Rececca several warnings to stay out of the cemetery and o ...more
Peace Love and Reviews
Sep 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book made me want to see New Orleans intensely soon.
The description of Garden District made me google the place sooner than you can day "Mardi Gra here I come".

Rebecca Brown's character was likable. She's not the typical 16 year old character that's so desperately wanting to fit in her new surroundings or else she'd probably die of an untimely social death. Its a refreahing changing of yhe typical high schooler climbing the social ladder or the Queen Bee harassing a poor insecure new girl.
Oksana  *Bookaholic*
Why do these things happen? Another bunch of trees wasted just to publish this atrocity.

First things first. What makes up a good story? Good characters. Riiiight?? Someone you can relate to, someone that you admire, someone that you vouch for throughout the book. Epic. Fail!
Rebecca was a snooty little brat that I can't believe got the main lead. Seriously. "OMG I am so better than everyone. I'm cool, and I don't need any friends." And then she wonders why nobody likes her. She didn't even kno
Christy (TheReaderBee)
Ruined is my very first read by Paula Morris. I was thrilled that it finally came in at the library so I could read it.

The characters are pretty likeable. Of course, there are some you just love to hate anyways. The main character, Rebecca, was pretty likeable. She wants to fit in at her new home and new school, but she really doesn’t seem to care when she doesn’t. I really didn’t see much of a connection between Rebecca and Anton, unfortunately. There’s definitely not a lot of romance in this b
Loved this book! I loved the way the author used the old legends of New Orleans and mixed it in with modern day. I've always been interested in the subcultures of New Orleans. It's city with such history and this book played on that. So much history is immersed in the story.

The characters were intriguing, especially Anton who I really couldn't figure out the whole book. As for our lead Rebecca, I was constantly trying to figure out the connection between her and the "old blood" families of New O
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. Ghosts and other paranormal-y things can often be cheesy but I think it was done really well! I liked her writing style and I liked the different characters!

Even though I liked it, it took me awhile to get through and I don't really know why, but it made me enjoy it less. And I also feel like the ending was sort of random and abrupt and wasn't really explained. So the book as a whole was just alright in my opinion.

(This is such a
May 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: trc2015
This was one of those books that reminded me that I'm actually not in the age group that teen books are targeted to.
1. I hate myself.
2. I hate my teaching group.
3. Awfully boring YA book.

Mini RTC.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've had this book on my To Read list for a while and finally got around to it. Unfortunately, it wasn't as enjoyable as I had hoped it would be. This book took me over a month to finish. I really should've DNF'd it since I put it down for several weeks and didn't have a want to pick it back up. I was on my last renewal of this book with my library, and decided to finish it up since I had less than 100 pages to go.

I feel like the story did progress quite a bit towards the end, but it wasn't enou
May 31, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen
Rebbecca is sent to live with her Aunt in New Orleans when her dad has to travel to China for work. She knows no one here and is immediately put off by the snobbish manners of the girls she attends school with. Her only friend is Lisette, a girl she meets in the cemetery. However, it turns out that Lisette is a ghost. She is limited to haunting the cemetery, the Bowman house, and her childhood home until her murder is avenged. This will occur with the end of the curse that was placed on the Bowm ...more
Given the fact that I only read this book because of the cover, I wasn’t really expecting much from it.
Well, my expectations were exceeded.

I can probably count on one hand how many ghost stories I’ve read in my life. And this is a nice little ghostly tale set in New Orleans, a perfect little volume to curl up with when it’s cloudy and cold outside. Which is exactly what I did with it, and so maybe my feelings toward this little novel have been affected by the giant blizzard, but I really liked
Jul 11, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shiralea Woodhouse
Jan 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
I admit it - I picked up this book because it was set in Louisiana...and even better, in a graveyard in New Orleans. I (being a La. native) have always loved the aboveground cemeteries - there is just something "neat-o" about them! And the author managed to weave in some of the history and culture of N.O. into the story. So I enjoyed the setting. However: although I've never run into the "upper crust" of the garden district, it's a little hard to believe they would be SO snotty...and homicidal ( ...more
Jan 15, 2010 rated it liked it
I'm probably being too generous with a 3 star rating, but I did like this book..... Interesting litte story, Welcome to New Orleans: City of Voodoo and Beauty. Of Hurricanes and Hauntings.
Main Character, Rebecca makes a friend in Lisette. One minor little detail, she is a ghost. A ghost who has quite the interesting past. A ghost who has quite a lot of said past that just so happens to have a great deal to do with Rebecca.
Rebecca finds out deep truths about her covered up past.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die, #1)
  • From Bad to Cursed (Bad Girls Don't Die, #2)
  • Distant Waves
  • The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall
  • As Dead As It Gets (Bad Girls Don't Die, #3)
  • The Princess Trap (Scandia, #2)
  • The Best of Ruskin Bond
  • The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
  • Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer
  • The Nightmarys
  • Keep Holding On
  • Monstrous Beauty
  • The Gardener
  • Don't Look Behind You
  • Remember Me
  • Closed for the Season
  • Illuminate (Gilded Wings, #1)
  • The Old Willis Place
See similar books…
Paula Morris, a novelist and short story writer of English and Maori descent, was born in New Zealand. For almost a decade she worked in the record business in London and New York. She now lives in New Orleans, where she teaches creative writing at Tulane University.

Paula's first novel, Queen of Beauty, won best first work of fiction at the 2003 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Hibiscus Coast, a l

Other books in the series

Ruined (2 books)
  • Unbroken (Ruined, #2)

News & Interviews

They’re baaaaaaack! Young adult vampires, that is. Fifteen years after Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight took the world by storm, we’re seeing a brand...
32 likes · 10 comments
“The past doesn't go away. You just can't see it anymore.” 29 likes
More quotes…