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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 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.

250 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 11, 2013

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About the author

Rachel Van Dyken

184 books18.1k followers
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances.

Hey guys I'm rarely on Goodreads, if you need to reach me feel free to email!
EMAIL ME: rachelvandykenauthor@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachel-...

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Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.9k followers
November 2, 2013

Casting for Wes & Kiersten:

4.5 stars ** FULL REVIEW NOW POSTED **

Ruin made me laugh, cry and swoon. If you want a book that will both leave you uplifted and make you smile while still having a lot of emotional depth, then pick this one up and fall in love with Wes Michels. But bring tissues! It's a tearjerker!

This is the story of a sweet, innocent, small-town girl, lost in hurt and reeling from a tragic loss, and a cocky but charming boy, who understood her pain and could reach through to her because he too had deep painful secrets that made him value every moment of life.

This book is really hard to describe without spoilers so I'm going to stay very vague about it and say only this: you find something out about the hero very early on and yes, your suspicions are going to be right. Just hold on to the fact that there's a HEA and you'll get through it just fine. It's totally worth the journey.

Despite the fact that the emotional undercurrents of this story are quite heartbreaking, the majority of the book made me laugh and smile and just feel good. I'll give you an example that's close to the beginning of the book. This is their first meeting:
"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 was the kind of hero who it was impossible not to fall in love with. What a total sweetheart! He had a wisdom that came out of surviving painful heartbreak, and a protective caring side that just made me swoon for pages on end. I'm smiling here just thinking about him. The things he said melted my heart over and over again.
"I can tell you have a good heart… because the minute I met you, I wanted to fight for it."

She was silent.

"That's how you can tell when someone has a good heart… when you want to be the one to make it beat."

Kiersten was a little more 'innocent' than I'd usually like but at the same time, she didn't let anyone walk all over her and certainly wasn't stupid and so given her history, I could understand where she was coming from. She was hiding a lot of pain though behind her smiles and Wes was just the right kind of guy to help her through it.
"Open." He nipped at the corner of my mouth. "I won't hurt you."

"I don't bite."
"But you do lick."

The writing was awesome! Their banter back and forth was just gold! Fast, snappy, fun, flirty. But it was their deeper connection that really made me care. He chased away her nightmares, made her smile again and taught her to live.
"My new job description is making you laugh and chasing away the bad dreams."

"Just because you need help to cope doesn't make you any less strong. The truly weak people in this life are the ones who can't admit they need help. They're the ones who can't admit that they can no longer go at it alone. Those are the people who are weak. By asking for help, by taking help, you've just admitted your weakness and in that, you find your strength. The weak of the world are those who think they've got it all figured out and flaunt it to others."

Now because of the 'situation', Wes refused to let her fall in love with him at first. But at the same time, couldn't stay away.
"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."

The side characters in this book were equally wonderful. I loooooved Gabe! He was kind of a protective big brother character to Kiersten and the way he mother henned her was endearing and totally hilarious! I really hope he gets his own book! I'd love to see him in the hero role!

The ending kind of snuck up on me. It wasn't a 'surprise' per say because we knew what was going on from very early on in the book but I guess I was so caught up with them falling in love that it just hit me in the face a little and I read the last 20% of the book quite choked up. And, this might sound weird though but I didn't cry until a certain reveal very close to the end but when I read it, just BAM. Tears. Full body shivers. It was such a beautiful little twist. I loved it.

The book leaves you with a wonderful message to appreciate every moment of life. It's an uplifting ending. One that gives you hope.
"I want all of [your heart], even the broken pieces, the shredded ones that no longer fit. I want all of them - all of you. I need it all."

This really is a very swoony book. Almost no angst, and no stupidity or eye-roll inducing moments. There were times when I found it a little too 'perfect' but at the same time, with all the gritty and 'real' books I've been reading lately, this was exactly what I wanted. I think the point of it was to be uplifting. Miracles do happen. And sometimes, you do get a second chance.

I loved Ruin and would definitely recommend it.

This is a standalone romance with a HEA (and epilogue).

4.5 stars.


For more of my reviews, book news and updates:
Main blog: Aestas Book Blog
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Profile Image for Christy.
3,913 reviews33k followers
October 24, 2015
4-4.5 ‘Do it afraid’ stars!

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

Ruin is an emotional, raw and beautiful love story that was equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming. I laughed, I cried, I loved, I smiled. Overall, a very good read.

Wes- aka Wolf- is one of those heroes you find yourself loving straight away. He’s sweet, funny, charming and just a wee bit cocky. He’s a big shot football player and well known on campus. He’s also a RA at a freshman dorm. He runs into Kiersten and is instantly drawn to her. There is something different about her. She’s innocent, kind, and he can tell she’s holding on to some sort of pain. Due to her innocent nature, he starts calling her Lamb. The Wolf and Lamb nick names were too cute.

Wes has a secret. A secret we readers find out early on. As Wes and Kiersten’s relationship moves forward, I wanted him to tell her so badly. But I understood why he didn’t. Kiersten has baggage and a past and Wes is focused on helping her move forward and really live her life. Their story was beautiful.
“I can tell you have a good heart… because the minute I met you, I wanted to fight for it.”

I don’t want to talk too much about the story because this is one of those books that could be very easily spoiled. I did however love the ending. It’s one of those books that have been out for a while and I keep asking myself why did I wait so long to read it??? I enjoyed the story, Wes and Kiersten were fantastic and GABE was a wonderful side character! I can’t wait to read his story next!

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P.S. I listened to the audio book of Ruin… this is one of those times I wish I would have quit the audio and switched to reading. The male narration was terrible. It sounded like Kiersten was a college freshman (as it should) and Wes was a 50 year old creeper. His voice did not match the character at all. Just a heads up for my audible peeps.
Profile Image for MK~ Picky Girl .
173 reviews47 followers
September 8, 2013
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

See that picture above, that is how I felt while reading Ruin. Unfortunately, I was bored!! It was just too "sugary sweet" for me.

I really don't have a ton to say about the novel Ruin. I'm probably one of the few people out there that thought this book was just ok.. It's a storyline that I have encountered before, many times in fact. It wasn't bad per say but it certainly wasn't amazing. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out why it got so many five star reviews.

Here are my issues:
The love connection between Kiersten and Wes felt rushed, sort of like insta love to me. It just wasn't believable. I couldn't buy into their rushed relationship in spite of Wes' circumstances.

Kiersten's issues with her parents were only briefly touched upon. I wanted more dialogue regarding her hangups and insecurities.

I did love the message of the story, " living life to it's fullest" but I think the execution is lacking a bit. I needed more dialogue, more plot, more story.

2 stars from this very picky book snob.


Buddy read with my girls!!! Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Profile Image for Jess-i-ca ~Sometimes a Gif Witch~.
797 reviews750 followers
August 14, 2013

Really enjoyed this one even though it wasn't realistic..Did a lot of
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Kiersten is struggling with her parents death. She finally decides to get out and try to embrace life. She meets the RA at her college, Wes. Their nicknames for each other were cute. (Kiersten - Lamb, Weston - Wolf)

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Weston is sick (but still HOT!). He doesn't know if he will live or die (Not a spoiler b/c you find this out pretty fast something is wrong) He starts falling for Kiersten and wants to live for her.

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Kiersten finds out he is sick and doesn't want to lose another person in her life. She has to be the strong one for him.

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Favorite Quotes

"I hated God for taking everyone from me. I hated that in the end, I would always be alone to mourn the loss of the ones I loved."

"Living is hard - dying is easy. You close your eyes and neve ropen them up again. What's so difficult about that? Nothing really - except it hurts like hell to those you leave behind."

