Review: The Ruining by Anna Collomore

Title: The Ruining
Author: Anna Collomore
 (2/5 Stars)
Hardcover, 313 pages
Published Febuary 2013

"Annie Phillips is thrilled to leave her past behind and begin a shiny new life on Belvedere Island, as a nanny for the picture-perfect Cohen family. In no time at all, she falls in love with the Cohens, especially with Libby, the beautiful young matriarch of the family. Life is better than she ever imagined. She even finds romance with the boy next door. 

All too soon cracks appear in Annie's seemingly perfect world. She's blamed for mistakes she doesn't remember making. Her bedroom door comes unhinged, and she feels like she's always being watched. Libby, who once felt like a big sister, is suddenly cold and unforgiving. As she struggles to keep up with the demands of her new life, Annie's fear gives way to frightening hallucinations. Is she tumbling into madness, or is something sinister at play?"

I started off liking this book, but the ending (which I will eventually get to) really just didn't cut it for me. I was extremely dissatisfied with everything that went on after the midway point of the book.

So, back to the beginning. I liked it. I really did. Annie's haunting past and the death of her younger sister Lissa shook her up, which made sense. She escaped her shack of a house to go live in this fabulous house as a nanny for this woman Libby Cohen. In the beginning, Libby is really kind to her. She gives Annie beautiful clothes, a brand new phone, and a room in the beautiful house.

Then, things suddenly begin to turn weird. Libby keeps calling Annie "Nanny," but then denies it. (Note: I may not be entirely accurate with this part. There was an extremely blurred line between what Annie was seeing/hearing and what was really happening.) She's incredibly cold and snappy to Annie, and then out of nowhere, she'd be all nice to her again. This is the part where I started to dislike the book,  because it started to make absolutely no sense.

So, naturally, Annie goes crazy. She starts doing things she can't remember (like eating tons and tons of food at night and leaving it out to rot), buying things from the drugstore and then being surprised when the receipt matched up with her credit card, and forgetting to take care of Zoe (Libby's daughter) and then getting in huge trouble. Annie doesn't understand--are these things really happening, or is Libby trying to make her crazy? And if she is, why would she do that?

Once Annie's situation gets bad enough, Libby offers to get her serious mental help to make her better. Annie reluctantly agrees because, of course, this is Libby--the woman she idolizes and may have a mean streak but will always love her. Then, while Annie is stuck inside the mental hospital, there is a huge plot twist--the reason why Libby took such interest in Annie all along. Don'r worry, guys. I won't ruin that part for you.

After all of that stuff goes down (in which I was insanely confused and didn't understand most of what was going on), there comes the epilogue. The entire next paragraph will contain major spoilers, so if you haven't read the book already, I suggest skipping that one.

In the end, Libby is sentenced for life. Collomore doesn't even explain what happened between Annie leaving the hospital and Annie waking up in bed with Owen who-knows-how-long later. Excuse me?? One minute, Annie is being checked out of the hospital, teetering over the brink of insanity--then she's all of a sudden in this happy perfect life and Libby is gone and she wants to see Zoe and all will be well. That's my biggest pet peeve about books. The ending needs to progress! It gave me the impression that Collomore just rushed the ending...and an ending should never be rushed.

I took this book out of my library because the description seemed very interesting, and I thought it was going to be a great book. Writing wise, Collomore isn't bad. I think the flaw in this book was the plot development. I really wasn't satisfied. :-(

Well, that's all that I'm going to write about for today. Sorry that reviews won't be up as frequently for awhile, since school started and Amber and I are going to be weighed down with that!

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