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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?
“The Ruining “is a complex ride through first love, chilling manipulation, and the terrifying depths of insanity.
Sadly, this was another book that didn’t live up to my expectations. I was hoping for something nice and creepy and a journey into madness and such, but really, it was slow and boring. I even debating not finishing it, but being the person that I am, I can’t just not finish a book, so I trudged on through, hoping it would get better, but it didn’t. I was not surprised by the ending, I already knew what happened when I reached a certain scene not even halfway through the book. The first half was the hardest to read because it was so slow, nothing really happened yet, but the last third is where everything was and by that time, I was so ready for the book to just be over.
Annie was definitely not my favorite character. She seemed kind of weak and she was constantly making bad decisions. She would do something and I would just roll my eyes and and think to myself how much trouble she was about to get into, which she always did. You would think a person would learn, but no, she kept making choices that would anger her employers. Plus, she would act like such a kid at some points. I don’t know why she liked Libby so much. She was nice at first, but it didn’t take long before Libby was acting completely snobby and treating Annie badly, but she still loved Libby. Owen was pretty nice and I liked him, but I’m not sure what he saw in Annie since they fought most of the time, she even got mad at him the first time they hung out!
As for the psychological part, I wasn’t creeped out or feeling like I was going crazy. I felt like there was an on-off switch for her mental state that was flipped it was so abrupt. At one point, she questioned whether everything was real, at another (especially if Owen was around) everything was clear. It just wasn’t quite right for me. She seemed weak and did what everybody told her, even when she didn’t want to or thought it wasn’t right, she did it anyway and never stood up for herself.
As for the other twist in the book, it just seemed really unrealistic. Here is my SPOILER complaint: Libby killed Walker’s first wife by cutting the break lines of the car and since she made it look like a suicide and like she saved the child from the car, they put an investigation on hold for years until young Owen came along and dug up stuff in a matter of weeks that the police force couldn’t see was obvious (including cut break lines on the car). Really? No, it just doesn’t seem realistic. So that is my gripe. This book just wasn’t for me on many levels. I am glad some people enjoyed it, but unfortunately, I wasn’t among those.
Unrealistic, didn’t like the characters, wasn’t creepy, not at all for me.