Monday, December 7, 2009

Ruined: A Novel by Paula Morris

I adore New Orleans, so it was inevitable that I enjoy Paula Morris's nod to the Big Easy. When her father is called away to China on business, Rebecca is sent to live with her tarot-card reading Aunt Claudia and younger cousin Aurelia, who live in the ritzy Garden District of New Orleans in a small shotgun style house. Rebecca has a hard time adjusting to the intricate class system that is part of Temple Mead Academy, and isn't impressed with Them, a group of wealthy old-family New Orleanian kids. While spying on them in Lafayette Cemetery, she meets Lisette, a ghost from 1853 (supposedly a victim of yellow fever), as well as Anton Grey, a handsome member of Them, who takes an interest in Rebecca. Mardi-Gras parades, murder, and light romance ensue as Rebecca finds out who she really is. At times it was difficult to suspend my disbelief (her father's absence is particularly hard to swallow), but this book will appeal to teen who enjoy mystery and supernatural themes.