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The Ruining

The Ruining - Anna Collomore I hadn’t heard much at all about THE RUINING before I received it in a box of trade books. And this is even though I love thrillers, although I generally stick to the cinematic variety. I read over the synopsis, flipped through a few pages, and decided to jump in head first, hoping for the best and honestly expecting the worst. If you keep your hopes low, I believe, generally you won’t leave feeling massively disappointed at the end. Maybe a little bitter, but not disappointed.However, my tried and true method for preventing bookish heartache failed me this time. As it turns out, I was really getting into THE RUINING until it took a turn down the path to unbelievable craziness and crashed somewhere in the last chapter.A NEW TYPE OF YOUNG ADULT FICTION?What do you call new adult fiction being published by a young adult imprint? Because THE RUINING is definitely new adult. Our heroine Annie is starting college after picking up and running far, far away from her family that treats her like crud in Detroit, ending up in San Francisco as a student/au pair to a young, rich couple living just outside the city in the lap of luxury. But for Annie, taking care of the Cohen’s young toddler (while mother Libby overprotects their infant) is a descent into manipulation, madness, and possibly even murder.But other than that, it isn’t really NA. Sorry, everyone – no on camera sexy times here.Maybe it’s because when I think of thriller I think of tight and well plotted, but THE RUINING from the first signs of the crazies doesn’t make much sense. The twist is visible early on, ruining the enjoyment of it, but the problem is that when we finally meander through all the obviousness of it all, we reach the ending where the house of cards tumbles in and the story devolves into silliness. CONCLUSIONS CAN RUIN EXPERIENCESFor me, it was the conclusion that almost ruined the book. I was still skeptical toward the end, but I let myself fall into the story and I began to enjoy it despite the ridiculousness of it. I mean, THE RUINING might be one of the most predictable thrillers I’ve ever read. But the moment an author takes back on the build up and just reveals something that is outlandish and ruins the suspense of it all, your reading experience falls through the floor and dies a sad little death in the basement.I won’t spoil anything, but let’s just say the story would have been better if a thing that had been built up over the course of the novel hadn’t been crushed by a simple explanation that was not really a good one. I just wish that this thing that had made the story so reasonable hadn’t been tossed aside for the sake of a “happy” ending, if you will.OH WELL – THAT’S THATTHE RUINING would have been a much better story in the hands of someone with a better flair for suspense, drama, and teenage issues. And with someone who understood how thrillers for all ages work. In the case of THE RUINING, the hints were ladled on too heavily, too quickly, too forcefully, leaving the reader knowing exactly what’s going to happen until the story ends up throwing everything out the window for the sake of a romance that doesn’t work. Oh, I should have mentioned that before now – the romance, between Annie and her new neighbor Owen, really had no place in the story besides needing a requisite romance and for someone to warn her, something a female friend could have done if they weren’t all busy getting drunk and being alienated.VERDICT: It depends. If you suspend your disbelief, it’s one thing. I enjoyed it after I did that, until the ending, where all bets are off. My ultimate thought? Skip it.