Paperback: 414 pages
Publisher: Bad Apple Books (October 6, 2019)
Praise for BETWEEN WILD & RUIN
“What could be a corny premise turns into an exhilarating, fun ride in Edelson’s adept hands. Her characters are smartly drawn, and readers will easily identify with Ruby, a strong yet insecure young artist on the verge of adulthood, who is still recovering from her tragic past . . . Fans of Twilight and modern fairy tales will fall in love with Ruby and root for her eventual romance.” — Blue Ink Review (Starred Review)
“Between Wild and Ruin is a stunning story of legends, romance, and destiny with themes of starting over, small towns, beauty, and community . . . Edelson perfectly breathes new life in mythology by honoring the oral tradition of a small community and the ruins that bring to life Ruby’s destiny.” — Manhattan Book Review
“Highly recommended to mature teens through new adult and adult audiences, this is a story that lingers in the mind long after its final revelation.” — Midwest Book Review
“A great addition to young adult urban fantasy.” — Seattle Book Review
“Descriptions of the New Mexico landscape are rich and atmospheric, arousing the senses with references to the scent of smoke and juniper, the predatory roar of mountain lions, and the brilliant dazzle of stars in the desert sky . . . The writing conveys a sense of timelessness, making it easy to believe Ruby’s sense that the land is spirit-haunted and that Leo, the handsome young man she encounters near the ruins, is somehow connected to it all.” — Clarion Forward
“An intriguing historical tale and an over-the-top love-quadrangle romance.” — Kirkus Reviews
“The paranormal aspects of the tale are credible and richly steeped in traditional lore, and the plot is finely crafted . . . Between Wild and Ruin is most highly recommended.” — Reader’s Favorite (5-Star Review)
Truth, like love, isn’t always obvious.
Seventeen-year-old Ruby Brooks has never had a boyfriend. After moving to small-town La Luna, New Mexico following her mother’s untimely death, boys aren’t even on her radar. Ruby just wants to forget the last horrible year and blend in. But when she discovers an ancient pueblo ruin in the forest behind her house, and meets Ezra, a bitter recluse whose once-perfect face was destroyed in an accident he won’t talk about; Angel, La Luna’s handsome sheriff’s deputy, and Leo, a stranger who only appears near the ruin, Ruby finds herself teetering between love, mystery, and other worlds. What happened to Ezra’s face? And why is she so attracted to the one boy in town everyone despises? As Ruby unravels her own connections to both Ezra and the pueblo ruin, she’ll learn surfaces are deceiving. Especially in the heart of New Mexico, where spirits and legends aren’t always just campfire stories.
Set against a Northern New Mexico backdrop, Between Wild and Ruin is a young adult coming-of-age story that captures the wild and whimsical pulse of New Mexico through the eyes of teens Ruby Brooks, Angel Ruiz, and Ezra Lucero. The first book in the Wild and Ruin series, Between Wild and Ruin explores the time-tested credo ‘never judge a book by its cover’ through a paranormal lens, weaving Puebloan and Hispanic folklore and Southwest cultural narratives into tightly written, high-concept fiction ‘brimming with mystery, intrigue,’ and as Kirkus Reviews puts it, an “intriguing historical drama and an over-the top quadrangle romance.”
Talk about nostalgia! For some reason, this book brought TWILIGHT back to mind. I’m not entirely sure aside from the genre, but the feeling was strong with this one.
BETWEEN WILD & RUIN is filled with Native American folklore, magic, and brings out the hard questions about death and what makes a person beautiful. It is very much a Beauty and the Beast mashup with the paranormal romance. I may not have known where it was going at times, but the rich historical and folkloric setting really set the tone and helped the story move.
The writing was well done. Each of the main cast were well rounded. Their chemistry together was well done and played well with the setting. The story was a bit slow, but I like what Edelson decided to focus on. And really, I feel the character interaction and the rich background made up for the moments where I was hoping for more action.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. I found myself smiling and loving the boys for different reasons. For the young adult paranormal romance reader, I suggest picking this up.
Final Rating: 3/5
Jennifer G. Edelson is a writer, trained artist, former attorney, pizza lover, and hard-core Bollywood fan. She has a BFA in Sculpture and a J.D. in law and has taught both creative writing and legal research and writing at several fine institutions, including the University of Minnesota. Originally a California native, she currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, kids, and dog, Hubble after surviving years in the Minnesota tundra. Other than writing, Jennifer loves hiking, traveling, Albert Camus, Dr. Seuss, dark chocolate, coffee, exploring mysterious places, and meeting new people—if you’re human (or otherwise), odds are she’ll probably love you.