Review: Ruin by Rachel Van Dyken

Source: Amazon
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Introductory synopsis via Amazon:
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 Michels 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.

Me: So I gave Ruin 5 out of 5 stars, not to say it’s perfect, but it’s close enough that I couldn’t just give it 4.5 stars. it really was that good and I’m looking forward to reading more of Rachel Van Dyken’s novels in the future. I would classify this book in the New Adult (NA) genre and I felt it was a great romance novel through and through. Initially I was worried going into this novel when it began with our college freshman heroine, Kiersten, meeting the very attractive yet closed off hero, Wes. I was getting prepared to be bored by a storyline I had already seen before in which our heroine breaks through the walls of the reserved and unwilling hero. Contrary to my skepticisms, I was hooked on the this book in the first twenty minutes!

This novel had great character development right off the bat that drew me in without revealing to much to early. Both characters had difficult issues to deal with that they were reluctant to take into a relationship which made for a great romance novel. About a third of the way into the novel everything is revealed to the reader, but not necessarily to the all of characters. I’ve read NA romance before and usually I’m biting my lip waiting for the author to reveal the character’s secret to me, the reader, instead of the other way around. On the contrary this time, I really liked that this novel was character driven, and kept me on the edge wondering how everything would play out. I personally classify books into “event” and “character” driven novels depending on whether events that are out of the characters control drive the plot line or whether the personality of the characters themselves propels the novel forward. I’m a fan of the later type of novel and this book definitely falls into that category with well fleshed out and crafted characters.

This review may be a little vague, but I couldn’t give anything away on this one. This is defiantly one of the best books I’ve read in the NA genre in a long time and would whole heartedly recommend it to anyone who loves romance. I would say Ruin is right up there with John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars concerning it’s excellent character development and plot. I will forewarn you that I did shed a few tears during this novel and its not a lazy day on beach type of read, but the ending is excellent and you won’t be disappointed. This book on my top ten books for 2013 and a definite must read!

I also just found out that this book was featured in the Indie Author News’ top 50 Indie Books and made it in the top 10! Check out all of the great books here!

Final note: This novel takes places at the University of Washington, who happen to be  rivals of the University of Oregon Ducks concerning Football. Audrey and I both attend Oregon State University and root for the Beavers; not the Ducks. This quote made me smile just a little bit: “We were playing Oregon. Again. Of all the luck in the world. The Ducks were good, but we were better.”

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