"She has absolutely no idea what she does to me..She's my medicine, my cure, my everything. If only hearts could heal that way - through someone else's beating."

Just a thought- Gabe was like the Gay BFF but he wasn't gay....I think he needs his own book :)
Profile Image for Jennifer Kyle.
2,412 reviews4,663 followers
July 11, 2014
"Fear can be your ally. You can do something afraid."


Fair is fair, I didn’t care for this author’s previous book and did a review stating all the things that made it an unbearable read for me.

My how the tide has changed…

I found this book to be ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC, MIRACULOUS, HILARIOUS, SWOON WORTHY, HEART BREAKING and it more than deserves my 5 stars.

This story is told in the dual pov of college freshman, Kiersten Rowe and senior/quarterback/son of one of the world's richest man, Wes Michals. All supporting characters were just as strong as the main characters in this story.

Kiersten grows beyond her fears and smothering depression. While Wes faces his morality through witty banter, grand gestures and friendship they face their future and they build a relationship that book couples are celebrated for.

This is a love story, a story of friendship, of fears, of trust and of forevers. What more could a reader ask for? Some had said the story is unrealistic but my good read friends, miracles happen every day.

"She has absolutely no idea what she does to me..She's my medicine, my cure, my everything. If only hearts could heal that way - through someone else's beating."

“I can tell you have a good heart…” I sighed, opening the door to the outside. “…because the minute I met you, I wanted to fight for it.” She was silent. “That’s how you can tell when someone has a good heart.”

Happy tears streamed down this readers face while I read, as well as real laugh out loud moments. I just loved every second of this journey and I already feel like going back to page 1 and doing it all over again.

P.S. I would love for Gabe to receive his own book….please!

”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.”

Profile Image for warhawke.
1,331 reviews2,009 followers
August 24, 2016

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone Book 1 of 3 from Ruin series
POV: First Person - Dual

Weston (Wes) Michels was a star quarterback senior. He acquired celebrity status with his good looks and family wealth. He could get any girl he wanted but that didn't concern him because he had a personal quest to fulfill. And the person that caught his attention happened to be a timid freshman.

Kiersten Rowe had been living in the shadows since her life was turned upside down by a tragedy. Life for her was simply breathing for another day. That was until Wes immersed himself into her life and help her live it as she should. But sometimes in life, just as the sun emerged, a dark cloud threatened to darken the day.

I keep seeing this book under various sad book lists and have been wanting to read it for a while. I'm glad I finally took the plunge because it was worth the pain lol!

I told her I wanted her world to change. Hadn’t expected mine to shift as well.

Wes was very easy to love. I don't just mean his physical appearance but also his heart. For someone in his position, you would think he'd be an ass, but it was far from it. And the things that came out from his mouth could make anyone either weak in the knees or bawl their eyes out.

I've always love characters with emotional darkness. Kiersten had it but I do wish I could see it more distinctively. I love how she had a great support system among her friends.

"Nobody is promised anything. That’s why life’s so precious.”

I love seeing selflessness in characters and this book had several of them. The interactions between main characters and the secondary characters gave this book extra heart.

I wanted more. But people didn’t always get what they wanted.

I love the book overall, but I didn't really like the ending. After all that happened if felt a little cop out. I understand such situation could happen, but it was too much, too soon for me. I would have prefer it turned out differently or at least make it more gradually.

“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.”

Ruin is a story of a couple turning on a new leaf and living their life on their own time. It's sad yet heartwarming and reminds us sometimes things happened for a reason.

Note 1:
Before I started this book, I didn't intend to read the rest of the series. But I love Gabe so much, I need to know his story. Damn. Lol!

Note 2:
The red text in the teaser background is her “Ways To Live” list

Books in the series:
Ruin (Ruin, #1) by Rachel Van Dyken Toxic (Ruin, #2) by Rachel Van Dyken Fearless (Ruin, #2.5) by Rachel Van Dyken Shame (Ruin, #3) by Rachel Van Dyken

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

Profile Image for * Meli Mel *.
856 reviews655 followers
October 22, 2015

♥♥♥ 4.5 'RUINED ME' STARS ♥♥♥

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She has absolutely no idea what she does to me.... She’s my medicine, my cure, my everything. If only hearts could heal that way – through someone else’s beating.

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Well, when I decided to read this book, I was NOT expecting to read what I read. I thought it would be your typical bad boy story, but it was so much more. I am SO glad I gave this a try. I don't think this review will be very long. I DON'T want to give anything away. It's one of those books that you should just read without finding out too much about it. It might ruin the whole story for you and that would be a shame, because it's a beautiful one.

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I looked into his eyes and knew, this was the guy – he was the one I wanted to spend my every waking moment with. He was my forever.

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

Kiersten Rowe has had a terrible event happen in her past. And this event is what is keeping her from overcoming her fears. She still feels the pain of her loss and is barely living her life. She is an innocent "lamb" and a sweet girl. But that didn't mean she couldn't stand up for herself. She was quite strong too. Then she meets the boy with the bad reputation and gorgeous smile. She finds her boundaries being pushed, her protective shield lowering, and being taught life lessons. She is also falling in love.

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“I can tell you have a good heart..." I sighed, opening the door to the outside. "...because the minute I met you, I wanted to fight for it."

"When you want to start a war?" She laughed, clearly trying to lighten my mood.

"Nah" I sighed. "When you want to be the one to make it beat."

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

Weston Michels is the school's "bad wolf" football star with a big secret. Only those few really close to him know the truth. When he meets the beautiful freshman, he never thought that this girl would change him forever. I don't think I have ever SWOONED so hard for a character, I couldn't stop melting and smiling for him. I was falling in love with him right along with Kiersten, I mean it's really hard not to. He was full of wisdom that helped Kiersten. And Kiersten gave him a reason to fight his ordeal.

Even though this book was quite sad, it never became too much that it depressed you. There were a lot of funny, sweet, and happy moments. I loved how they met! Then there are the secondary characters, all of which were awesome. Her uncle was the best. Wes's dad was really great as well. Lisa was humourous and loud. And Gabe, I wish I could have him for a best friend, hell I'd want more with him. He stole a piece of my heart and I really wish his story would be told in a future book. He was Kiersten's protector and he was so freaking hilarious. I loved him!

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

Gabe held my face between his hands. “What you two have --it’s a once in a lifetime-- you fight for him, sweetheart. Fight for him with every last breath. No regrets, okay?”

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●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

“When I met you...somehow you healed me. From the inside out, the outside in. We conquered fears together, we learned, we laughed, and we loved. I swear, you caused my heart to soar more in the past few months than it has in my entire existence. My heart is whole because you chose to share yours with me...”


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I cried, laughed, mothereffing swooned, learned about life, and fell in love. This book did this to me. It is one of my favorites for sure, because what an experience. I was never annoyed with the heroine, and I adored the hero. The ending was really wonderful. I mean I knew it was going to happen, but was still so happy when I read it. There were so many nuggets of wisdom that it really made you think. We always forget to appreciate the little things. I also enjoyed that little surprise we got. I was tearing up with happiness. So don't worry people, there is an HEA. Seriously, you must go and read this book NOW! I am not kidding. SO GOOD!

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“Sometimes when we think God has written The End, what he really means is The Beginning.”

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Profile Image for Serena.. Sery-ously?.
1,093 reviews179 followers
April 4, 2016
(Lo sappiamo tutti, se non sei su Wikipedia non esisti. Ciò aiuterà il mio cervello ad eliminarla completamente.)


