Rebecca hates the idea of leaving her friends in New York City for a semester in filthy post-Katrina New Orleans attending a snooty boarding school full of the city's richest families. She hates living with her weird Aunt Claudia who reads tarot cards for tourists in the Bourbon Street district and seems to know an awful lot about voodoo legends and curses.

The prep school kids are cliqueish and rude to Rebecca and consider her an outcast. Only one boy, Anton Grey, talks to her, but he is careful not to let his other "friends" know that he is nice to Rebecca. Once Rebecca follows Anton and his friends into the Lafayette Cemetery and stays hidden from view. As she is leaving, she stumbles upon a young girl named Lisette. Lisette is easy to talk to and tells Rebecca all about the history of New Orleans and the rich families who live near the cemetery. There's only one problem: Rebecca is the only one who can see Lisette--because Lisette is a ghost.

Rebecca and Lisette try to discover the reason that Lisette is not at rest. They are thrown into danger when an old Haitian voodoo curse threatens Rebecca's life.
Part ghost story, part high school clique novel, Ruined is an entertaining read that will appeal to mystery and gothic readers who have a penchant for dark and gloomy places and mysterious happenings in the Big Easy (New Orleans). Recommended for YA collections grades 7-up. 309 pages

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Recommended by:  Pamela Thompson, Librarian, Texas USA


Students are always asking me to recommend a good ghost story - I've finally found one that I think all students will enjoy! Ruined takes place in New Orleans, and along with being a ghost story, it's also a romance that deals with contemporary teenage issues.

Rebecca is sent to live with her aunt in New Orleans while her father is working in China. Her aunt is a tarot card reader and the house she lives in is spooky and filled with things to ward off evil spirits - and it's across the street from Lafayette Cemetery. While she is living with her aunt, Rebecca must attend a snooty school for rich girls - girls who do not want her around.

Fortunately (or unfortunately?) Rebecca meets Anton Grey, a very cute guy, who is also friends with one of the richest, snootiest girls in town.

And I should be sure to mention Lisette, a ghost, who has been around for over a hundred years and can't rest until her untimely death is avenged. 

This is a great page-turner. I really enjoyed reading this book and trying to piece together the mystery.

Recommended by:  Faith Miller, Librarian, Connecticut, USA

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