ARC Review: An Education in Ruin

An Education in Ruin
Alexis Bass
Release Date:
July 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★

Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Teen for an eARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review!


The Mahoney brothers are the golden boys of Rutherford Institute.

Collins Pruitt is going to ruin them.

Theo Mahoney is well-connected and popular. He’s charming and beloved. But he’s hiding something.

Jasper Mahoney is lauded for his intellect and athleticism. He’s studious and focused. But he isn’t as impenetrable as he seems.

Collins will earn their trust—and then she’ll destroy them. But the closer she gets, the more she questions the reason she was sent to Rutherford in the first place…and if it’s possible to ruin the Mahoneys without also destroying herself.


An Education in Ruin is a sneak peak at the super fabulous life of rich people, the boarding schools they attend and the investments they make. Think lifestyles of the rich and famous with rules being broken so the rich can stay rich. 

It took me a few chapters to really get into story though The writing was very stilted and clipped, missing that easy storytelling flow that I’m use to reading. It also had some major plot holes right off the bat. 

Collins wants to make Jasper Mahoney fall in love with her to leverage their relationship against his mother to make her break up with her dad for some unknown reason. I saw that going wrong in so many ways and was unsure how you could even leverage a broken heart but Collins was all for it without really knowing why which was concerning. She was willing to ruin these boys and this family because of some family issues of her own? Things weren’t adding up for Collins nor I and everything was actually more complex and twisted then they were believed to be. It kept me intrigued though and I really wanted to know what the hell was actually happening. 

While I found the plot twists entertaining, it was the romance between Collins and Jesper that kept me reading. Collins needs to make him fall in love with her for her ultimate plan to work. Jesper himself was super closed off, distant, moody and of course a boy that looked like he hadn’t slept in like 10 years. I mean I would’ve passed and given up on that whole scheme quite early. Jesper was not an easy mark. I wanted to see her follow through on her plan but of course she ends up falling because duh and I couldn’t blame her.

What I really disliked about the book beyond the writing and Collin’s not well thought through plan was the flash forwards. They only stated the months out it flashed forward and at one point it’s supposed to be a month out but the scene playing out matches up with what happens a few chapters and days later. It was really confusing and didn’t add anything to the story. 

An Education in Ruin did manage to keep me guessing and while the romance was predictable that didn’t take away from the relationship that formed between Collins and Jesper. I also really enjoyed the relationship Collins shared with her father. It was so sweet and wholesome, the relationship we all want with our parents. If you can get past the writing and the flawed half-baked plans, it is a good story about relationships and trust. 

2 responses to “ARC Review: An Education in Ruin”

  1. Sean, bookbloggingbooks Avatar

    This sounds like such a fast, entertaining read. I’d never heard of it before so I’m glad I saw this review!

    1. Aubrey @ The Shelf Life Chronicles Avatar

      It was highly entertaining and even now I still find myself thinking about it!

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