*Se non fosse chiaro da quanto appena detto, sarà una recensione cattiva e impietosa, piena di spoiler!*

Dicono del libro:

Ma che problemi sociali ha la Van Dyken, di grazia? (cit. chiunque)

Era una così brava ragazza, giuro che le abbiamo offerto tutto il sostegno psicologico che potevamo darle… (cit. i genitori sconfortati)

Io non l’avrei mai pubblicata, ma ha amici così POTENTI.. Non avete idea. (cit. l’editore che in seguito si è dato all’agricoltura sul’Himalaya)

Avete presente il detto “Al peggio non c’è mai fine” o “Quando tocchi il fondo puoi sempre scavare”? Ecco, io credo veramente che siano stati creati ad Hoc per la Van Dyken, perché io in tutta onestà non pensavo che fosse in grado di scrivere qualcosa di peggio della Bet Trilogy. E invece.. Oh, Rachel, sia mai che pure il 2016 diventerà il tuo anno?? Tra l’altro – altro record dell’autrice che non smetterà mai di sorprendermi - sono passata dal “mi fa schifo” al “la ODIO”. La odio con tutto il mio cuore perché ha tirato fuori una becerata dopo l’altra, pensando – credendo (non so cosa le dicano i tre cricetini del cervello, se ancora sono vivi) - di tirar fuori una storia profonda e ‘di valore’ e riuscendo invece ad appiattire e banalizzare il tema della malattia: io personalmente il suo libro lo considero un insulto a tutte le persone che sono malate per davvero, ai loro parenti e a chi sa cosa voglia dire soffrire per un tumore. Sono oltraggiata, amareggiata e arrabbiata a mille!

Bene, scusate, mi sono lasciata prendere un po’ la mano.. Torniamo a quello che il romanzo chiede a gran voce: un bel commento acido e impietoso!

La storia si apre con Kiersten (boh, la R è random, non ricordo sinceramente come scrivere il suo nome, spero mi perdonerete se sarà sempre diverso :D), la tipica disadattata sociale che la Van Dyken butta all’inizio di ogni storia, forse per dar speranza ai lettori con “c’è sempre di peggio miei cari!”, (anche se non ne vedo il motivo quando lei stessa potrebbe offrirsi come modello: “Prendete me, sono un caso umano eppure sono un’autrice di successo!”, ma dettagli). Insomma, Kiersten è la solita rincoglionita bellissima e con un passato UN SACCO DIFFICILE, di quelle che se ti capitasse come compagna di scuola ti verrebbe voglia di prendete a mazzate ripetutamente, insomma. Viene da un paesino talmente piccolo che – AMORE LEI, SENTITE IL PATHOS CHE ARRIVA? – non ha nessunissima esperienza in fatto di ragazzi: non ricordo più se per una effettiva mancanza di scelta o più per un “poi il resto della città avrebbe parlato”, e visto che parliamo della Van Dyken (VD per voi, ormai mi viene il prurito alle mani a scrivere il suo nome!)la seconda mi sembra più papabile.. Insomma, un’innocentina triste e sperduta che prende medicine antidepressive (e già qui la nostra autrice fa il primo passo falso.. Ma ci torno, tranquilli!) e si ritrova NON SI SA COME E PERCHE’, in un college a 4 ore di distanza da casa, dove, ci dicono dalla regia, ha praticamente vissuto chiusa in camera sua a deprimersi. (E poi BUM, “ciaone zio, io vado a studiare al college perché sarà un’esperienza fyghissima e devo cambiare aria” quando tu sei lì a chiederti come tutto ciò sia stato permesso dallo zio, più rincoglionito di lei).
Il primo contatto potrebbe quasi far tenerezza, visto che Kriesten si sveglia nel cuore della notte gridando per un incubo e interviene la sua coinquilina, la sciroccata Lisa (che ho scoperto avere un volume tutto per sé in cui si piange addosso perché il mondo è brutto e cattivo ngué ngué ngué e ha un triste passato alle spalle.. Ma non dategli retta, è la persona più frivola che io abbia mai incontrato!) la rincuora e le dice: “Dai, shalla sorella, domani andiamo a caccia di ragazzi!” (lei tutta felice ad aver trovato un’amica speciale come Lisa). E qui c’è la prima scena di disagio e di superficialità della VD:

"I've just never had a boyfriend"
"You poor soul! How did you survive?"

Ho acceso un cero per tutte quelle ragazze che non hanno mai avuto un ragazzo a supportarle.. Perché sì, non vedo proprio come sopravvivere senza!

Il giorno dell’orientamento va a sbattere contro un grizzly, viene mangiata e la storia finisce.
Scherzavo, ma sicuramente voi scaltri lettori non vi siete fatti fregare così facilmente, perché la VD è talmente INNOVATIVA e un vulcano di idee che sfodera un’arma incredibile: Kriesten va a sbattere.. Eh, insomma.. Esatto, va a sbattere contro un figone incredibile. DAIIIII! MA SERIO???? MA VE LO SARESTE MAI ASPETTATO?? Incredibile!
La scena però – RICORDIAMOCELO- è siglata VD che ci aggiunge il suo tocco fantascientifico: sì perché dopo essersi scontrata con quello che sarà poi il nostro protagonista maschile Wes, cosa fa la dolce e innocente Kriesten? CONTA I SUOI ADDOMINALI. Conta fino ad otto, e vi giuro sui miei libri che non sto dicendo una cavolata ma ho davvero letto questa scena. Io credo che la VD sia la migliore amica del Brucaliffo, perché altrimenti non riesco a spiegarmi la scena!
Dopo momenti di imbarazzo sociale per il lettore, che si chiede sinceramente cosa può aver fatto di tanto sbagliato nelle vite precedenti per trovare scene simili, si scopre che:

a) Wes è un organismo geneticamente modificato con 4 occhi, le squame e la lingua biforcuta
b) Wes è un quarterback troppo bello per essere vero, miliardario, bellissimo e tutti gli ISSIMO del caso
c) Wes la manda a cagare

Dove sinceramente speravo nella c), mi è toccato conoscere Wes in modalità b).. Wes è appunto un sacco fygo, ultimo anno, circondato da un ‘entourage’, con la fama di aver stuprato una ragazza ma che, grazie ai soldi di papino, ha insabbiato tutto e ovviamente “io non frequento le ragazze del primo anno”. Peccato che l’aria innocente e i capelli rossi di Kriesten lo trasformino in una specie di psycho mooolto creepy che la segue e “diventiamo amici?”.
Ci tengo a sottolineare che Kriesten rimane letteralmente folgorata da Wes, tanto da uscirsene con “Non riesco a guardarlo in faccia per quanto è bello, non ho mai visto niente di simile in vita mia!” (Chi diamine è? Medusa? Il sole??? MA TI RIPIGLI????).
La prima sera che la nostra Kriesten è al college viene OVVIAMENTE portata dalla coinquilina e dal di lei cugino latin lover (che non manca di notare quanto Kristen sia bona, anche se ‘innocente’), ad un party (cioè dai.. che razza di universitario sei se non vai ad un party?) a cui Wes fa una capatina con il suo ‘entourage’ (a questo punto c’è da chiedersi chi e quanti siano.. 2, un medico e una guardia del corpo. Non guardate me, è un’idea di Rachel!). Siccome gli è partita la brocca per Kriesten, prende e la porta ad un altro party fighissimo di una confraternita.. Ma vi avevo già detto che Wes ha la fama di stupratore e che tutti le ripetono “non fidarti”? sì, vero? Ecco, ma alla fine al diamine il buon senso, è della VD che stiamo parlando! Il suo mondo NON ha il minimo senso, perché i personaggi dovrebbero agire in maniera sensata? Così Kriesten lascia gli amici senza dire niente e si inoltra nel campus con uno sconosciuto che forse è un cattivo ragazzo, forse no.. Sapete lei cosa fa per convincersi e soprattutto convincere il lettore, che è un po’ più scaltro di lei? “Wes, se dici che non è successo, non è successo, io mi fido dei miei amici” (disagio in 3,2,1…). La storia dello stupro è nominata in 4 righe e altrettanto velomente liquidata. CIAONE STUPRO E COERENZA!
La prima giornata arriva faticosamente alla fine con Wes che riaccompagna la sua bella al dormitorio e le dice: “Sei la migliore amica che io abbia mai avuto”, anche se:

a) si sono conosciuti letteralmente il giorno prima
b) lui vorrebbe altro, ma lei palesemente (.. Cioè, mica tanto! Però diciamo che nelle prime 20 pagine è un personaggio serio) non gliela dà.

