There is a lot of young adult fiction out there. I know, I’ve read a ton of it. However, I prefer YA lit that has a fantasy element and a little magic and war thrown in. If you’re into the same kinds of books, Ruined by Amy Tintera may be a good book for you.
Set in a kingdom on a different planet in a different time, Em Flores is a bit of an outcast. Not only is she from the conquered realm of Ruina, a place where people have magic, but she was born a shell of sorts, meaning she doesn’t possess the same magic as her peers. Even though she was meant to be queen of Ruina, her “useless” self was passed on as royalty. But when her sister is kidnapped and her parents are killed by the ruling kingdom, it is time for Em to assert herself by infiltrating the castle as a princess with wicked fighting abilities. What she didn’t expect was love to be a part of her mission.
While this book doesn’t offer a very different plot than other fantasy YA lit novels, I really enjoyed the writing style. Em is constantly looking for ways to take down her opponents, meaning when she enters a room, she visually locates the nearest weapon. She isn’t quick to trust and holds grudges. I think she can be a relatable character to any teenager or young adult who feels they have something to prove.
I also liked how the author jumped right into the story. There wasn’t any time for backstory. Instead, we get bits and pieces of Em’s story throughout the novel. The book is definitely fast-paced and held my attention well.
If you’re looking for an entertaining end-of-summer read, I’d suggest picking up Ruined. You’ll be transported to a new kingdom filled with magic and turmoil. I only wish the plot itself was a little more unique.
Also by Amy Tintera: Reboot
Sarah Emily Lelonek has a BA in English Literature from Kent State University. She is currently enrolled at Tiffin University in their Master’s of Education program. She enjoys traveling and gaming while on breaks from working on her novel.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by HarperTeen. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.