Ruin

Ruin - Rachel Van Dyken On sale for $0.99I fell in like with Wes Michaels about two seconds after he and his eight pack were introduced. By the end, I was in tears by his wisdom, strength, and kindness. He's ruined me, too. Ruin is a sweeping tale of a broken girl and the man who makes it his mission to bring her back to the light. Keirstan has been afraid to live her life for the past two years. After a grievous loss, she withdraws into herself so much so that she has basically become a shell. Someone who needs medication to sleep, to function. When she meets Weston Michals on the day of registration she isn't prepared for the ways he affects her. Weston, on the other hand, will do anything to chase that feeling she brings out in him. So he, heir to fortunes and resident campus God, pursues her. Entices her to be his friend. Learns more about her and why, exactly, she is so sad. With the encouragement of her roommate and her roommates cousin, Gabe, as well as a push and a shove from her Uncle JoBob, Keirstan resolves to break out of her shell. She composes a list of tasks as a starting point. When she shares them with Weston, he makes it his own personal goal to make sure he helps her accomplish all of them. “Life isn’t fair, but living? Living is heaven. Living is a gift. Every gift is different — every path is different — for some reason this is ours, and the sooner we accept it, the sooner we can stop crying and start living.”However, Keirstan isn't the only one with demons. Only Wes's aren't ones that can be quashed with a few checks on a list. His are far, far worse. Oh. My. God. This book. I don't think I've ever cried so much in one sitting. When I started it, I didn't quite know what I was getting into. I'd seen Rachel's posts on Facebook about the first two weeks of proceeds going to her own Uncles fight with cancer. My own grandfather passed away from cancer while my husband and I were stationed in Korea, so it's a cause close to my heart. One I'm proud to support.I knew from the moment we switch from Keirstan's to Wes's point of view that there was something he was hiding. It's revealed so smoothly, incrementally, and that almost makes the truth that much harder to swallow. By the time you find out you're so wrapped around this guy that it's like he's a real friend of yours confessing.In spite of what's going on his life, he's determined to make his life, and the lives of others around him, count. Especially for the woman he's grown to care for. Oh, just have to share this quote. It summarizes the almost exquisite pain you feel about the whole thing. I literally swooned when I read it. I may have fell a little bit in love with a fictional character, I'm not even going to lie. “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 the 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 mean really? Really? *dies a little*The added view of the story from Kristen's side only complimented Wes's and made it that much more nerve wracking. To follow her fall in love with him, then have her learn his secret. I may have cried then, too. I can't get over how well Rachel's crafted the emotional turns her characters go through. It's seamless, fluid. I could literally watch this book in my head like a movie. It had the perfect balance of romance, humor, emotional upheavals, drama, etc. Gabe, her roommates cousin, even spoke to my heart. Wounded, lost, tattooed. My other soul mate. I loved his role in this book. I loved that he, as well as the other secondary characters, was fleshed out and three dimensional. I really, really, really hope that we get a chance to hear his story. I bet it's a good one. There was a perfect balance of romance to heat in Ruin. This is one of the first New Adult books that I've read that actually doesn't have any sex in it. And, really, I wouldn't have it any other way. Their particular journey would have been cheapened by it. Their story was so full of everything that I almost couldn't bear to see them that intimate. It would have been too much. Everything else had me on such a high that sex would have ruined it. There's almost no way to communicate that deep of an emotional connection on a physical level without being part of the act. To be a voyeur would have taken away from it. Cheap thrills. Ruin didn't need it. I was absolutely ripped open, torn asunder, filleted and roasted by the pure emotional responses I experienced while reading this book. But in a good way. It ends with a happily ever after, so don't shy away from all the tears. It's totally worth it. Casting: Keirstan Weston