Title: Ruined: A Ghost Story
Author: Paula Morris
Publication date: August 1st, 2009
Summary: Rebecca Brown couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to live while her dad is away on business. She's staying in a creepy house with her aunt Claudia, who reads tarot cards for a living. And at the snooty prep school, a pack of filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she's invisible. Only gorgeous, unavailable Anton Grey seems to give Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he's got a hidden agenda.
Then one night, among the oak trees in Lafayette Cemetery, Rebecca makes a friend. Sweet, mysterious Lisette is eager to show Rebecca the nooks and crannies of New Orleans. There's just one catch.
Lisette is a ghost.
A ghost with a deep, dark secret, and a serious score to settle.
As Rebecca learns more from her ghost friend - and as she begins to trust Anton Grey - she also uncovers startling truths about her own history. Will Rebecca be able to right the wrongs of the past, or has everything been ruined beyond repair?
What started off as a lighter story about a girl being sent to New Orleans while her father is in China, evolved into a thrilling page-turner at the end. Paula Morris uses vivid imagery so that I could clearly see everything in my head. At first, I was a bit confused/disinterested because it seemed like too many things were going on at once (Anton, Lisette, the parades, the cemetery, her father going to China, etc.). It was slow at quite a few points. But about 2/3 of the way through the book it all begins to come together, and then I couldn't put it down. There was also a lot of culture and history about New Orleans and the old-line families interspersed throughout the book, which I felt added depth and made the story more interesting. It's a great ghost story with a lot of history behind it.
Overall grade: B