Synopsis: The only life Mae has ever known is on the island, living on the charity of the wealthy Prosper family who control the magic on the island and the spirits who inhabit it. Mae longs for magic of her own and to have a place among the Prosper family, where her best friend, Coco, will see her as an equal, and her crush, Miles, will finally see her. Now that she’s eighteen, Mae knows her time with the Prospers may soon come to an end.
But tonight is First Night, when the Prospers and their high-society friends return to the island to celebrate the night Lord Prosper first harnessed the island’s magic and started producing aether – a magical fuel source that has revolutionized the world. With everyone returning to the island, Mae finally has the chance to go after what she’s always wanted.
When the spirits start inexplicably dying, Mae starts to realize that things aren’t what they seem. And Ivo, the reclusive, mysterious heir to the Prosper magic, may hold all the answers – including a secret about Mae’s past that she doesn’t remember. As Mae and her friends begin to unravel the mysteries of the island, and the Prospers’ magic, Mae starts to question the truth of what her world was built on.
My Rating: 3.25 stars – rounded to 3 stars
Cover 4; characters 3; writing 3; enjoyment 3; plot 3; pace 3
My Review: BRIGHT RUINED THINGS was just okay for me. There wasn’t anything that really stuck out plot or writing wise that knocked me off my feet. Characters were pretty cookie-cutter characters who were exactly who you would expect them to be.
Personally I don’t know that I will pick up another Cohoe book after this one. I read her previous book as well and I just wasn’t in love with either of them. While this one definitely stepped up the game, I’m not a huge fan of that last page cliffhanger ending with the romance sub-plot. There was a LOT with this romance plot that I just didn’t understand and couldn’t get behind.
Honestly, I considered DNFing this book multiple times but kept reading because I wanted to know what the big secret was and it just wasn’t that good. The pieces that we were trying to put together never really went together. The other characters kept telling the MC she was stupid for not getting it but like… I didn’t get it either and I’m LOOKING for it. The whole “this is why we have magic” plot just didn’t hold up for me. part of that may be because this world was never really fleshed out enough for me to understand it. I don’t know if that was deliberate to keep the BIG SECRET a secret, but it’s just not my style.
Also, I’ve heard a lot of people talk about this 1920’s feel of this and I just don’t see it. Unless you’re talking about the style of clothing maybe? But legit, it’s a remote island. There’s no tv and their electric is from *MAGIC* it could be set in any time period.
I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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