If you don't know it already, then you should know that I'm a sucker for this type of novels. RUIN is the first book by Rachel Van Dyken that I've read and I absolutely want more more more. Now, RUIN got into my heart hook line and sinker and did not let go even until after the last page. To get a feel for what I'm saying, check out the blurb:
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.
When I started reading it, I knew right away that it was going to be another emotional rollercoaster ride. And I was not disappointed. It was. It truly was. I think the last time I cried like that was for TFiOS and, my God, did I cry for that book. Well, back to RUIN. Dammit, I needed a lot of tissues for this one, as well. It was THAT good.
In the first few chapters, everything already seems to be gearing up for something BIG. I thought at first that this was going to be all about Kiersten. I mean, I was kind of setting myself up for a plot revolving how she's battling with her tragic past and how Wes would become her knight-in-shining-armor, how they'd fall madly in love and all the cutesy stuff in between. That was my mindset when I started reading RUIN. I mean, the ingredients are complete! Broken orphan girl meets the mysterious, hot, and popular quarterback. Add the wild roommate and said roommate's dangerously hot tatted cousin. Oh, and let's not forget our mysterious guy's psycho ex-girlfriend. Well, it kind of started out like any other New Adult book out right now. Boy, was I wrong.
"Clearly the kiss had affected me. I wanted it to be romantic for her. I told her I wanted her world to change. Hadn't expected mine to shift as well."
Even as I thought about how perfect Kiersten and Wes are for each other, I can't help but wonder how long it's going to last. I mean, there's still Wes' secret, right? So when he talked with Gabe (Kiersten's roommate's cousin), I can feel my heart start to shatter.
I also thought that maybe Gabe would be the third person in the usual love triangle. I mean he's got that whole badboy thing going for him and I got the distinct feeling that if things do not work out for Kiersten and Wes, Gabe would be the one to catch her. I had an unpleasant recollection of this other novel called Chasing Nikki (if you've read it then you know what I mean). I thought RUIN couldn't possible turn out like that!
Okay, I won't go into much detail but my heart was breaking! I can feel the proverbial knife piercing my already shattered heart. The raw emotions... that was the best thing I love about RUIN. There's no chance of holding back. It's a one-two-punch combo of rawness hitting you page after page after page!
I was laughing at Gabe's antics, and then the next moment, my heart would soar as I read Wes' sweet words, his promises. My heart would fill up with emotion as Wes tries to help Kiersten with her list of WAYS TO LIVE, as he helps her overcome the grief that has held her back for so long. My heart would fill to bursting capacity as I fall in love with those two.
I was crying so hard I could barely keep my eyes clear to continue reading. Words have failed me, I can't even begin to describe how I was feeling from that point on. This is me from that fateful football game onwards:
The writing was exquisite. It rendered all the emotions so well it practically oozes out of the pages. The way she painted Kiersten and Wes' story was so intense and vivid! She wrote it with just the right amount of suspense to keep readers on the edge of their seats the whole time. RUIN is heartwarming and moving in all the ways that matter. It tugged on my heartstrings and made me fall in love over and over again. There's hope and magic in love and Kiersten and Wes just made me believe it all the more.
To Ms. Rachel Van Dyken, I don't know if you would ever ever read this review of mine but I just want you to know that this is one of the most BEAUTIFUL books I have ever read. Kudos to you, Ma'am! Keep on writing. You're amazing.
And to you New Adult fans out there, or if you just love reading, don't miss out on this epic story of newfound friendships, of finding hope in the direst situations, of falling in love and fighting like hell to keep it, of knowing that time will eventually run out for each and everyone of us... it's a story about feeling every beat of your heart with the knowledge that it's keeping time with another person's. It's a story about living afraid and living it the way it's meant to be lived anyway.
"Every time you close your eyes, regardless of where I am or where you are, I want you to remember this." His fingers laced with mine and then he pressed my hand against my own chest.
"Wherever I am, whatever I'm doing, alive or dead, young or old, my heart will always be with yours. Every beat you feel against your fingertips..." His finger tapped against my chest once, twice "...is me calling out to you. It's you returning the call. It's us talking, communicating, bonding, sharing. Living - Kiersten, it's us living."