C’è da aprire una parentesi su Wes che tira fuori medicine e nausee un po’ random.. L’intento della VD è sicuramente quello di creare pathos.. In realtà io inizialmente ho pensato che Wes si fosse sottoposto a strani esperimenti scientifici con medicinali sperimentali per diventare un supereroe.. O sconfiggere il sonno. Che ne so, pensavo che la VD si fosse data allo sci-fi e fosse pronta a sorprendermi.
Certo che pure io però… Come posso pensare di avere un qualcosa di valido dalla VD, ancora me lo sto chiedendo!
Il giorno dopo Wes lascia sotto la porta di Kriesten un biglietto dandole dei ‘compiti’ per uscire dal guscio in cui si è chiusa, del genere conosci due persone e alza la mano in classe.. Ma dico io.. Un bel pacco di affari tuoi? Se io voglio odiare l’umanità random e vivere per conto mio, MA SARANNO PROBLEMI MIEI? No, il salvatore travestito da bad boy ha deciso che non può andare così e che deve assolutamente salvare questa povera ragazza.
L’esperimento fallisce (scusate, troppo patetico per raccontarlo, non vi perdete niente :D) e quindi NGUE’ NGUE’ Kriesten si piange un po’ addosso e parla con lo zio al telefono, il quale: “Vai e vivi! I tuoi genitori avrebbero voluto così!” (I genitori sono morti in un incidente).
Insomma, fa una lista demente delle cose da fare prima di morire (… Del genere ‘nuotare nuda’ e ‘farsi spezzare il cuore’. Ma vai a farti curare però..) e va da Wes per farsi aiutare. I due, AL SECONDO GIORNO CHE SI CONOSCONO, si baciano come se non ci fosse un domani e il povero lettore, già con gli occhi che lacrimano sangue, deve sorbirsi i pensieri di questi due mentecatti:
Lei: “non sono pronta/non sono abbastanza/ma che vuole stare davvero con me?/e io che volevo essere una triste eremita….”
Lui: “Mo’ me la trombo/no, non sarebbe giusto nei suoi confronti perché il tempo.. il TEMPO E’ CONTRO DI ME/Ora la sbatto al muro/No, devo essere un amico, devo resistere per il suo bene..”
Vabbé, le solite pippe mentali classiche, niente di che. I due continuano la vita di tutti i giorni come se niente fosse, con Wes sempre più stalker e lei sempre più “siamo solo amici eh!”, fino al venerdì della stessa settimana - cinque giorni dopo che si sono conosciuti – in cui Wes le chiede di uscire.. La porta in un posto sperduto – proprietà della sua ricchissima famiglia, “così nessuno ci disturba” - con lei che “Ma che mi vuoi ammazzare e nascondere il cadavere?” (CI POTEVI PURE PENSARE SU PRIMA, NO??), si baciano e si strusciano da far invidia alla tipa della Permaflex e di nuovo Wes deve mantenere il controllo perché il pensiero fisso è: “Ora la sbatto sulla macchina e me la faccio (ipse dixit). Uh uh uh! Wilma dammi la clava!”.. Wes le regala una copia di “Orgoglio e pregiudizio” non si sa bene per quale motivo e lei è tipo felicisissima: amore, non è che così tu sia meno rincoglionita e da prendere a mazzate eh!! Tornano a casa di lei e guardano un film con la coinquilina e il cugino (Perché Kriesten ha sulla lista "Farsi due amici"..).
A questo punto, il lettore gira la pagina e sono passati due mesi non si sa bene come (E da notare che l’intera vicenda, come ci fa sapere il primo capitolo, copre TRE MESI. E due la VD li nomina in una riga e basta.. ah beh!): i due si frequentano ‘da amici’, anche se ormai anche le pietre hanno capito che si piacciono un sacco, che Wes è bellissimo e gentilissimo, che Kriesten è una bonazza e che sono fatti l’uno per l’altro (ma tranquilli, è la tipica amicizia malata che solo la VD può riuscire ad elaborare).
Siamo a metà romanzo (giuro, sono arrivata al 47% sul kindle domandandomi che razza di supercazzola mi avesse raccontato l’autrice fino a quel momento..) e FINALMENTE la VD comunica ai lettori perché Wes prende tremila farmaci, perché sta male e ogni tanto “la sua pelle non è dorata ma pallida” (riporto fedelmente). Ecco, nessuna sperimentazione alla Spiderman.. Wes è malato, ha un tumore e sta provando dei farmaci sperimentali creati ad hoc per lui.
E QUI MI PARTE LA BROCCA DI BRUTTO. Sì perché Wes al di là di alcuni spiacevoli episodi, di cui però il lettore non riesce minimamente a sentire il pathos, non dà segni della malattia che invece è ad un livello piuttosto avanzato. Lui continua ad essere la stella del football, lui corre e cazzeggia come se niente fosse, lui è ASINTOMATICO, quando sta male è per qualche farmaco non ben identificato. Fa poi una specie di countdown per quando ‘farà l’operazione’ ma.. CHE DIAMINE ASPETTI??? Ma mi stai prendendo in giro??
Non sono proprio riuscita a tollerare la cosa perché è palese che la VD è una cazzara a tutto spiano.. Unito poi al fatto che Kriesten *teoricamente* è sotto antidepressivi, che compaiono forse in dieci pagine in totale, il lettore ha la continua sensazione di supercazzola -_-

Wes ha il tempo contato perché da lì a meno di un mese dovrà operarsi e quindi invita Kriesten a passare il Thanksgiving a casa sua e la invita al ballo dell’Homecoming. Non ho poi ben capito per quale strano congiungimento degli astri ma Wes fa una proposta assurda a Kriesten: “Mettiamoci insieme per due settimane” al che lei, già nota alle forze dell’ordine per non essere l’esserepiù sveglio del pianeta, non vede nella cosa nulla di strano, non batte ciglio e si scioglie seduta stante, perché nella sua triste vita ha raggiunto probabilmente quello che sarà il picco della soddisfazione (E il lettore ancora deve sorbirsi il “Ma proprio me vuole? Non è che magari ha l’occhio strabico e sta chiedendo alla ragazza dell’altro tavolo?”). Ora..Ma come si fa a prendere sul serio due individui simili?

