Ruined: A Ghost Story by Paula Morris

Title: Ruined: A Ghost Story
Author:Paula Morris
Pages: 320
Genre: YA/Teen
Source: Library
When Rebecca’s father needs to travel out of the country on business for several months, he has no other choice but to leave her with her aunt Claudia and cousin Aurelia. She is none to happy about this - leaving the comforts of her home in New York City to live in post-Katrina New Orleans, where she is to start a new school for the reminder of the school year.

Upon her arrival, her aunt warns her to stay away from the cemetery across the road from their house. But Lafayette Cemetery doesn’t seem like a dangerous place to Rebecca, instead she can’t wait to make her way through its tombs. When a few of her classmates sneak into the cemetery at night she finds this the appropriate moment not only to spy on the snobby girls from her school, but also to venture through the cemetery. She not only gets lost in the cemetery but runs into a friendly girl, Lisette, who helps her find her way out of the cemetery in time without getting locked in or anyone finding out she was there in the first place. Lisette and Rebecca quickly become friends, but it doesn’t take long for Rebecca to realize that there’s something very different about her new friend... Lisette is a ghost.

Lisette is a ghost with a secret and she needs Rebecca’s help. But Rebecca soon find herself drawn into a multi-generation curse where danger lurks around every corner. Rebecca has made a pact to help Lisette - but can she trust Anton, the cute boy who tries to befriend her but is also one of the rich kids in town? What about aunt Claudia? How much does she really know?

Ruined is foremost a ghost story - but there’s also so much more to it. I absolutely loved Rebecca. She was a very refreshing character - brave, strong, not bothered by her lack of popularity and stood her ground when confronted by the “mean girls” of her new school. I liked that she wasn’t worried with how she looked or what anyone thought of her. None of that teen drama/angst about fitting in with the rich girls... I found her to be a very real voice. I also really enjoyed reading about post-Katrina New Orleans. When Lisette and Rebecca take a walk through town, you almost feel as if you are walking with them. All the details and stories along the way... I think this was my favorite part. I loved reading about the older New Orleans families, their homes and their traditions surrounding Mardi Gras.

I was intrigued from the start by Lisette's death - and the curse that ensued. It was a real page-turner for me... I just needed to find out what happened and how it would all end. There were a few twists and turns that I didn't see coming and that made for good reading. You were just never sure where the story was going. Did the rich girls really want to befriend Rebecca or did they have ulterior motives? Was Anton interested in more than a friendship or was he just playing with her? And what about Lisette? How much can you really trust a ghost?

I found this to be a very enjoyable read and would definitely recommend to anyone who likes ghosts, romance, quirky characters, history, all mixed together with the flavor of New Orleans.

My Rating:

**Originally reviewed October 2009**


agirlreads said...

Oh this sounds so good! A wonderful ghost story is perfect for this time of the year.

Tales of Whimsy said...

Great review! Glad you dug it.

Anonymous said...

I actually have this book, but I've been putting it off. Knowing you really enjoyed it makes me want to read it more!

Jenny said...

This sounds great! I have this on my TBR... sounds like something that would be good to read at this time of year! =)

carla said...

I think this sounds way cool. I checked to see if the library had the audio online but not yet.
Sounds like it would be a good one to have read to you.
Mom used to read me books and I had one teacher who would read to us a half hour every day.

Unknown said...

I loved this book, I'm so glad you liked it. I love anything that's set in New Orleans and this one was a great one! =)

Evy said...

I just love the cover ! So pretty !

book worm said...

i just finished this book and it is so good i think everyone should read it

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