Ruined : A Novel by Paula Morris offers a modern ghost story set in New Orleans. Fifteen year old Rebecca is sent to stay with ‘Aunt’ Claudia and this Yorker isn’t into the Tarot reading, and the Voodoo decor she finds herself surrounded by. Her new school is a ultra snooty with most of the kids coming from old-line families. It doesn’t offer much hope for new friends, so she contents herself to spending time alone or with her younger “cousin” Aurelia.
Late one night, she can’t sleep and sees kids sneaking into Lafayette Cemetery. She follows them inside and finds it’s a place to party. She barely sneaks back out with the help of friendly ghost Lisette. Rebecca soon learns that Lisette is part of a curse that is somehow connected to the most popular families. As she tries to uncover this old mystery, she learns more about her own background.
My favorite feature in this book is the detailed setting and history. It made me want to take a visit to see the old homes and grab some Mardi Gras beads after this fun read.