A casa di Wes facciamo la conoscenza di suo padre, elemento dalla nota personalità bipolare (perché la VD è un cane a descrivere le persone): appare come una persona amichevolissima, alla mano, simpatico, affettuoso e via discorrendo.. Peccato che fino a quel momento il lettore si è fatto un’idea di lui opposta: menefreghista, crudele e che odia a morte Wes. La VD d’altronde non ha mai ben chiaro in mente un personaggio quando scrive; il personaggio è camaleontico, dipende dalla pagina in cui si trova.. Un po’ alla cazzo di cane, diciamocelo!!
La VD poi non è nemmeno in grado di dosare la sfiga che dà ai vari personaggi: o niente, o valanghe impetuose. Per quanto riguarda Wes durante la storia scopriamo che la madre è morta quando lui aveva otto anni (non si sa perché) e il fratello l’anno prima per overdose.. Ma siccome non sa nemmeno lei cosa vuole dire, all’inizio sembra quasi che il fratello fosse nello stesso programma di Wes per provare farmaci sperimentali.. Poi no, il fratello si è suicidato e no, il lettore non ha il privilegio di scoprire perché: serve solo per fare un po’ di nguè nguè, non per creare una storia credibile!
I due rincoglioniti stanno insieme, largo circa, e finalmente la sveltona di Kriesten inizia a capire che forse c’è qualcosa che non va con il suo ragazzo (Oh, Miss scaltrezza 2016 eh!), ma lui non le dice niente perché “poi mi lascerebbe”.. Arriva il momento in cui Wes gioca l’ultima partita prima di abbandonare il football (perché puoi anche chiamarti Rachel Van Dyken, ma ad un certo punto deve pur accadere che il tuo personaggio malato di tumore ‘tutto intorno al cuore’ (cito) non riesca più ad essere il brillante atleta che hai millantato per 150 pagine -_-).. E chissene se i medici lo sconsigliano, se il padre gli fa una scenata.. Lui deve giocare quella partita perché l’ha promesso alla sua bella, che non l’ha mai visto giocare.
Indovinate un po’ che succede a Wes durante l’ultima partita?! Una cosa che VERAMENTE non ci saremmo mai aspettati e che mi ha sinceramente stupito.. Un plot twist come non si vedeva da tempi immemori!

Wes si sente male e viene portato all’ospedale così che Kriesten viene messa a conoscenza del segreto.
Credevo sinceramente che la VD avesse giocato tutte le sue cartucce di bassezza e pochezza.. E fino a questo punto non avrei saputo dire se mi avesse fatto più schifo questo libro o quelli della Bet trilogy quando mi ha tirato fuori l’arma segreta.

Wes passa 4 giorni in ospedale, assistito da un’infermiera, tal Angela, che vede solo lui e che assomiglia stranamente alla madre (ma Wes non è convinto.. Ve l’ho detto che è rincoglionito!): tenete a mente Angela eh, mi raccomando!
La VD ha dato prova di non sapere un accidenti di niente di tumori e questioni mediche, quindi palesemente non sa tirarsi fuori dall’impiccio che ha creato: la delicatissima operazione per rimuovere il tumore potrebbe o non potrebbe riuscire.. E se pure riuscisse, probabilmente potrebbe dare solo qualche mese di vita a Wes.

Ma può finire così un romanzo?
Può la VD ferire i suoi lettori?
Siamo pronti a dire addio a Wes?

Qui è seguito lo sconforto totale dell’autrice, si dice anche che abbia pensato di abbandonare il libro e lasciarlo incompiuto quasi alla fine, ma non siamo stati così fortunati: notti insonni, ceri accesi alle più potenti divinità induiste, lezioni di yoga per rilassare la mente e..
Niente ragazzi, non so come dirlo perché mi piange ancora il cuore ma dopo cinque o sei ore di intervento esce il dottore che strabiliato fa: “E’ successo un miracolo, il tumore si è rimpicciolito negli ultimi 4 giorni che Wes ha passato qui in Ospedale”. Un miracolo. UN MIRACOLO.
Il tumore nei 4 giorni in cui lui è in ospedale ed è assistito da Angela (Lui: sì, le dona come nome, sembra proprio un angelo custode) regredisce MIRACOLOSAMENTE e quindi guarisce senza troppi cazzi o difficili operazioni.
No vabbé, dai, mi stai prendendo in giro Rachel.. Nemmeno tu, dall’alto della tua poraccità, mi tireresti fuori un finale simile.. Non ne avresti il coraggio!
Oh ragazzi, ha avuto il coraggio di metterlo nero su bianco. Sono senza parole, non ho mai letto nulla di così becero in vita mia.. IO MI SENTO INSULTATA!!

Direi che cinque minuti di silenzio sono necessari per digerire questa potente presa per il culo, perché gente, questa è la supercazzola definitiva!!
Io credo che siate ancora un po’ in lutto, ma the show must go on.
Vorrei spendere due parole sulla scrittura della VD: amore, palesemente ha sbagliato professione. Al di là di errori grossolani (di costruzione della frase, di accordo verbo/soggetto, di interlocutori random e via dicendo) che posso quasi attribuire ad una revisione sciatta, è proprio tutto sbagliato: un romanzo piatto, noioso, con il pathos che sembra essere stato dimenticato sulla quarta di copertina (che non ha scritto la VD :D) e cose non dette che il lettore scaltro deve immaginare da solo. I personaggi sono il solito disastro: hanno lo spessore di un foglio di carta e sono pruriginosi al massimo.. Soprattutto i personaggi femminili (ehm, diciamo Kriesten, Lisa è troppo inutile per essere annoverata), quanti schiaffoni!!

Non so se essere più triste per i miei neuroni bruciati o gli alberi utilizzati per stampare questa porcheria.

In arrivo le citazioni! (Riaffrontare la storia sarà un dolore immenso.. Solo per voi, sappiatelo!)
Profile Image for Catarina.
896 reviews1,974 followers
September 5, 2013
4 Real Sweet Bucket-list Stars!

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

This is the story of Kiersten and Wes.
Kiersten is mourning the loss of her parents, she never had the chance of saying goodbye to them and she closed herself to the world, afraid of having to feel loss again. She is kind of a broken soul.


Enter Wes. Tv show star, completely hot and unfortunately, extremely sick.
So he knows he can’t fall in love with her, not when he doesn’t know how much more time he could have and especially when she doesn’t know about his condition and when she won’t be able to deal with the loss of more people in her life.
But the thing is: neither of them can’t help it.
When it’s real there’s nothing you can do to stop it.


This was a real sweet reading. Both Kiersten and Wes are amazing characters and I felt connected to them since page one. The supportive characters were also pretty good and I’m hoping we’ll be able to read Gabe’s story.
There were really heartbreaking moments but the story is so beautiful that you can almost ignore the angst behind it.
The only reason I’m not giving it five stars it’s because it was a bit too sickly sweet, and had too much motivational talk. I mean, there has to be a limit of “in how many different ways can you say to enjoy life”.
Other than that, a pretty great book.
You should try it ;)
Profile Image for Mo.
1,362 reviews2 followers
September 2, 2016
I LIKED it, didn’t absolutely love it, and I see that I am in the minority from most of my friends. It was a nice story, he was nice, she was nice, the friends were very nice. Dad was nice, Uncle was nice…. Have I turned into someone who NEEDs a bit of angst in a book. I don’t think so. Maybe I really need the characters to be older. I am 47, so reading about 18 year olds might just be a bit too much for me. Overall a nice story, Will I check out other books by this author – probably – have read one of her other books and I did enjoy it so, Yes, I probably will.

Overall, I suppose, eventhough this book did have a “darker” theme going through it, it wasl still …

Profile Image for • Lisa •.
555 reviews1,531 followers
March 10, 2014

"I'd never felt so alive as when that girl, that perfectly strange girl who I'd only met days before, was near me."


You know those type of books that you feel like everyone has read but you? Well, this book was exactly one of those and I can't tell you any other reason for the delay in starting this book other than I didn't think I would be ready for what I knew would be a tear jerker and I can report with satisfaction that this book definitely needs to be read with a good supply of tissues at hand and a large glass of your preferred alcohol beverage. Wonderfully written to young adult perfection this book delivered a well rounded story about love, life and finding 'the one'. Here are my 'I've finally read this book' thoughts ...

