Between Wild and Ruin

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Ruby is starting life over when she and her aunt move to a small town in New Mexico, which greets her with several surprises as she makes new friends and meets three handsome guys. Angel is a handsome deputy who immediately welcomes her to town but she can’t deny the connection she has to Ezra. Despite his bad reputation, Ruby knows there’s more to Ezra than his damaged face and past mistakes. Her discovery of ancient ruins up the mountain leads to an encounter with the ghost of her mother and a run-in with the mysterious Leo. After receiving a strange message, Ruby encounters a mountain lion and uncovers a shocking truth about their small town.

Being new in a small town is a prevalent theme throughout as Jennifer G. Edelson uses these dynamics and close-knit community to create conflict for Ruby’s relationships while also breathing life to fascinating mythology. Edelson embodies the reality of a small town with everyone’s business known by everyone which results in gossip and rumors. Ruby gets a firsthand experience when her new friends form vast opinions about her life, which complicates her relationship with Ezra as she grows closer to him and pushes passed the opinions of the town to see the person he is within. The theme of beauty is seen through the struggles Ezra faces that Edelson uses to explore a poignant message about inner beauty.

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. The mythology aspects are woven into the plot as mysteries that hit upon the importance of a town’s history and pull Ruby into the center of a strange reality that leads her to a shocking revelation. The presence of her late mother ties into the plot as her presence stays with Ruby as she struggles to find her place, figure out her feelings, and understand relationships. The memory of her mother as a woman who relied on beauty and had a distance with Ruby contrasts to the relationship she has with her aunt whose warm presence provides her with both a guardian and a friend. Her strong home life gives her the love and understanding she uses to find the best within others and this honest support system guides her on her journey to find herself.

The story centers around relationships and romance as Ruby explores feelings she has toward the three guys vying for her attention. Angel has a warm and welcoming personality, which makes him the ideal small-town boy offering her understanding and stability. This contrasts against Ezra, who is the town pariah for both his damaged appearance and the former attitude he used to have that has alienated him from the community. Ezra is a complex and flawed character whose relationship with her offers passion and a journey of self-discovery while she provides him with an honest belief that he can become a better person. The mysterious Leo has a snarky personality and an arrogant attitude while having a beautiful face and alluring attraction. Each of the guys brings out a different side to her as she discovers what she wants in life and in a relationship while learning to follow her heart.

Between Wild and Ruin is a stunning story of legends, romance, and destiny with themes of starting over, small towns, beauty, and community.

Reviewed By:

Author Jennifer G. Edelson
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 404 pages
Publisher Bad Apple Books
Publish Date 2019-09-15
ISBN 9781733514002
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue September 2019
Category Young Adult


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