Loved it! Ruined started out strong and kept going that way. The book distinguished itself right off from so many others in this genre because it is told in the third-person, rather than the first. At first this threw me off a little, but I think it also gave the story more depth by enabling descriptions of things that Rebecca wouldn't necessarily notice.
There wasn't as much of a romantic storyline to Ruined as I thought there was going to be. Based on the book cover blurb, I thought Anton was going to play a bigger role. He didn't have much dialogue, so while Anton was present at a lot of scenes, he didn't feel like a huge presence. There also isn't a lot of obsessing about him on Rebecca's part. What? A sixteen year old girl who doesn't obsess about her crush! Is that even legal in this genre? While the lack of dialogue and teen-girl obsessing definitely make this book more Joe-friendly, I might have preferred a few more "talking parts."
However, Ruined is, first and foremost, a ghost story. Rebecca's mission is to figure out what happened to Lisette, why she is stuck here as a ghost, and how that relates to the mysterious curse placed on some of the most prominent families of New Orleans. The strange thing is, and maybe this is just me, but it wasn't really scary. I don't read a lot of ghost stories, but aren't they supposed to be scary? Hmmm... anyway, in order to discover the answers she's looking for, Rebecca must delve into the history of her new city, and of the families she's trying to help.
The city of New Orleans is really the star of the book, if you ask me. I loved reading about the krewes, parades, debutantes and balls. There is also a lot about Katrina and its aftermath, so I really felt like I got a feeling for the city after reading this book. Which is great, since I can't really afford to travel there.
In the end, I really liked this book. Its rich descriptions and vivid storytelling make it a captivating read.