What's it all about?
After facing personal tragedy in her life, Kiersten Rowe never believed she would have the strength or faith to move forward to a place of self forgiveness and peace. But after finding the perfect friendship in the most unexpected place, Kiersten may just have to start realising that she may just have found the road to true happiness. Weston Micheals appears to have it all, he's the star quarter back, loved by all and to top it off he's the son of a famous actor so why does he feel like his life is on borrowed time? When Kiersten and Weston's lives collide it starts the beginning of a special friendship that neither of them could have ever imagined, their lives will never be the same.


What did I love?
Rachel Van Dyken in my opinion is an author who is able to write successful love-themed stories within a different range of genres. From contemporary story telling, to romantic comedies and suspense she obviously can offer her talent across the board and after reading this story I am able confirm that I am sold on her ability to write a perfectly well told 'young/new adult' novel. The characters were the selling point of 'Ruin', both the hero and heroine were notably likeable and I can confirm that predictably I have officially joined the many fans of Weston Micheals. Van Dyken must have a super extraordinary imagination when it comes to creating heroes or she is extremely lucky and has gorgeously swoony men in her life that she is able to model her characters on, Weston is a character that screams love-me-forever-readers, he won't be a character that is forgotten any time soon. I especially enjoy a story that also includes fall-in-love worthy secondary characters and I can already confess that I'm excited to read about Gabe in the next book of the series. This story has a wonderful theme of healing, friendship and heart break it was all delivered with a depth and sweetness that prevented if from being too depressing. There isn't too much steam in the story telling but any novel that can keep my heart racing without the added schmexy love-making wins points for me. Overall I'd describe 'Ruin' as a delightful coming of age story of faith, love and the hope that finding that one who changes your life is enough to make a difference that counts. I feel like I've read a heartwarming novel that is as lovely as it it heart breaking and I can't say that I have any regrets. once again this author has given me a romantic fix that I so crave, so to you Rachel Van Dyken, thank you.


Why not five?
As much as I enjoyed this novel overall, the beginning had a slow start for my reading tastes. I did feel like I was thrown into a instant love connection that I felt came out of nowhere. That in itself normally distracts from a higher rating but for such a short novel I found my myself surprised by the last 40% of the story-telling and I was won over by the emotions that I felt as the story of Wes and Kiersten was concluded. Rachel van Dyken has definitely grabbed my attention with this series and I'm happily going to carry on to see what transpires with other characters that I've been introduced to.


Final thoughts ...
I laughed, I cried, I had those unmistakable 'my-heart-feels-like-it-could-burst-moments' that makes a book worth reading, so as you can see this book won my heart over and I'm more than glad that I finally took the plunge to read a book that has been on my reading radar for some time now. Would I recommend to fellow romance addicts? Yes go and fall in love but one word of caution don't start this book without wine, tissues and your next light hearted 'to be read' book to start straight after. If like me, you are late to the party don't delay, go grab it readers. Enjoy, kisses.

January 22, 2020
Terrific book with all the feels.

Very enjoyable yet emotional book. I really liked this book overall, though in a way it gave me the same feeling I had the first time I watched the movie Titanic. I knew going in that the ship was going to hit that iceberg and the majority of its passengers would die, but I was still hoping for a different outcome and even though the ship sank, the story was so good. This story begins with a prologue that is written in a way that it is hard to tell exactly what is happening, but you know it is bad. Then the first chapter begins three months prior to what happened in the prologue.

The story takes place at the University of Washington, where new freshman student Kiersten has a nightmare and her roommate Lisa runs in from her own bedroom after hearing Kiersten screaming. Kiersten blows it off as night terrors, but Lisa is a great roommate and sleeps the rest of the night on the floor. Of course we, as readers know that when a girl in a romance novel has nightmares it usually stems from some type of past trauma. Though we are kept in the dark as to what exactly.

The following day at some point, Kiersten’s inner monologue tells us that she takes medication, for either depression or anxiety, though we don’t find out much more than that. Kiersten meets a guy with blonde hair and an eight pack when she literally runs into him. She apparently comes from a very small town and gets embarrassed easily. She ends up running into him again and though she wants to stay away, he seems interested in her.

Her roommate Lisa and Lisa’s cousin Gabe fill Kiersten in on who he is afterwards. The guy is Weston Michaels, the current Big Man on Campus, son of one of the wealthiest men in the world, and quarterback of the University football team. He told Kiersten that he doesn’t date Freshmen, but he wants to be friends.

The romance between the two main characters starts out very sweet, but there are all kinds of things going on. Weston has a secret and has things in his past that are alluded to, part of which the reader can guess at due to the hints and what he says and thinks. However, I was trying to guess at so much through the greater part of the book.

I was also wondering for quite a while what happened to Kiersten that left her medicated and with nightmares. In addition to all the secrets, the relationship is strange, they both seem to not want a relationship but they also seem to want to be together. Weston is always thinking and saying how attracted he is to her, but he just wants to be friends.

Kiersten is a bit dense in some ways though she is a likable heroine. She thinks Wes couldn’t possibly like her because he is a senior and she is a freshman and he garners attention wherever he goes but she is from a very small town and is a Virgin. It bothered me a tiny bit because her roommate mentions how beautiful she is, and he is always saying things like how much he wants her. Maybe because he used to be a player, she thinks his wanting her is different than his wanting to date her.

This book is written in a way that you end up really liking all the characters. Lisa’ cousin Gabe becomes Kiersten’s best friend and a bit of a protector. The relationship between them is cool. Almost like a big brother. Weston has an “entourage” as he and everyone at the University calls them. They are the bodyguards his father hired. Weston’s father turns out to be much less stern than you would think for someone in his position and Kiersten’s Uncle Jobob (Yes Joe-bob) is a nice guy. All of the characters are well developed and have clear voices of their own.

The writing is very good. Like I said earlier, there are secrets that the reader knows partially but I was kept guessing on a lot of things so I truly couldn’t put the book down until I finished. The world-building in the book is really on point. I could totally picture the campus, the dorms, Weston’s father’s home, and all the places they went. The romance was great. Weston and Kiersten developed true love over the course of the book. It was not a hot and steamy book, though their kisses were off the charts. And I really enjoyed it. The book is a standalone and I bought the next two books if that tells you anything.

Buddy Read with Anonymous Girl | Link to her review

Profile Image for *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time.
1,921 reviews3,457 followers
August 12, 2013
5--I'm officially RUINed--Stars!!!

"You rescued me and I found my ruin. I'm ruined for you--and I won't ever be the same. It's the greatest gift anyone's ever given me."

First of all....big fan of Rachel Van Dyken. The cover on this book--SMOKING HOT! Really had no idea what to expect--definitely wasn't expecting what I got....in the BEST. WAY. POSSIBLE.

Expect to do a lot of this....

And a shit ton of this....

This was a fantastic read. Sucked me in from the first page. I immediatly fell in love with Weston Michel! And I loved Kiersten too. This was a real tear jerker people....so grab those Kleenex!

"Favorite everything. You're my favorite. Out of all the things I could have in the world that would be my favorite, you win. You win all of it."

Kiersten is a freshman in college. She lost her parents in a tragic diving accident and suffers from depression and anxiety as a result. Her first day of school she meets Weston Michel. Weston is a senior, the RA in her dorm and is the campus stud. He also lost his mom and brother.

Watching Weston and Kiersten fall in love was just beautiful--lame I know, but it was. Their banter amongst each other was so fun and I can't even begin to tell you what this book did to my heart--good and bad. Really just a really touching story.

"Then that's what I am," Wes whispered, "I'm thankful for you. I thank God for you. Maybe He can see me after all. In this moment I can believe he cares."

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

I know I'm giving you next to nothing when it comes to the story but you really just have to experience it yourself--it's worth it!!! I can't recommend this book enough.

This was one of my favorite quotes--honestly, I highlighted almost the entire book. It was THAT great!!!

