Short and sweet review for a short read. C.J. Scott’s “Ruin” was a book I was on the fence about, but the premise was enough for me to pick it up. The novel, as a whole, isn’t quite vetted out, and rather formulaic. So formulaic that, well, I found it uneventful and unsurprising for 127 pages.
Kate is a “good girl” home from college in her small, uneventful town called Winter. Lo and behold, Ben Parker (which is rather unfortunate considering his name is shared with a character from Spiderman, and actually a footballer/soccer player too) waltzes into said uneventful town and makes the place suddenly more interesting. Kate’s filled with instalust and wants to do everything in her power to make said stranger stick around, even when he says he’s just passing through. Note that she’s making him stick around not because she knows anything about the stranger, but because she can’t help but notice how “hot” he is. *rolls eyes*
Kate’s determination proves fruitful as her efforts allow Ben to stay in order to fix the roof for the aunt of a friend (Jane). But things aren’t what they seem as Kate’s father’s an officer of the law, and Ben’s background’s too mysterious as not to invite questions. Her parents, as well as people in the surrounding town, aren’t exactly happy with the idea of Kate hooking up with Ben.
I had a hard time following this story because it was so threadbare and dry in the narrative. Very little connected me to the characters, and I could predict what would happen in the storyline – point by point, even the big reveal. The sensuous scenes were quick and dashed off, bit awkward in inclusion and for motivation as well. The problem was that I felt like I was being told the story and walked through it without feeling any kind of true investment for the characters. Granted, the bare bones approach of it could’ve been great for a fuller novel, but this felt like it could’ve had more to it than what it did. Others may appreciate it for being a quick read, but I was left wanting more from it than what it offered.
Overall score: 1.5/5 stars
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher.