Ruined: A Ghost Story by Paula Morris
Rebecca is a typical high school sophomore. She is active in her school and is extremely upset and resentful when her father uproots her from her New York City home to live with a friend and her daughter in New Orleans. She doesn’t understand why her father sends her to live with the woman she calls Aunt Claudia because they don’t know each other well. New Orleans, especially in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, is small peanuts compared to NYC and Rebecca finds that she doesn’t fit in as well amidst the children sent to the Temple Mead Academy by New Orleans society families. About the only thing that interests her about her surroundings is the Lafayette Cemetery. When Aunt Claudia strictly forbids her from going there, she is determined to do just that. It is there where she runs into her first friend, Lisette, who just happens to be a ghost.
I really enjoyed Ruined. Despite part of the story being predictable, I grew to care for Rebecca and Lisette. I wanted to know Lisette’s story and see what Rebecca would do with it. While I think that young adults may relate better to Rebecca than I did at first, I didn’t feel that this novel was directed specifically at younger readers. There was much to enjoy. I found the information about New Orleans’ history and race relations, the role and place of the city’s grand and established families in modern society, and the background on the city’s Mardi Gras parades very interesting. Most importantly, Rebecca and Lisette are interesting characters and strong at heart. I was never scared while reading this book, but I was always entertained. I would strongly suggest Rebecca and Lisette’s story to the young and the young at heart alike.
This is my third review for the R.I.P. Challenge.
I want to thank Dina from Big Honcho Media for sending me an Advanced Reader Copy of this novel.