Title: The Ruining
Author: Anna Collomore
Release Date: February 7, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher
Annie Phillips is thrilled to leave her past behind and begin a shiny new life on Belvedere Island, as a nanny for the picture-perfect Cohen family. In no time at all, she falls in love with the Cohens, especially with Libby, the beautiful young matriarch of the family. Life is better than she ever imagined. She even finds romance with the boy next door.All too soon cracks appear in Annie's seemingly perfect world. She's blamed for mistakes she doesn't remember making. Her bedroom door comes unhinged, and she feels like she's always being watched. Libby, who once felt like a big sister, is suddenly cold and unforgiving. As she struggles to keep up with the demands of her new life, Annie's fear gives way to frightening hallucinations. Is she tumbling into madness, or is something sinister at play?The Ruining is a complex ride through first love, chilling manipulation, and the terrifying depths of insanity.
Right when I first heard about Anna Collomore's The Ruining I knew it was a story I just had to read. I'm a sucker for psychological thriller and I'm not sure what that says about me that I like people messing with my mind this much. But anyways, The Ruining was just as twisted as I thought it was going to be, though the last twenty pages or so kind of left me somewhat unsatisfied.
Annie hasn't had an easy life in Detroit, but now she is looking forward to moving to California, starting university, and becoming the Cohen family's new nanny. And at first, Annie can't help but be excited about all of it and it doesn't take long before she feels right at home with the Cohens. And if that wasn't great enough, there's also Owen, the boy next door, who seems to be quite interested in Annie. But what started out so great quickly takes a turn toward a nightmarish situation. Where Libby was once the older sister Annie never had, she is now blaming Annie for things Annie can't remember doing. And soon enough, Annie thinks she's starting to go crazy and there's nothing she can do about it.
I love psychological thrillers. And apparently that means I really love having my mind messed with…which might not be the healthiest thing ever but that's not really the point. With The Ruining everything started out relatively normal and the story made sense. But then some things just started changing and with them I wasn't exactly sure where the story would go. And for the most part I could figure out how things were going to turn out. Or so I thought. But then the more I read, the more I started doubting everything I knew, and I think that might have been what Annie was feeling as well. And I really loved the story for being as twisted as it was. But then I hit the last 20% of the book or so and things started getting strange. Not that they weren't strange before but it felt like the story took a turn and I kinda missed that turn. For the most part, it seemed like a logical progression of events, but then the end just felt a little rush and while it was the turnout I expected, it didn't happen in the way I thought it would.
So the characters in The Ruining. When I first started reading the story, I liked Annie. I could understand from her background why she wanted a fresh start and just how excited she was to be living in this completely new world. As the story moved on, I wasn't really sure what to think of her. I didn't believe she was going crazy, but at the same time I was getting increasingly annoyed with how easily she was letting herself get manipulated by the people around her, especially Libby. And Libby was the character that truly annoyed me and got on my nerves. Though I think that may have been the point when it came to her. But still, it sometimes felt like the woman suffered from split personality. And Libby's behaviour, I have to say is what messed with my mind the most because I just couldn't figure out when she wasn't being herself. And I also thing that's one of the main reasons I was unsatisfied with the way things ended. It just didn't feel like some aspects of Libby were explained enough.
Anna Collomore's The Ruining was interesting to say the least. And while the story didn't capture my attention for the majority of the book, the ending did leave me somewhat unsatisfied. Regardless, if you are looking for something a little different, you might want to give this psychological thriller a try.