Book Review: Ruin by Rachel Van Dyken


Click on the image to open the book's Goodreads page.

Click on the image to open the book’s Goodreads page.

favoriteTitle: Ruin
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Publication Date: August 11, 2013
Publisher: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: N/A
Format: Kindle edition
Acquisition: Bought

Purchase at: Amazon

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 Michels 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.


This book has been highly rated by a lot of people, but I was very afraid to read this book because (1) it’s labelled as drama, and (2) it’s New Adult. Both of which make me very uncomfortable and therefore terrified. But my oh my did this book prove me wrong, and I’m so glad I bought it and read it. The first part didn’t really bode well, but I think I pretty much fell in love with Wes and Kiersten’s story from their first encounter.

Kiersten grew up in a very small town where they can actually count the people who live there and know each and everyone’s business. She’s given the chance for a fresh start as she enters University of Washington as a freshman. She has an air of naivety and innocence around her, but she also has dark shadows that has kept her depressed and in constant need of pills, which in turn gives her night terrors. She has shut herself down for many years, and Wes wanted to change that. Wes did really well in helping Kiersten, but I think I like how she also learned to draw strength and bravery from her own self too.

Wes is the son of one of the richest men in the country and he’s pretty much famous for that. He’s also the quarterback of the University of Washington and he has a reputation among the crowd. People pretty much stare at him when he walks by. It doesn’t help that he even has an entourage with him most of the time. But early on we learned that Wes’s days are numbered, and the last thing he wants to do is help people out so that they don’t end up like his brother who committed suicide. I think that’s what first drew Wes to Kiersten, but he soon developed undeniable feelings for her and he was conflicted between having her and keeping her safe from the hurt if he leaves her.

Throughout the story, I pretty much just kept on chanting in my head, “Please don’t die, please don’t die, please don’t die.” Wes was just too much of a wonderful guy. People may be saying bad things about him, but he knew who he was and pretty much did the right things. Despite being weak and dizzy most of the time, he still pushed on with keeping a normal life and trying to save Kriesten from the darkness. He was just so sweet and supportive, and he always seemed to know the right things to say. I personally found him very inspiring. I like how he didn’t withdraw into himself. I like how he still laughs and makes other people laugh. He’s just awesome.

This book is told in Wes and Kiersten’s perspectives, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. I personally like seeing the two sides and the two different people in a story. I like how they slowly unraveled their true selves and showed how they felt about one another. In the course of getting to know each other, Kiersten and Wes became deeply attracted towards each other. There weren’t any sex scenes in this book though. Mostly just a lot of kissing, teasing, etc. But the romance was definitely swoon-worthy thanks to Wes.

I also loved the other characters in this story. I was pretty much surprised by the personality of Wes’s father. I won’t say much, but it was definitely not what I was expecting. I also liked Lisa, Kiersten’s roommate turned friend, who is afraid of Mickey Mouse. She doesn’t show up much though. I also liked Gabe, Lisa’s cousin, who has this bad boy image, but was actually really sweet and caring. Oh, and Wes’s coach was a pretty great guy too.


OVERALL, Ruin ruined me. This book just really blew me away with all of its perfection. Well, it’s probably not that perfect, but it is to me. This story deals with death, fatal sicknesses, depressions, night terrors, and insecurities. But it shone with life, love, and laughs that chased all of the darkness away. This book is about living, and I was personally inspired by it and left in awe of it. I fell in love with Wes Michels and felt so much for him. I liked Kiersten, as well as all of the other side characters in the story. Ruin was a very emotional read that I deeply enjoyed. And I totally recommend it.




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  • This is all based on personal opinion, and as much as I’m open to other people’s opinions, I hope you understand that this is based on what I feel. I avoid giving out spoilers as much as possible, too.
  • I do not own most of the images I use, and some may be subject to editing.

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