Freedom. When Carleigh Stanger thought of college, that was the word that came to mind. Freedom from her unhappy home life. Freedom from high school mistakes. Freedom from the memory of that terrible morning. Only instead of bringing a sweet escape, Carleigh’s first campus party traps her in the scornful gaze of the last person she wants to see, Tucker Green.
It wasn’t long ago that being close to Carleigh was everything Tucker wanted. But that was before he realized she was just another scheming girl who’d do whatever it took to get her way. Even lie to the guy she claimed to love. Unfortunately while Tucker’s brain remembers the pain Carleigh caused, his body only remembers the pleasure . . .
Don’t we all want to avoid exes? Aren’t they the last person that you want to deal with? Maybe there is a slither of people that can accept them, but others—well it ain’t a good situation! I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but sometimes we can’t fight the inevitable. Carleigh wanted to go to school and that is it. She wanted a fresh start, after her heart was shatter into millions of pieces. Wait—it wasn’t shatter, it was exploded with an atomic bomb. On the other hand, the one person she forgot that was going to attend the same college as her was the man she planned a life with. Tucker. Cue the dramatic fight scene – because it gets nasty. In Ruins, a story about how telling the truth is always the best, even if it destroys the one thing you love the most.
Lies. The relationship that Carleigh desired was founded by deception. The story starts off that Carl has arrived to college with a fresh start at life with her friend. That night, she forces her to go to a low key party expecting Tuck wouldn’t be there. Of course he would be. Fight begins. Cats and Dogs, and then it switches to the beginning…of their love. Which I like! I love how stories go back and forth because you get an understanding of what is happening in the plot. It’s not like you’re skipping first season of Lost and don’t have a clue of what the hell is going on (Don’t do it – I was literally having a cluster**** of that series). Tuck and Carl were great friends. They bonded as kids because of their fathers were not in the picture. Tuck lost his dad at a young age, while Carl has a secret about her dad—he’s in jail. They liked each other. They fell hard for one another, even though they fought the feelings.
Carl came from money. She is loaded because of her father, who defrauded a bunch of people (so people don’t really like her family). Lawyers offered a fantastic deal to get him out. He didn’t take the deal that could give him less time in jail and more time towards his family. Carl took that as he didn’t love her. As well, it doesn’t help that her mother is a total Gold Digger (Insert Kanye West song). So as much as she had money, her family was a disaster. She also was the sub-in momma for her brother, Billy. Even though she lived in luxury—she wasn’t. The only love she was truly getting was from Tucker, who care for her so dearly. So as much as Carl loved him, she was hiding all these secrets when he told her all of his.
As the story continues form both sides, present and past, Tucker and Carleigh—the characters have a compelling story of how broken their love was. With Carl, she was embarrassed and ashamed that her father had ruined so many families, including Tucker. As much as I was yelling at my tablet for what she has done, I couldn’t judge. I totally understand why she tried to cover everything because she was scared. Here is this boy, who somehow let all his guard down and told her he loved her. Made her feel wanted. He made her feel that longing that she’s been fighting to have. She didn’t have a mother or a father that gave a shit about her. Why would anyone want to lose it? As much as you want to say that sure she lied, but I think she did it out of the goodness of her heart. On the flip side, Tucker and his family—the story throws a curve at you. I mean, completely left field. As much as he hated her, he loved her. So for both parties, the ability to make it “over” was difficult. Sometimes, you just don’t know what to say.
Danielle Pearl created a masterpiece of emotions. You felt anger, when Tucker found out the truth. You felt broken when Carl saw Tucker for the first time in a long time. You laughed over the good times, and the tears—that seemed to be steady in her eyes. The plot was just twist after twist, and sometimes I felt as though I was overwhelmed by it. You open door number one and it leads you to another door of crazy outcome for these two.
At the end, it didn’t feel over. I get it now because there will be a number two. I don’t know if it’s either their story or different characters. The plot reminded me of those movies that are so intense in the last five minutes, that you think it won’t cover, but it did in this case. I want to know what is going to happen in the second. I felt like their story wasn’t complete, but almost. So we will see what happens. Either way, I found this story incredible and how it kept you longing for more about their love and what was going to happen to the characters. I didn’t expect some of the turns and all my predictions were wrong–that is why I gave it five stars. I was completely blindsided.
I highly suggest you go pre-order this book because it has everything you’re looking for – love, heartbreak, and a little bit of thriller!