Cover Image: An Education in Ruin

An Education in Ruin

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Member Reviews

This was too wordy and I honestly didn't care about the girl getting revenge on two boys at a rich, prep school. Everything was described in extravagant detail and there was a huge lack of dialogue. I am not a fan of immense detail and was disappointed that I had to set this down because I really tried to like this story. The characters also were flat and after a few chapters I knew I had to pass on it.
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In the simplest sense, this book just didn't offer much that hasn't been done before. 

The writing style itself felt extremely flat and disconnected, making it difficult to care for the characters and how their circumstances turned out. The plot, as well, felt forced and honestly insignificant in a sense. The characters lacked any depth at all. Additionally, diversities included in the story felt surface level only and used just for the sake of including a diverse character cast. 

Overall, this felt like a very forced and stilted story that you can find elsewhere.
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I'm a huge fan of Alexis Bass' writing, and her books are an auto-buy and auto-recommend for me. This book was no exception. I love the complexity of Collins as a protagonist, and the boarding school setting is one I really enjoy. I found the book well-paced, and it drew me in and held my attention. I think my students will really enjoy reading this engaging and thought-provoking book.
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Collins Pruitt is a girl on a mission. Her targets are the golden boys of the new private school she starts attending. Besides keeping up with her assignments and grades, Collins has to balance spying on the boys and figuring out how to infiltrate their circle. However, as family secrets and drama swirl around her, she isn't sure whom she can trust and which path is the right one.

This book grabbed me from the very first page as Collins starts school and meets the main players in the story. Bass does an excellent job of keeping the reader in suspense and throws small clues here and there that keep you turning the pages trying to figure out the secrets and motivation behind Collins's actions. I read it in one sitting.
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**I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Now, to say I didn't enjoy reading this would be a lie. It was so easy to read and it was quick as well! I think what kept me captivated was the difficulty that Collins had with what she was trying to do. While she wasn't my favorite  female narrator, I did like watching Collins grow and kind of understand. The twists and turns felt very unrealistic for most of the book and the main romance felt stilted and not quite there. However, I did feel a Gossip Girl vibe that was pretty intoxicating. I wish our gay character and our diverse characters were a bit more fleshed out and involved in the book, but I did enjoy the quick (if a little predictable) read.
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I was excited to read this novel, but I just could not get into it. It was a DNF for me, but hopefully, someone else will like it.
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Most of the teens enrolled at the Rutherford Institute are there because their family can afford to buy them a place at the prestigious boarding school known for churning out wealthy young elites that will go on to succeed at Ivy League Colleges and start their own companies.  They are there to get good grades and have fun when they can.  Collins Pruitt is there for another reason, to destroy the Mahoney brothers.  She’s on a mission to bring down Theo and Jasper because she’s sure it’s the only way to save her family.  But as she gets closer to the boys she develops a friendship with Theo and feelings for Jasper making things much more complicated.  Will she be able to fulfill her ultimate plan to bring down the boys’ mother by hitting her where it will hurt her most, her boys hearts?

VERDICT is that I probably won’t be recommending this book to many people.  From the description I thought this was going to be a fun guilty pleasure read along the lines of Gossip Girl or One of Us is Lying.  This novel fell totally flat for me though.  There was never any incentive to emotionally connect with any of the characters and I didn’t find Collins’ plan for revenge to be all that intriguing.  If you’re going to have a novel filled with a bunch of entitled characters they need to at least do something interesting.  There was no real twist because of the flash-forwards that I think fell flat because there were no surprising character developments.
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Boarding school drama meets family drama with a dash of Theranos in this new book by Alexis Bass, which is a tech-y take on the boarding school novel (on the West Coast!), and has some fun characters, but the last quarter really went off the rails and left my with a bad, confused taste in my mouth. This felt like a Bad Blood x Of Curses and Kisses mashup with some Gossip Girl vibes.

Collins Pruit joins the third year class at the Rutherford Institute and immediately set her sights on misanthropic study-hard rich boy Jasper Mahoney.  As we learn in flashbacks and flashforwards, Collins is at Rutherford with a prize in mind: finding something to take from the Mahoney boys--Jasper and Theo--to leverage against their mother for reasons that will become evident later on. There's your usual rich-teen-boarding-school activities, lots of worrying about failing out for someone who was good enough to get in, and then there's the Theranos element.Okay, so in the book it's Robames Inc but it's run by a 20-year old techy genius a la Elizabeth Holmes named Rob(erta) James who is trying to revolutionize some medical technology, but of course the data is faulty and the money tied up in the company is on the line. That's how Collins ends up making deal after deal after deal to try and figure out what she needs to do to protect herself, her family, her father's heart, and her own heart--along with the Mahoney brothers.

