By Amy Tintera
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by HarperTeen
Average Rating: 3.84
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
POV: Third Person (Em & Cas)
Cover Love: Medieval and the symbol is pretty damn cool
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
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.
I wanted some Zs when I started reading this book. IT WAS SO BORING. It wasn’t what I was expecting from that synopsis; I wanted to be attached to the characters but I couldn’t.
This book lost so many points. I originally rated this at 3.5 stars which is why it’s still that rating, but as I’m starting to go back and reflect on my reading experience, I’m feeling some intense disappointment about Ruined.
“I don’t think this is who I want to be,” she said, her voice shaking.
“You did what you had to do,” Cal said.
“I did what I chose to do.” Tears spilled over her cheeks, staining his shirt.
“Then choose better next time.”
It’s very hard for me to like a book when I don’t like the characters. I’m a big fan of character-driven novels, but it’s even harder for me to enjoy the novel when I don’t even like the plot. The pace was as slow as a turtle (and don’t even think about the “slow and steady wins the race” because that’s not the case here). It wasn’t very memorable which is the worst since aren’t you supposed to at least remember some events of what you read??! The only thing I can make a hopeful comment on is that by the end, and I mean the VERY END, did it actually get good. It was very surprising. I’m rather curious about Em’s younger sister, Olivia because she does some scary shit.
Em and Cal ,the main characters, are cookie cutters. They’re very trivial. I couldn’t connect with them and absolutely did not like their forbidden romance. The romance didn’t go for me which is strike number three for this novel. It wasn’t developed enough and on the border of insta-love which makes no sense because they weren’t into each other at all. Then suddenly they were in love?!? No. Just no. Ugh. It was so unrealistic and surface level it makes me angry. The romance in books should at least be believable right??
The one thing about Em was that I loved her violent thoughts. She’s a violent one. But it didn’t remain constant throughout the novel, which bothered me, so we are back at square one with her.
Breaking Iria’s hand would make a nice distraction though. Em could break the hand, dart around Iria and put her in a chokehold. Em was taller than the warrior, so she had a pretty good chance of being able to maintain the hold.
The only thing this book got going for it was the concept. The killing and rebelling potential was cool. This book had potential, but was it reached? NO WAY. The only reason why I might actually read the sequel is because of that violent, creepy ending by Olivia (remember the scary sister I mentioned? The one that I like better than the main character? Yea, her.)
Ruined is a slow-paced novel that has a plotline that seemed very promising in the beginning. The romance is horrible, unrealistic and caused no swoony feelings in my tiny body. The characters were surface level and I couldn’t quite connect with them, affecting my reading experience for the worst.
So, although this was a quick read for me, I’m not willing to recommend this to anyone. If you already read this, let me know what you thought of it.