The Ruining by Anna Collomore
Razorbill, February 2013
RIRI: 2013 Debut Author
Summary from Goodreads:
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.I had such a hard time reading this book. I get it that Annie has a crappy home life and that escaping to San Francisco is a dream come true, but for the first half of the book I was cringing and I really thought I knew how the book was going to turn. I mean, if it sounds too good to be true (Annie's job, in this case), it usually is, right? And there were so many things that just felt familiar, like I've read them before.
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.
Happily, this novel twists in a way that other too-good-to-be-true stories doesn't, and that's what made it interesting for me. Truly, Annie has no self-esteem or courage to be her own person and that comes through in the events in the middle and towards the end of the book. This is one of those books that you can't really review because everything is a spoiler, but suffice it to say that I thought the turn was a good one. I did think the ending was a little too neat, but another reviewer mentioned that the ending shows that Annie hadn't really learned anything from her experiences, and I think that's pretty spot on, and if that's the case, the ending totally fits.
Anyway, a decent trek into mental illness and an enjoyable psychological thriller.
Borrowed book from the library.
Enjoy your reading!