Saturday, August 31, 2013

RUIN by Rachel Van Dyken


I'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 Michels 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.

5 star REVIEW:

Don't let this cover fool you.  RUIN is not just about a HOT guy, there is a very powerful story behind this cover.  I have read and reviewed a TON of books, but there are few that have brought me to tears and have truly touched me in ways that I could not imagine.  There are few books that I will always remember that have left a footprint on my heart and RUIN is one of those books.  I absolutely LOVED this book!!   It actually took me a few days to get my emotions under control to write this review.  I want to tip my hat to Rachel Van Dyken and congratulate her on this fabulous book. Ruin is full of raw emotions

Kiersten's parents died an accidental death two years ago.  The only family she has is her uncle, who she went to live with her the death of her parents.  Kiersten struggles with nightmares and is on antidepressants.  Kiersten's life changed on her first day of college.  The moment she wasn't paying attention and ran face first into a "warm tree " with an 8 pack of abs.   Those abs belong to Weston Michels a/k/a Wes.

Kiersten is immediately attracted to Wes the moment she sets eyes on him.

"I had no idea that one look would devastate me. Weeks from now I would regret that one look, for one reason and one reason only.

His eyes held my ruin." ~ Kiersten

Wes is the 
senior star quarterback for the University of Washington. Wes comes from a very wealthy family.  Wes has it all, the good looks, the body of a sex god, a great personality, and a heart of gold.  Wes looks like the stereotypical rich frat boy.  But in reality, he was anything but that. Wes was labeled, and people assumed they knew everything about him.  They believed the "rumors".  Few people knew the real Wes.  Wes is battling an illness, that is all I will say, you will have to read RUIN for further details.  

Wes is drawn to Kiersten from the moment he laid eyes on her at Freshman orientation.  There is just something about Kiersten that makes him want to get to know her.  Was it her innocence, her purity that drew Wes to her?  Weston does everything is in power to spend time with her.  

Kiersten was Weston's lamb, but was Weston Kiersten's Big Bad Wolf?

"And then the lamb tempts the wolf." Wes said in a low tone.
"And Wolf rises above temptation." I sang.
"Wolf loves temptation."
"Wolf needs to watch the movie."
"Lamb needs to stop talking before wolf silences her with his teeth."

The connection between Wes and Kiersten is immediate.  I love the relationship that they have, it seemed so effortless.  The love they had for each other was unconditional.  What started off as a friendship blossomed into a great love story.  There were times that I was laughing out loud with the conversations between Wes and Kiersten, as well as with Gabe and Lisa. 

Kiersten creates a bucket list, a list of things she wants to experience. Wes being the great guy he is, offers to help her complete her list.

"If I remember correctly, your list said 'kiss a hot guy'."

"Yeah, but--"

"I'm changing it. You see, all guys want to be kissed by a girl. But you? You deserve to be the one receiving the kiss, not giving. That's not how this works. So I'm deeming myself the hot guy, and I'm going to kiss you. I'm going to kiss you so hard that you forget everything but my lips pressed against yours."  ~ Wes

Kiersten really wasn't living life to the fullest, as she was struggling with events from her past.  Kiersten was succumbing to the darkness of her past, and Wes was her guiding light.  Wes wanted to show Kiersten that there was so much to live for, so much to look forward to.  Wes understood first hand what Kiersten was feeling, after experiences the loss of love ones himself.

"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's ever given me." (Kiersten)

He wiped away my tears. "Ruin?"

"Yeah, a ruin, because in helping me knock down all those demons, you built me back up again. And for that, I'll never be able to repay you." ~ Kiersten

The sub characters in this book are very well developed.  Lisa is Kiersten's roommate and she is hilarious. Her cousin Gabe pretty much spends all of this time with Lisa and Kiersten. Kiersten is lucky to have Lisa and Gabe as friends.  I wasn't sure what to think of Gabe at first, if his intentions were pure, but he always had Kiersten's best interest at heart.  I grew to love Gabe.  He is so funny and he looked after Kiersten like a big brother would. 

Throughout the book, Wes is keeping his illness a secret from everyone. The only person that puts two and two together after over hearing a conversation is Gabe.  Gabe vows to keep Weston's secret and leaves it up to Wes to tell Kiersten.  Kiersten begins to notice things about Weston, but never really pushes the issue.  She asks once and Wes tells her he will tell her after a specific event.  I was surprised Kiersten didn't push the issue a little further.  I know I would have... 

When Weston's secret is finally uncovered, I felt like the ground dropped out from under my feet.  I could not stop the tears from flowing.  Wes has stood by Kiersten and helped her face her demons. Weston and Kiersten conquered fears together, they learned together, laughed together and loved together.  Weston wanted more than anything to be part of Kiersten's life. But sometimes life isn't always fair.   Will Kiersten be strong enough to stand by Wes?   Will Kiersten be able to face the uncertainty with Wes?   Will Wes have a future with Kiersten? Will Weston be strong enough to beat this?

RUIN took me on a journey that I wasn't ready to take. Emotions that I wasn't sure I was ready to tackle.  Those of you that know me, know that this subject matter hits me very close to home.  My best friend has been battling a similar disease for 6 years now.  There is not a day that goes by that I don't pray for her and beg God to heal her.  She is stronger than I could ever be.  Every day she wakes up and lives life to the fullest.  When you stop and think about life, it is truly a blessing, because in a blink of an eye, the people you love the most could be taken away.  Stop and appreciate those you love and don't let a day go by that you don't tell them that you love them.   

I highly recommend RUIN to EVERYONE.  I think this book is FANTASTIC !!!

I LOVE this quote:

"Don't give up yet. Sometimes when we think God has written The End, what he really means is The Beginning." ~ Wes

This review was prepared by Heather.
I received an ARC for an honest review. 



  1. WOW~ Great review! Just bought my copy.... going to stock up on tissues now.