Monday, March 10, 2014

{Book Review} Ruin by Rachel Van Dyken

Title: Ruin
Series: Ruin #1
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Publication Date: August 11, 2013
Publisher: Self-Published


I'm not your typical girl. I've been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness...until Wes Michals offered to be my light.

I didn't know that time wasn't my ally -- that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer--each moment as it came--but it would never be enough.

Sometimes when you think it's the end, it's only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn't--I wouldn't ever be the same.

And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.

All I can say is... Wow! If I knew how moving, how heartbreaking, and, eventually, how awe-inspiring Ruin would be, I would have picked it up on August 11, 2013, the day it released. And honestly, if not for the minor editing issues, the rating would have been FIVE stars. Rachel Van Dyken is quickly becoming one of my favorite New Adult writers. 

Some people are going to call the romance too "insta-lovey," but given the circumstances, I can completely understand why the author went where she did with the story. I started off the book laughing at Kiersten's clumsiness, especially where Wes was involved. If anyone ever doubts that a single girl could embarrass herself in such a horrific manner, I assure you—it is possible.

But trees weren't warm.

And they didn't have one, two , three, four, six. Good Lord, eight? Eight packs? Furthermore, had I actually been feeling said person's eight pack? A, dear God, I was counting. I had touched each muscle. And great, my hand was still firmly placed against the guy's stomach.

Oh, I laughed so hard.

Kiersten, a college freshman, finds herself lost in the chaos of attending college, well, the registration process specifically. People are rude and can't be bothered to answer her questions. The one guy who is willing has quite a reputation. Kiersten's not sure she wants his brand of drama, but she's also having a difficult time avoiding him. 

Wes, college senior filled with snark and billions of bucks, finds himself captivated by the clumsy, sometimes crazy freshman. He's the quarterback of the football team, the RA of Kiersten's dorm, and has an entourage to boot. He is the guy every girl wants, thing is he's all about changing his ways. No more one night stands, no more boozing it up, no more frivolity. His main goal is to finish out his last season on the football field and make it into the big bowl game, until... a beautiful, clumsy freshman runs smack into him. Haunted by his past, he feels the need to save her.

Both Kiersten and Wes are carrying secrets they aren't willing to share with anyone, not even each other. Unfortunately, Wes has more than one traumatic event coloring his past and when he finally comes clean, my feelings gnawed at my gut, literally bringing tears to my eyes. I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Van Dyken's build to the big reveal. It was slow and torturous, but perfect. Wes' emotions clung to me stronger than Kiersten's. Or, maybe Kiersten's reaction to Wes' situation stuck with me more. 

Either way, the story is phenomenal. Complex and complicated. Heartbreaking and inspiring. A perfect blend of life; the horrific and the sweet.

I thought about inserting a spoilery type quote here, but instead, I'll leave you with my favorite line.

"Maybe it's not in the perfection of life that things make sense, but in the chaos."

Yes, this book is considered a New Adult book, but it is written clean with only slight suggestions made at sexual content. My 13 year old is mature for her age, but I would have no problem with her reading this novel.  

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