Series: Ruined #1
Published by HarperTeen on May 3, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romantic, Young Adult
Sexual Content: Kissing, references to sex
Reviewed by: Kate
A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.
Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.
But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.
In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.
Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.
RUINED was a fun young adult book, that while enjoyable, fell a little flat for me. With some interesting aspects, and the beginnings of a sweet romance, I think that RUINED could have been a better read for me with some more details and fleshed out characters.
So much happened in RUINED that it felt like there wasn't time for the characters to develop, and thus some seemed rather one-dimensional. Then, when certain events happened to the characters, there really wasn't the emotional punch I think the author was going for, since I hadn't really had a chance to get a feel for that character, or that character's relationships with others. Despite my dislike of cliff-hangers, I almost feel like this book could have ended sooner than it did, even on a cliff-hanger, and had the events and characters more well-rounded. The world was generally loosely defined at best, and I didn't really understand all the history that put the events of the book into motion.
However, despite my complaints, I did have a good time reading RUINED. Em is a lively character, though impulsive and sometimes frustratingly young-feeling. Casimir was a nice love interest, if a little bland, and any sparks between them felt almost forced, but he was sweet and I did like him. The world was interesting, what was developed, and I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book with the way that RUINED ended. The little twist at the very end was well done and though I felt like I should have seen it coming, I didn't.
All in all, RUINED wouldn't top my lists as best young adult fantasy, but it's enjoyable and fun, and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.Series Titles: