Want personalized picks that fit your family?
Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ruined is the first of a planned fantasy trilogy by Amy Tintera (of the Reboot series). Action, romance, and magic combine in this new, non-dystopian series. There's some violence in fights and battles but no gore other than a mention of blood. Mention of killing and executions is frequent. Sexual content is mild: a budding romance with a few kisses that aren't described, although one passage briefly describes passionate kissing and making out. The protagonists are learning to overcome their prejudices toward each other and let go of their need for revenge, and they're starting to hope they can end the conflict and live peacefully in the future. It's also a refreshingly gender-equal fantasy world, with both sexes shown as soldiers and leaders.
What's the story?
After the king of Lera has her mother killed and her sister kidnapped, Emelina (Em) hatches a daring plan to avenge her mother's death and free her sister by infiltrating the royal family of Lera posing as the prince's fiancée from another kingdom. As she gets to know Prince Casimir, she's surprised to learn that he doesn't agree with his father's policies, especially the king's desire to kill off everyone from her own kingdom of Ruina. Even while she's trying to learn her sister's whereabouts and secretly plans to invade Lera, Em finds herself falling for Cas. Will she be able to see her plan through, save her sister, and save what's left of the RUINED?
Is it any good?
Author Amy Tintera ably combines action, romance, and fantasy with relatable, compelling protagonists and a plot that keeps the pages turning. Fans of her Reboot series should know that this one lacks any dystopian elements, and while there's still plenty of action, it's less violent. Teens will relate to both protagonists' struggles as they learn to overcome their prejudices, rely heavily on loyal friends, and start to forge their own identities separate from family expectations.
Romance is more at the forefront of the story, but all the elements are combined in a well-structured, fast-paced plot. The cliffhanger ending will leave readers eager for the next installment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about fantasies. Why are they so popular? And why are so many trilogies?
Do you plan to read the next book in the series? What do you think will happen?
Have you ever gotten to know someone from a different background? Did they turn out to be different from what you expected? What do you think they expected you'd be like?
- Author: Amy Tintera
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Great Girl Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperTeen
- Publication date: May 3, 2016
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 13 - 18
- Number of pages: 368
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.