Tuesday, February 5, 2013

**BLOG TOUR** The Ruining by Anna Collomore

The Ruining by Anna Collomore
Release Date – February 7, 2013
Publisher Website - Razorbill/Penguin
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 313 pages
My Rating- 3/5
**Received from publisher for review**

 Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
Dark, twisted and unsettling are how I would describe this intense look at mental illness. A novel that's setting, and atmosphere are everything I could hope for, but whose characters left me wanting something more.

This is a haunting look at a young woman who is unraveling. The mind is an incredibly fragile thing, and this novel showcases what it can be pushed into and how powerful perception is. The most unsettling element is the degree in which this felt plausible, especially for someone with characteristics like Annie.

Annie is the character that we get to know the most, and who has the most development. She comes from a background that is anything but stable, has had devastating things happen to her, and she's already in a fragile state. How deep does her own illness run, how much is caused by what is happening to her? These questions haunt the pages of this novel.

The reveal of what is happening to Annie was easy to guess early on. This books strong point is when it's focused on Annie's insanity. What pushes her there is not really a twist, but is quite well plotted and scarily believable.

Anna Collomore keeps the tension level high for most of the novel. Everything escalates rapidly creating a quick pacing that will make this a rather fast read. The novel really hits it's stride mid way through when everything starts to come together, and the atmosphere is at it's most creepy.

The ending at once felt too tied up, but it also felt like it was not tied up enough. There is a hint of something (too spoilery to be specific) that felt like a nod to Annie's real issues. I wish I could say more, but I will just say that part of it made me think that perhaps Annie's story is not quite done yet. It leaves a unsettled feeling, and perhaps room for a second novel.

While I appreciated the creepy, and obviously well researched, clinical/medical aspects of the novel I felt something was missing. The characters themselves left me a little indifferent. Those interested in novels that mess with your head will find much to enjoy between these pages, but I felt some of novels points stayed at the surface.

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