"Every time you close your eyes, regardless of where I am or where you are, I want you to remember this. 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 finger 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. There may come a time in your life when your heart will have to beat for mine...but you'll have to carry on if I can't. Just like there may come a time when I have to do the same for you. But in the end, one of us will always carry on this." He tapped again. "So there's never a reason to be afraid of running out of time--because we keep our own time."


Profile Image for Anna.
483 reviews373 followers
August 30, 2013

This guy.....Wes.....he invaded my heart! I wanted to sacrifice my heart for his !!!❤❤❤ I loved him !!!

"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 that 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 want the Earth to shift"

First off I want to say...

I'd lost the love of my life- my best friend. We hadn't been given enough time- and I hated God for taking everyone from me. I hated that in the end, I would always be alone to mourn the loss of those I loved.

yeah...that prologue....So luckily I was ready for this. I am on a personal quest of stay-with-me-forever type of books. This one delivered and then some. I totally expected to cry my heart out but in the interim....I fell in love as they fell in love. I laughed when they laughed. I lost count of the times Wes had me swooning with his ridiculously romantic gestures!

Weakness is just pain leaving the body.

My new job description is making you laugh and chasing away the bad dreams.

You think of their death as torture. I think of it as peace. I see them holding hands into the darkness, and I see them smiling.

For the first time in a year, I wanted to live- because I wanted tot spend every freaking day watching her open her eyes to the world.

I can't say too much more without giving away the whole story. This story was a lot about Faith. It was heartfelt and emotional and truly amazing.

"I can tell you have a good heart because the minute I met you, I wanted to fight for it."
"That's how you can tell when someone has a good heart? When you want to start a war?
"Nah. When you want to be the one to make it beat."

wherever I am, whatever I am doing, alive or dead, young or old, my heart will always be with yours.

10. Fall in love
11. Get heart broken
12. Fall in love anyway

So in closing I wanted to say...this book really surprised me. I have been around the block and if any of you know me, my preference is weepy-steamy reads...this book has that special place in my book heart for my PG13 squeaky-clean reads ranking up there with
Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1) by Katie McGarry Callum & Harper (Sleepless, #1) by Fisher Amelie What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor Slammed (Slammed, #1) by Colleen Hoover ...that made me, this self-professed puta, have a full body blush and falling in young love all over again. Just beautiful!!!!

Even though I was waiting and waiting and waiting for Wolf to pounce Lamb ;) just sayin!!!!
Profile Image for Pearl Angeli.
624 reviews963 followers
September 24, 2015
“You rescued me and I found my ruin. I’m ruined for you– and I won’t ever be the same.”

This was just an okay book. It wasn’t that great, but it wasn’t crazy bad either. What I love about this book was Weston. He’s one of the best male leads I’ve encountered in a New Adult book. He actually reminds me of Cam from Wait for You. Anyways, I really love characters with a great sense of humor. Kiersten was also a great character. She wasn’t exactly the most likable of people to read about at first, but I was glad that I quickly warmed up to her. I love her enthusiasm to step away from her nightmares and grief over her parent’s death.

The book mainly focuses on illness, grief, hope, and love. It was not 100% emotionally-packed because there was humor in it which made the book a light read, so don’t expect it to really tear your hearts like what some illnesses and death books do. The main concerns I have with this book were 1.) the insta-love, 2.) the un-original concept, and 3.) some clichés. The romance was good and it was sweet, but majority of it didn’t grab me at all.

Otherwise, the story was still a nice piece of fiction. It has life lessons to teach you and it also inspires you to never give up and continue to fight no matter how hard life takes you at some point.

“Sometimes when we think God has written The End, what He really means is The Beginning.”

Rating: 3 Stars
September 28, 2017
4 ★'s

"You rescued me and I found my ruin."

Weston and Kiersten meet on her first day of college in a quite intriguing way. They both are drawn to each other but they also see something in each other that inspires them to not give up.

Right away, we know something's going on with Weston. It takes a bit to get the full story and it's not pretty. The blurb gives us hints of what's to come but it's hard to prepare.

Kiersten has her own problems and she's just starting to come up for air. College is a big step for her but fortunately she has Wes and he's more than she thought she would ever need.


Wes' life has also been hard...it's really quite depressing but the romance between these two gives you hope and makes the book hard to put down.

There is a religious element that caught me by surprise. This is my first book by Rachel Van Dyken so I'm not sure if this is a common theme of hers. I had conflicting feelings about some it...liking some parts while others were pretty out there.

Overall, these two have a great romance and that's what I enjoyed even if it was a bit quick. I'm definitely looking forward to reading their novella, Fearless to find out what else happened with these two.

There's also a book for each of their friends, Gabe and Lisa, and they both sound very intriguing...especially Gabe! ;)
Profile Image for Jamie.
1,018 reviews924 followers
August 21, 2013
One of the most amazing book's I've read... A story of loss, tragedy, miracles, and absolute epic love. I cried so hard throughout their story but there were also so many beautiful moments that they just took my breath away. This is a MUST read..an absolute MUST read in my opinion. I'm so so glad I did...

Profile Image for Farah.
362 reviews498 followers
August 22, 2013

4 ruined stars!

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

So.. Its taken me a few days to write this review because I've been gathering my feelings about it.

I have to start off by saying that this book was excellently written.

With different POV's we get the emotions of two totally different characters which in my book are brought together by sheer fate.

Kiersten is such an innocent girl which grief and depression has taken over leaving her an empty soul.

Wes Michels... The boy who everything thinks has it all... Money, fame, looks.. Little do these people know that Wes wants something that no one can provide... Time...

"It was the first real hug I’d received since my brother had died. I didn’t tell her that, but in that moment, hugging her, comforting her… Death didn’t look as bad anymore. The future didn’t look as bleak. Because when she pulled back… when her eyes met mine, I saw hope."

Wes and Kiersten become friends and conquer lists of "To Do's" in life but litter do they know that these things are for completely differently reasons.

"Because you never knew when a moment would be your last. So why not soak up every last memory?"

For Kiersten its to bring the light back into her life and for Wes... It was so bring that something into her life before time wasn't on his side anymore.

"It’s human nature to assume that we have that sort of control over what happens to us, but the truth is… life happens and sometimes you’re too late. Hell, sometimes you’re too early. Sometimes you make the wrong choice just like sometimes you make the right one. The only time people ever use those three is when things don’t go the right way. People don’t question themselves when things are going well. They question themselves when things have gone to hell.”

Offcourse Wes didn't allow himself or Kiersten to fall in love because of the situation but these things are unplanned.

When we find out the real reasons and how bad it really is, there are really heart breaking moments.

"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 finger 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. There may come a time in your life when your heart will have to beat for mine… but you’ll have to carry on if I can’t. Just like there may come a time when I have to do the same for you. But in the end, one of us will always carry on this.” He tapped again. “So there’s never a reason to be afraid of running out of time — because we keep our own.”

"She has absolutely no idea what she does to me… She’s my medicine, my cure, my everything. If only hearts could heal that way — through someone else’s beating."

Wes Micheals has Ruined me too...

"I can tell you have a good heart…” I sighed, opening the door to the outside. “…because the minute I met you, I wanted to fight for it.”

Miracles in life do happen if we...

"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.”

