Griffon and Ryker. Sort of the same, but more than sort of different. They meet in rehab where Griffon is reluctant to talk in group therapy. Griffon is closed off and sarcastic and he knows most people don’t like him. Griffon lives with his father who never recovered when Griffon’s mother died years ago. Griffon and his father live in a small apartment and if Griffon doesn’t work while going to school, there won’t be money for him to buy food.
Ryker is from one of the wealthiest families in NYC. He has a permanent bed at the rehab facility and spends a few days there and then leaves again. His mother is an alcoholic, his father is controlling, and Ryker plays the part, or tries to. Both men use drugs to dull the sharp edges of their lives, and Ryker takes his addiction one step further, but since meeting, they may have become addicted to each other.
Griffon and Ryker. Both have lots of issues and lots of problems. They fall for each other hard and fast, but together they make sense. Although Ryker hasn’t told Griffon everything about what goes on behind his family’s penthouse doors and either Ryker’s life may be more than Griffon can possibly handle or he’ll choose Ryker over everything else.
The tone of this book is really how I like to read. The writing is hard-core, first person POV and the story is written as if we are inside both characters’ heads and the writing is sometimes dialogue, but also bursts of intense thought from both characters. Griffon opens the book and he’s sarcastic and cutting and calls it like he sees it. He’s not going to be for everyone, but I was feeling him. The guys meet in rehab and are immediately drawn to each other. They are both 20 and they fall in love fast with all of the crazy emotion of being an addict and falling in love for the first time. They both feel like they have no one and the author gets the intensity of their feelings just right for their age and situation and the intimate scenes are raw and powerful.
Once out of rehab, they meet up again, not without some drama, and quickly realize how far apart their life experiences are. But, they want to be together. There is lots of family drama that takes some time to uncover and when it’s revealed, it’s drastic and traumatic and even though it mostly takes place behind closed doors and the scenes are blurred at the edges, the impact is intense.
This author also has a track record of winding up the drama and the tension in the last few paragraphs or even the last sentence and the ending can be what just happened here? I did feel that there were a lot of truly serious issues these guys had to deal with and how they were going to navigate through it all was not discussed or revealed at all and there is also a lot of pent-up anger, rage, and characters seeking revenge. The characters were also conscious about trading one addiction (the drugs) for a new addiction (each other) and with this in mind, their future, while forever bonded, could be seen as uncertain. Still, the writing style, the intensity, and the characters are what made this a book that kept me hooked all of the way through.
The author’s note in the beginning of the book states that there is a novella at the end that is about two different characters, Pierce and Baby, that tie into Griffon and Ryker’s story. Ruin then ends at 75% to make room for this novella. The author also suggests reading the novella first, which I did, which made the flow of seeing these characters work just a bit better. Pierce and Baby also have a raw and intense story with another explosive last line to end their book as well.