22 July 2013
Collomore, Anna. The Ruining. Razorbill, 2013.
Annie lives in Detroit with her mom and step-dad, and she is desperate to get out of the house and on her own. After high school graduation, she accepts a position as a nanny to a family four in the San Francisco Bay Area. She heads out to the west coast and begins to care for an adorable three-year old girl while the girl's dad is at work and the girl's mom watches the baby and works from home. Everything seems to be perfect, at first.
Then things start happening. The mom calls her "Nanny" instead of "Annie." The mom alternates between trying to be super buddy-buddy with Annie and being an angry control freak. They take the door off of her bedroom. Annie feels herself slipping into insanity, and her grip on reality, along with her ability to juggle her college classes and her work responsibilities, slips away.
This book was very intense and also very strange. After a while it was difficult to determine what was really and what was only Annie's perception of reality. The characters were believable and the ending was satisfying. My only complaint about this book, though, is that when Annie wants some time alone, she mentions wanting to go to Muir Woods to be in the forest and think. Muir Woods is beautiful, but it's a major tourist trap. At any point during the day there are maybe several hundred people there, so that wouldn't be a good place to "be alone." There are lots of other forests or parks the author could have chosen to use instead of going for the obvious San Francisco reference.
Recommended for: teens, especially those who enjoy suspenseful books
Red Flags: minor alcohol use, some profanity
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars