Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ruining Series Review

Book Review April 24th

Ruining Me - Ruining You

by: Nicole Reed

★★★★★ 5 Stars

Blurb: Eighteen year old Jay Stevenson is living a horrible nightmare.

Two years ago, she had the world in the palm of her hand, but in one moment, it was ruined. Secrets, lies, and the worst imaginable betrayal haunt her new reality. Burying her problems under a cold façade seems to be the only way to cope until it all catches up with her. Soon, she loses control of the lonely world she built around her, and the past, present, and future collide.

Three guys are there when it all comes crashing down: JT, the perfect boyfriend she never wanted to give up; Rhye, the local bad boy “rock star” who made her forget the past; and Kane, the funny and sweet tattooed bartender who wants her future.

Jay’s life almost came to a forced end when her darkest secrets were revealed and the one who she chose to give her future to was ripped away. Now, everything she kept hidden is the topic of everyone’s conversation, and not all are sympathetic. Someone wants her horrific past to dictate her future, and another is determined to help her choose a different path.

In conclusion to Ruining Me, Kane and Rhye know that Jay is worth the fight, but waiting for her to find herself may ruin them all...

I take back every time I called a book an emotional rollercoaster. They have nothing on Ruining You and Ruining Me. These books will catch you by your hair and throw you repeatedly against the wall till you can’t move. There are many plot points similar to those in other books but none of that matters because it is uniquely its’ own. Think Captive in the Dark minus the torture and kidnapping, Taking Chances and Thoughtless without the cheating love-affair and Find You in the Dark without an emotionally unstable male lead, rather, here it is our protagonist named Jay. And since I forgot to mention it, both these books blew me away and in the most amazingly-delicious way. They were phenomenal and even with all the yelling and LOL moments I was taken for a ride.
When we first meet Jay we know something awful happened to her. As much as readers want to know, it takes awhile before the truth is revealed, and boy was it a doozy. Jay is lost. Something horrific happened to her and the only way she saw to deal with it was to push everyone and everything away. Being underage and in high school does not stop her from having random sex or hanging out at a local bar. It is there she meets Kane who is as amazing as a tin of cookie dough. However, Kane and Jay do not jump right into things and in fact she continues to push him away. There is no insta-love here though the two are clearly attracted to one another.

This poor girl is so tortured by the past it is hard to see how she even functions. Between pushing everyone close to her away and facing her demons/nightmares alone she proves how utterly brave she really is even if she makes a few bad decisions when things get tough.

“Satan wasn’t ugly. I had always been taught in church that he was the most beautiful angel, and even in my dreams, I realize this.”-Jay

I was so totally thrown by the pace of this book at times. Just when you are getting excited about Kane and her, something else or should I say someone else happens. But then wham! before that too has a chance to percolate we are thrown the mother of all curveballs. It’s hard to not give anything away but the emotions this book evokes is amazing. One minute your left wondering what the hell Jay is doing and why. You know something happened to here and though we don’t fully understand it’s reasonable to see why she falls back into old patterns. But then her choices are ripped away and she loses someone close to her at the same time her truths are revealed to everyone.  She is so stuck on blaming herself that she forgets to point the finger at the one responsible. It takes her awhile to gather the courage to fight but thankfully she does and takes away all the power from her attacker.

“My sins were supposed to kill me.”-Jay

The pain is awful as if you are Jay yourself. I doubt I would have survived without immediately picking up Ruining You after finishing Ruining Me. By the time Ruining You comes around you want to sleep life away and hope that those last few chapters were only in your imagination. But as much as they suck, they also rock. The ending, threw me across Crazy Town. I loved how unexpected it was. Surely, a big showdown moment was on its way but the Who is what threw me. That was one of the things I loved about this book. It takes traditional and throws it out the window. What you expect is so not what you are going to get.
With the truth out in the open Jay has her hardest challenge yet. Testify or not to testify. Thank God this book is in first person because being in her mind is so eye-opening and not only because as females we are able to understand her position but because it again just shows how alone yet brave she really is. This is a very sensitive issue, especially for victims of abuse. In Jays’ case she was attacked by someone she should have been able to trust and before the truth came out she was still being harassed on a daily basis. It’s so hard not to feel for her. She is so ashamed of what happened to her, she would rather leave the Earth than have the world know. She blames herself and makes excuses when none are justifiable.  Poor Jay is like a bird in the wind without wings or directions. She just floats waiting for the lightning to strike her down so she can say ‘I told you so.’ Even with her ‘giving up’ attitude. She doesn’t give up. It takes the death of someone close to push her to that level. It’s so sad because her pain is a live tangible thing and you just wish she didn’t push everyone away so she wouldn’t be alone.

“Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the most wonderful things that will happen to us.”

Kane is great and I really fell for him. Even with all Jay’s hang-ups and obvious drama he was a rock. Giving in when he should have walked away, and just being ridiculously supportive of Jay even though her pain hurt him as well. At times these two would drive me crazy with the half-truths and subtly, as if speaking their feelings would be so bad. (Luckily, Jay’s mom is a take charge woman and sets them both in their place). At one point Jay calls her relationship with Kane doomed. It was scary and sad at the same time because you want them together but you realize that Jay is both rash and afraid. The truth may be out, but she hides behind it and lets it linger, hindering her life. Kane really comes through for her and is more patient than she deserves. He helps her LIVE and break free from the shell she’s hid under for the past two years.
I was thrown by all the guys that seemed to be following her around. However, it helped add another layer of conflict to an already conflicted story. And in their own way, each guy helped Jay deal. Rhye was more of a buffer that she used to help separate from reality and I was sad to see this bad-boy bare his heart and still be strong enough to walk away. JT was a blast from the past, one she literally let go but emotionally they were wrapped all over one another.

I was so thankful everything worked out for Jay and her friends. Though time may have past, the bonds of friendship were still strong and unhindered by the actions of others. My favorite line was when they were at the club and said, “It’s Brittney BITCH.” Priceless, since my friends and I do the same thing. It was at this point the book brings out an air of relief, like the air is clearing and you can breathe. Hope for Jay overcoming her issues is at the forefront and watching her reawaken to life is invigorating.

I abso-freakin-lutely loved these books and would highly recommend them. Though the story-line takes on a very serious and emotional tone, the characters will suck you in and throw you against a wall- leave you forgetting the pain but wanting more. Every chapter was remarkable, not because they were all great and happy but because each one, hell each page, invokes a different emotion that leaves you a bumbling mess. Pure genius. This is a story for any girl who has every suffered and arisen from the dust stronger than before.
I just want to wrap my arms around these books and not let go!!

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