This book had a lot of potential but wow was it hard to follow at the end. And why were these kids so involved with their parents financial concerns? It was weird, all the way around. I liked the Theranos-element for a bit, but it got out of hand quickly and I'm still not really sure how I was supposed to feel about the ending. I liked the boarding school element--West Coast, a little different--but it wasn't my cup of tea overall. I might read something else set in this world, but this story tried to bite off too much to chew.
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Dnf'd this one at 36%. Unfortunately I wasn't too fond of Collins as the MC. She just wasn't likable or as clever as she was supposed to be. The plot didn't really grab me or seem as thrilling and expertly woven as some of the other authors this work was compared to.
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DNF @20%

I am having a hard time getting into this book. The main character is really dislikable and the story is quite far-fetched. Also, there is no introduction to the characters or the story at the beginning of the book. It just jumps right in and leaves you trying to figure out the details. Not for me.
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Collins is the only daughter of uber-weatlhy investment mogul Jacob Pruitt.  As such, she has always enjoyed an easy and sheltered life.  The summer before her junior year in high school her aunt speaks with her to reveal that her father is having an affair with a woman who is using him as a bail-out for her family's dire financial straits.  Aunt Rosie convinces Collins to move schools to the elite Rutherford School and get close to the woman's sons in order to find damaging information to use to convince the woman to break up with her father.  Only Collins didn't expect to really fall in love with the oldest son, Jasper.

I had high hopes for this book, especially since it has been compared to E. Lockhart's work.  Sadly, this fell far short of the mark.  I did like that Collins didn't come across as snobby rich girl who uses as the world as her playground.  Instead, she was more of a poor little rich girl, and I almost felt sorry for her since it seemed like she was being used as a pawn in this adult game of high finance.  Collins came across as a girl of average intelligence, and very naive, but still expected to pull an amazing con.  She simply doesn't have the feminine wiles or lack of conscience needed in order to bend others to do her bidding.    I kept waiting for that mind-blowing plot twist as in Lockhart's "We Were Liars," but it never came.  The best adjective I can think of to describe this book is "tepid."
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I'm being quite serious: don't read this unless you're okay with delving into a world of morally gray, often loathsome wealthy people. If you don't have the energy for a real viper pit of #richpeopleproblems, pick up something else.

I understand the compulsion to compare with The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and at first I would have chosen that as a readalike based on the boarding school setting, the inclusion of a secret society, and a deceptive main character, but I didn't find this nearly as well-written or as compelling, the secret society barely featured, and the inexplicably named Collins (Collins Pruit - a girl named like a law firm) was a deadly combination of not particularly sympathetic/desperate, nor calculating enough for me to somehow admire her cleverness. (Her bizarre plan is initially fed to her by an obviously untrustworthy character, and later improvisations don't necessarily turn out well.) The main romance technically hit the right beats, but I found myself wondering over and over what exactly attracted the two characters to each other.

That said, despite a slow and uneven first half, and a narrator who I didn't find particularly clearly characterized or compelling, I did find myself engaged by the second half, at least enough to want to see how deep the rabbit hole went. It did get a bit twisty within the character relationships, so if you like that and a dubiously moral main character in a story, go for it (though the twistiness gets undercut by a somewhat lackluster epilogue). Otherwise, perhaps give a pass.
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Thank you net galley for the advance reader copy of this novel.   Wow what a read!    This was a cont contemporary YA novel regardless part romance and part sleuthing through details to figure out what was going to happen to the elite at a boarding school.    Collins, Theo and jasper are all at a bordering school and the story revolves around a serious misdeed by jasper, another misdeed by his brother Theo, and a bunch of tech savvy investors that are influenced by Colllins Dad.    I loved that the story pulled you through the end.       I didn't like how my ebook format had the flashbacks in time set up.  I also didn't like the fact that the misdeeds by Theo was mentioned in a small way and then not again as it has been built up in the novel.    I really wish that the author has done an epilogue with a chunk of time past so the reader could see where ALL  the characters ended up.....stewart, Theo, Anastasia,  Rosie, Rob, etc.    We only see a glimpse of where Collins and jasper are.    Great read that keeps the pages turning.
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It had some very large holes in logic and perhaps attepted to be much more diabolical than it actually was in the end.
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"Can you worm your way into people's lives, get to know all sides of them, without also starting to feel close to them?"

