THE RUINING by Anna Collomore
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 12 - 18
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A compelling psychological thriller presents a vulnerable girl on the brink of madness.

This intriguing take on the classic story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” finds Annie, a refugee from poverty in Detroit, moving to a mansion in San Francisco to become the nanny for a wealthy couple’s 3-year-old girl, Zoe. The couple pays Annie’s tuition at San Francisco State University and promises her a measure of freedom to study and have a social life. Almost immediately, however, Libby, Zoe’s beautiful mom, takes over Annie’s life, giving her clothing, choosing her university classes and deluging her with advice. Annie idolizes Libby, but she finds her increasingly hard to please. Libby finds fault with minor things, becoming especially unhappy when Annie begins a romance with Owen, the handsome, smart and super-nice guy next door. She demands most of her time, takes the door off Annie’s room and begins to install hideous yellow wallpaper there. As time passes, Libby becomes ever more hostile, accusing Annie of things the girl has no memory of doing and causing Annie enormous anxiety. Collomore supplies enough clues for astute readers to guess what’s going on, but she builds the suspense from Annie’s viewpoint until readers will be flipping through the pages till they run up against the too-neat resolution. Up until then, however, this story unwinds as a corker of a read with an unreliable, or perhaps not, narrator.

Gripping stuff. (Suspense. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 7th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-59514-470-6
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2012


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