Point/Scholastic U.S., 2009

Her voice was so plaintive, and her smashed-in face so grotesque, that a chill shuddered down Rebecca’s spine; for a moment she was tempted to let go of Lisette’s hand, just to make the awful faces of the ghosts disappear. She didn’t know what she was expecting of the spirit world, or even if she’d truly believed she’d see anything out of the ordinary — but here, on the streets of New Orleans, there were too many sad and ugly sights. History was a mess.

A year after Hurricane Katrina, Rebecca Brown is sent from her home in New York City to live among strangers in New Orleans. Among the tombs of Lafayette Cemetery, one of the famous Cities of the Dead, Rebecca makes her only friend – a ghost named Lisette, who has a very old score to settle.


“This moody tale thoroughly embraces the rich history, occult lore and complex issues of race, ethnicity, class and culture that have defined New Orleans for centuries, turning the city into a character in its own right … From Mardi Gras rituals to voodoo spells, Hurricane Katrina to jazz, this is a story that could only be told in New Orleans.”
– Publishers Weekly

“Not only is Ruined a successful suspense novel, it also touches on important social issues such as race, class, and the ongoing recovery from Hurricane Katrina. Infused with history, grounded in real-world details, featuring a likable, feisty heroine and plenty of unearthly suspense, Ruined is both a tribute to New Orleans today and a portrait of the turbulent past of this complicated, fascinating city.”
– Teenreads.com

More Young Adult Fiction by Paula Morris