This is the struggle of Collins Pruitt, who transfers to Rutherford Institute, a prestigious boarding school.  She has a hidden agenda, and is determined to learn the truth in order to help her family.  But as truth comes to light, and feelings get real, will she be able to follow through?

It took me several chapters to get into the story, but once I did, it was a fairly quick read.  While I did question the plausibility of high school students being tasked in the downfall of multi-million dollar corporations, I found myself pulled in to the characters and their stories.  Each character had their own agenda throughout, and there was enough mystery written into each one that you didn't know who to believe at any given time.

I received an ARC of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.
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I love the idea of this book, but I couldn’t get past the writing style. It felt as if the author was trying to pack as much detail as possible into each sentence, and it was too much. Most of the detail given felt unnecessary to the story. The voice of the narrator felt like a teenager trying too hard to sound like an adult. I wish I like this book, but I wasn’t able to get past chapter 3.
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I received an ARC from NetGalley for an honest review. Thank You!

This was not bad but it was  also not stellar... just okay.    I give it 2.5 stars.  It took me a while to get in to it (four or five chapters). Once I got into it, I finished it fairly quickly.  liked the romance and plot twits. That keep me turn pages.  However, I did not like the flash forwards.  I found them confusing.  I also think that the revenge plan by Collins was unrealistic and half baked.   

It could use a touch more editing for typos and grammar.
I would recommend to students who want a quick romance read.
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A fun romantic suspense book featuring two of my favorite things: rich kids and boarding school! Collins has transferred to Rutherford, prep school for the rich & richer, with the sole purpose of "getting" to Jasper and Theo Mahoney so she can ruin them. You don't know why at first, only that Theo has a secret Collins is determined to uncover by infiltrating his friend group, and Jasper is a mark for a different reason--Collins is going to make him fall in love with her.

The build up of the book is how Collins insinuates herself with the cool kids, and some of their rich kid antics. Jasper is at first resistant to her charms, so it takes some time for the romance to really kick off, but once it did, it was my favorite part of the book, beside some stellar tech-suspense in the back half. Overall, once the characters/story got to the shareholder meeting at the exclusive ski resort, the story really took off for me. Without saying too much, Collins' revenge thread converges with Jasper's (and several other people's threads) involving Rob James, a tech genius/Yale dropout and former Rutherford student whose invented a new medical device and gotten everyone to invest. But there's a lawsuit looming and Jasper seems to have beef with Rob...

An Education in Ruin has a lot of the same things I loved in Happily and Madly, her last book--rich kids behaving badly, romantic suspense, and some big feels. It's definitely less suspense-driven than Happily & Madly, or some of the other thrillers I read, but I would recommend this one to YA romance fans who like some intrigue as conflict for their romantic pairing.
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Although I found the concept of the book entertaining, I had a few problems with it. The plotline has filthy rich characters who attend a private boarding school, and that for some reason always intrigues me! I do think it read like a Wattpad novel at times though, so not really a favorite! But it was a decent read, and I got the classic contemporary I wanted!
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I loved this book, it gave me strong wattpad vibes but it was actually written really well and didn't drag.
I loved the plotting aspect in the beginning, where Collins was planning how to make Jasper fall in love with her. 
The flash backs got me really intrigued into the backstory, it was all very mysterious.
The flash forwards were the ones that broke my heart though, because you could see what was going to happen in the end, yet it didn't really make any sense but I really couldn't wait.
Collin's and Jasper's relationship was the cutest. but I actually really enjoyed all of the characters because they were all very unique but not all very likeable.
I loved the vibe of the fancy private school as well as all the rich people with their rich parents and vacations. I wouldn't call it dark academia because it wasn't that dark, but there was a sort of underground society and a lot of backstabbing and secrets..... soo.

If it reminds me of anything, it reminds me the most of the series Gossip girl, so if you like that series I would definitely recommend!!
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