Review: Ruin (#1, Ruin) by Rachel Van Dyken

My Thoughts

Instantly absorbing, sexy, romantic and emotional!
This book brought me to tears and exceeded my expectations in every way. I loved every heartfelt moment of it!

5stars

Synopsis

ruinI’m not your typical girl. I’ve been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness…until Wes Michals offered to be my light.

I didn’t know that time wasn’t my ally — that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer–each moment as it came–but it would never be enough.

Sometimes when you think it’s the end, it’s only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn’t–I wouldn’t ever be the same.

And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.

My Review

Ohmygoodness, this book killed me. I’ll start by saying that I am a recent fan of Rachel Van Dyken. I loved both Elite and Elect and I had heard Ruin was good so I’ve been wanting to read it for awhile. But wow… I did not expect to be so sucked in by a story. So affected. This is a story that ruined me as well from the very beginning and by the end of it, I was in tears, my eyes cloudy as I tried to finish the final chapter. It broke me, little by little and then despite expecting what would happen, it shattered me into a million tiny little pieces. I cared so much about the characters and the story was developed perfectly. In a way, this was a simple, straightforward story, but one filled with so much heart and honesty that it just touched me. I think I highlighted most of the book as everything said seemed significant and moving. It’s a story about living life… one of our characters trying to hold on to it with every fiber of his fading being and the other, finding a reason to live it once more.

“Maybe it’s not in the perfection of life that things make sense, but in the chaos.”

Kiersten is a small-town girl, whom on her first day of college doesn’t know what to expect. Since her parents died unexpectedly in a tragic accident, she’s been barely living… so deeply scarred by the events. She’s constantly afraid and overcome with sadness, living her life on the fringes… safely. Haunted by night terrors and paralyzing re-enactments of what happened to her parents, she’s thrust into the rousing vitality of a college campus, her uncle hoping that she starts really living again. Little did she expect to fall into her fate… literally. Landing against a warm strong body comprised of 8 deliciously distinct abs and the most gorgeous face she’d ever seen, her life would forever be changed by Weston Michels.

“I turned around… and ran smack dab into a tree.
Or at least it felt like a tree.
But trees weren’t warm.
And they didn’t have one, two, three, four, six, Good Lord, eight? Eight packs? Furthermore, had I actually been feeling said person’s eight pack? And, dear God, I was counting. I had touched each muscle. And great, my hand was still firmly placed against the guy’s stomach.
I jerked my hand back and closed my eyes.

“Were you just counting my abs?”

Wes is a much sought-after senior with a playboy reputation, but to her, he’s kind, helpful and incredibly charming. Chapters alternate between Kiersten and Wes’ POVs, so we get to see how taken he is with her. Something about her just feels different. We quickly learn, however, that Wes has a secret. A debilitating secret that keeps him from pursuing a future with Kiersten, but somehow he isn’t able to forget the girl with the beautiful red hair. Weston is exactly what Kiersten needs. He’s the gentle, caring push that helps her overcome her fears and integrate back into life.

“His eyes held my ruin.”

Falling in love with Weston Michels is absolutely unavoidable. He has so much heart despite him carrying so many burdens and so much pain for his young age. He’s the definition of swoon-worthy! He’s kind, protective, thoughtful, romantic and selfless. And wow… the things he says melted me to the very floor.

“I’m going to make it so hard for you to forget this first kiss that you don’t want anyone else kissing you ever again. When the guy you fall in love with kisses you — it better put this kiss to shame — if it doesn’t, then he isn’t the right guy. Because I’m going to do a damn good job, and I want the guy that earns you, that takes that heart of yours and holds it in the palm of his hands… I want that guy to be able to make you feel things I’ll just be tapping into. Do you understand, Kiersten?”

I just loved them together. Everything about Kiersten and Wes fit together perfectly. They were what each other so badly needed. They were healing each other. I loved that we had that witty, flirty banter, but at the same time, that lightness was rooted by a deepening connection.

“Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, alive or dead, young or old, my heart will always be with yours. Every beat you feel against your fingertips…” His fingers tapped against my chest, once, twice. “… is me calling out to you. It’s you returning the call. It’s us talking, communicating, bonding, sharing, Living — Kiersten, it’s us living.”

The secret that Wes hides is a big part of the story and one I won’t spoil for you. The situation makes you consider how precious every moment is, and how little control we have sometimes, whether it be over what our heart desires or what unavoidable things must happen that pull us from the life we’d like to live.

“I was keeping something epic from her, which sort of made me the villain in this tale. But damn, I wanted to be the hero.”

This was simply a beautiful story that I know I won’t soon forget. I loved the protagonists and I love the supporting characters as well. Gabe, a friend of Kiersten is a wonderfully complex character and Toxic, the next book in the Ruin series will tell us his story. As I mentioned above, the end had the tears flowing easily and there were some unexpected twists that were simply perfect and heart-warming. This is a story about loss, life, love and hope and it has the most perfect ending. I loved it!

“You rescued me and I found my ruin.” I bit down on my lip. “I’m ruined for you – and I won’t ever be the same. It’s the greatest gift anyone has ever given me.”

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Reading Order and Purchase Links

Click on the below cover image to purchase from Amazon.

ruin toxic fearless

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Comments

  1. Oh I loved this review. I really need to get to this book soon.

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