Ruined by Paula Morris
Description: "Rebecca couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans. She's staying in a creepy house with her aunt, who reads tarot cards. And at the snooty prep school, a pack of filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she's invisible. Only gorgeous, unavailable Anton Grey gives Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he's got a hidden agenda.
Then one night, among the oak trees in Lafayette Cemetery, Rebecca makes a friend. Sweet, mysterious Lisette is eager to show Rebecca the nooks and crannies of New Orleans. There's just one catch.
Lisette is a ghost. A ghost with a deep, dark secret, and a serious score to settle.
As Rebecca is drawn deeper into a web of old curses and cryptic customs, she also uncovers startling truths about her own history. Will Rebecca be able to right the wrongs of the past, or has everything been ruined beyond repair?"First line: "Torrential rain was pouring the afternoon Rebecca Brown arrived in New Orleans."
My thoughts: This one was pretty good. Somewhat predictable, but not too bad. I liked the New Orleans setting. It was actually quite interesting because the author clearly knows and loves New Orleans, but for most of the novel she has to make Rebecca loathe it. She pulled it off well, describing both the good and the bad aspects. Probably the most interesting and unique scene is when Lisette leads Rebecca through the streets and shows her the generations of ghosts that linger throughout the city.
But...there were some odd things. The mystery of Rebecca's family history comes to light, but not why her father, who has spent his life trying to protect her, suddenly delivers her into danger. And, frankly, gives her into the care of a woman who seems to barely be able to look after her own daughter and lets her life be ruled by her psychic feelings. Both adults of course epically fail in their mission to protect her. Anton has reasons for trying to distance himself from Rebecca, but I thought it was pretty clumsily done, making his character uneven. And while they tied into the prophecy that is the backbone of the novel, his dangerous actions at the end of the novel (I won't spoil it) didn't make sense to me other than the prophecy had to be wrapped up, so he did something wildly dangerous and destructive.
If you're interested in New Orleans and like a ghost story, this is a pretty good, quick read.