All the characters in this book are really awesome so if you looking for a funny, emotional, heartbreaking and heartwarming read, this is definitely worth a read!
Profile Image for Crystal (Books Are Sanity!!!).
711 reviews30 followers
August 26, 2013
Ruin wasn't what I expected, it was better! It is a story that I didn't foresee, a topic I didn't think could be tackled, and a journey I didn't want to end. Ruin is raw; pure raw emotion. You will cry, your breathing will hitch, you will tell yourself 'this can't be happening' over and over again -- and you will continue to read because this story is powerful and has the ability to change you -- change your outlook on life, on love, on time. I feel blessed to have read this book (yes I just said 'blessed' in a book review). Ultimately Wes and Kiersten's story will become a movie in your mind as you experience it first-hand. Gabe and Lisa will become your friends too because this story feels real. Wes, Kiersten, Gabe and Lisa show what true friendship and love is all about. Because you never know what hand life will deal you, only you can decide what to do with the hand you are dealt. Ruin is heart-wrenching, packs an emotional punch (or two) and takes you on a journey you never thought you would take. Words honestly cannot describe how incredible this novel is. Ruin spans multiple genres because this inspiring novel will bring even the harshest critic to tears.
"Do it afraid." ~Wes
"...we'll keep our own time." ~Kiersten
I received a copy of this book for free. This is my honest review.
Profile Image for Brandi.
634 reviews1,274 followers
March 6, 2014
Such a sweet, emotional story <3

“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.”

Kiersten has spent the last two years consumed with grief and guilt. Struggling to deal with the pain from a tragic loss. Then one day in runs into Weston - a sexy, cocky, senior with secrets of his own. Wes makes it his mission to help Kiersten learn how to live and to overcome her fears. While she unknowingly helps him find the courage to fight his own battles.

I told her I wanted her world to change. Hadn’t expected mine to shift as well.

So the big bad wolf falls for the innocent little lamb, but is time on their side?

Time...what an absolute horror inducing word.

Ruin is a quick, captivating PG read.
Sugary sweet with some emotional angst.
A bit over the top, and unrealistic but enjoyable.

“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.”
Profile Image for Barbara➰.
1,590 reviews391 followers
February 3, 2017
This book...it slayed me. Logically, I knew there would be a happy ending. I mean, many of my GR friends read it and 5 starred it. But my heart just kept hurting.

Poor Kiersten...after tragically losing her parents in a diving accident she's depressed...just barely living. She literally walks right into Wes, the senior, rich football player. Then, a beautiful friendship forms that turns into more. They both help each other. Wes helps her to start living again and Kiersten makes him want to fight...to live.

Wes was absolutely perfect. The things he does for Kiersten, helping her through her list and his words, were just...well perfect.
His lips moved to my cheek. “And know that in this moment… you’re not living in the woulda, shoulda, coulda zone. You’re exactly where the universe wants you to be.” “In your bed?” I grinned. “Nah.” His mouth met mine. “In my arms.”

“I’m going to devour you with my eyes. I’m going to look at every inch of skin, memorize it, store it in the little box in my head labeled the most beautiful girl in the world. I’m going to hold you until you’re ready for me to let go, and then, when you float on your own, I’m going to keep staring, keep wanting, keep desiring, until I have to go jump into the Sound.”~Wes

I found it amazing how Kiersten actually began to live. Wes was so good to her and helped to pull her out of the hole she had buried herself in. She then found strength to help Wes and pull him up.
“I’m ruined for you —and I won’t ever be the same. It’s the greatest gift anyone’s ever given me.”~Kiersten

Not to mention Gabe. He was a wonderful friend to them both. He needs his happy ending too.

So feelings and all, this book was amazing. I laughed and I cried...it slayed me.

Profile Image for ✝✝ Ⓓaisy ❣ ✝✝ .
493 reviews271 followers
September 2, 2013

" Why give me only two choices? Don't leave out your legs, your laugh, the way you bite your lip when you're thinking,the feel of your breath on my face, the sound of your voice in the morning, the way you taste, the three freckles on your nose, the tan of your eyelashes, the caring spirit, the determined soul - so why stop at your hair and your heart? How do expect me to choose? When what I love the most about you - is you"

When I started the prologue, I was

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Then, when Wes entered,

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And then, I was

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Following that,

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This is one emotional book! It was well-written! Wes was such a darling! I personally wish I can hug him!

As much I loved this book, there were so many questions that I wished the author answered!

1. Where does that prologue link?
2. When Wes did actually discover
3. Well, Wes's mum passed on but how did Nurse Angela and his mum linked?
4. Did K managed to banish her night terrors?
5. What was bimbo's intention by framing Wes with that accusation? How the hell he meet her?

My Wes

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And my K

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Now, I am hoping there is a 2nd book!

 photo tumblr_moxv93WIbH1rcjk1wo1_500.jpg
175 reviews32 followers
September 6, 2013
For once, I don't have much to say about a book. I hoped to love this, but unfortunately I didn't. The story is about two characters who have both experienced loss and grief. The hero in this story is sick, but he doesn't tell anyone about it. When he meets the heroine, he decides to help her and show her how to live life. In the process, he gets his love for life and living back too.

One of my biggest problems here was that I didn't connect with the characters at all. It all seemed very rushed to me. There was hardly any build-up to their relationship either.

The story felt very unoriginal. It felt like I had read all of it before. I'm fine with stories not being completely original, but at least make sure the execution is amazing. I thought it was all pretty cliche and kinda superficial even though the message is supposed to be very deep. The writing was okay, but it didn't grab me at all.

The banter between the characters was cute and funny, but I didn't feel like I knew the characters. It was all just so random. If the book hadn't been so short, I would've taken the DNF route.
Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,222 reviews8,028 followers
August 31, 2013
5 LAMB and WOLF stars!!

"You rescued me and I found my ruin. I'm ruined for you--and I won't ever be the same. It's the greatest gift anyone's ever given me."

I fell head over heels in love with each and every character in this book, they were perfect, not over the top just right, no annoying female character either (BONUS)!! Not just one hot guy but TWO!!

And if none of you swooned over Wes there is definitely something wrong with you!! I admit it freely I was swooning all the way through this book, he is my RUIN!!

Don't think about reading this, do it, inhale it, love it like I did!!

Highly recommend!!

Profile Image for Jacqueline's Reads.
2,836 reviews1,482 followers
March 6, 2014

Again, I read Ruin, during the holidays and did not write a review right away. I just remember Ruin to be very endearing, heart wrenching and good!

A lot of people told me to read Ruin and said to read it with tissues and I didn’t pick it up for the longest time because of that. I forget that sometimes, reading a sad book can be a very good thing.

Is there a HEA

I am not sure if I wanted to know everything in the story, I didn’t know anything when I read Ruin, so I will keep this vague.

Wes and Kiresten have a tragic how-is-it-going-to-work kind of story. Wes can’t get into a relationship with Kiresten, but the chemistry and attraction is there! It’s a sweet story with a very dark undertone. You feel all the emotions and it kind of makes you wonder what you are doing with your life.

Despite the heart ache, the sadness, there’s just a lot of awe, melt-your-heart moments that keep you glued to the pages.

You must read RUIN!

Ruin (Ruin, #1) by Rachel Van Dyken AMAZON

For more, http://jacquelinesreads.blogspot.com
Profile Image for AleJandra.
832 reviews415 followers
June 2, 2017
Imaginen que mezclamos en una licuadora los libros The Fault is in ours Stars y Beautiful Disaster.

Pues no hay necesidad de imaginarlo, ya que este libro es exactamente eso.

El chico más atractivo y popular de la Universidad empieza una "amistad" con una linda e inocente chica nueva. Luego se mete todo el drama del cáncer.

Pero no se me hizo ni tan divertido, ni tan romántico, ni tan trágico. Aun así, entretiene y funciona como lectura ligera.
Profile Image for Patrycja.
639 reviews3,795 followers
August 19, 2013
2.5 stars

Ruin is not a bad book, it just didn't captivate me. As much as I wanted to love it I could only sigh wishing for more... magic and love. It didn't lack in charm department that's for sure, but story is quite predictable. After reading many amazing reviews I hoped for more.
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