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The Ruining

The Ruining - Anna Collomore The Good
  1. Libby.  Libby's unbelievable mood swings and bipolar tendencies made for an interesting character. Every time she showed up, you had no idea who you were going to get: sweet, supportive, motherly Libby or mean, demanding, unrealistic Libby. She is by far the most complex, interesting character in the story hands down.
  2. The ending.  The ending to this book is perfectly ominous. You have no idea if Annie is safe or not, but the most interesting aspect of this story was the fact that Annie learns nothing. Most characters learn from past experiences and, by the end of their journey, are smarter and stronger for them. Annie most definitely is not. She is perfectly content to once again hand her entire life off to another person, allowing them to control every aspect of it.

The Bad
  1. The instalove.  I really liked Owen's character, but there was a good bit of instalove going on when Annie first meets him, which I didn't really care for.
  2. The predictability.  It's fairly obvious early on in the book what is actually going on, and it's unbelievably frustrating that the narrator is so naive that she doesn't understand what is happening to her. I understand it is because of her background--she just wants someone to love and accept her, to keep her safe, and she feels like she has nowhere else to go, but still. Call the police or something? It was just a little too unbelievable the amount of stuff Annie put up with.
  3. The confusion.  The problem with books like this is that they need to be written in such a way that they are mind-boggling and puzzling, leaving the narrator in a state of confusion, without creating a plot line that gets too complex for its own good. There were about two chapters near the end of the book where the psychological manipulation was too much for me and I had a hard time following the plot. Other than that, the suspense and disorientation were crafted fairly well, other than the overall predictability of the story which I already addressed.

Overall Rating

3/5 - While fairly predictable and slightly confusing at times, this book had a very strong ending. Libby was a wonderfully complex, unpredictable antagonist and I loved every time she made an appearance. The most fascinating part of this story, however, was Annie's total inability to learn from her mistakes. As a character, she has little to no growth over the course of the story, despite the horrible things that happen to her. As a role model, she is terrible, but as a character she is very interesting in that she represents the fact that some people really never change.