Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano (Book Review)

September 30, 2013 Book Review, Young Adult 11 ★★★★

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano (Book Review)Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Internment Chronicles #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on October 1, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 356
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
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4 Stars
On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.

I’m always on the lookout for unique story lines, especially in the dystopian genre. I love reading about new worlds that authors have created, so of course I gravitated right to Perfect Ruin. I was not the biggest fan of Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, but I really, really enjoyed this first installment in the Internment Chronicles. I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to read it! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. Internment is a huge chunk of Earth that has been RIPPED out of the ground and placed in the sky by the Sky God. Because the island is so small, people have to apply to have babies, and are exterminated when they reach a specific age in order to keep the population under control. Babies are betrothed before they are born. There’s a strong wind just off the edge of the island that keeps people from jumping off. People who venture there anyway go insane, and are labeled as Jumpers who have to go to therapy and take medication. Morgan’s brother, Lex, is a Jumper. Thus, the entire family is watched for signs of rebellion. If that’s not a crazy unique and exciting sounding story, I’m not sure what is.

2. Even crazier, people are turning up dead on this happy little island in the sky. The first one is a girl who was murdered and left on the train tracks. The entire population is now in this constant state of paranoia, not to mention they are under even more surveillance by their oppressive king. Everyone knows everything, but only a couple people know the truth.

3. I really love this cast of characters. Morgan is not content with her small life. She knows the world has more to offer her than the rock she’s living on. She begins questioning everything especially after she comes across Judas, the boy who has been accused of murdering the girl on the train tracks (his betrothed), and is convinced he’s innocent. She also comes upon the mysterious sister of the murdered girl, and begins to learn things that make her question her life even more. She confides in her brother and tries to convince herself that she will not end up a Jumper like he is. She also holds on tight to her betrothed, Basil, who is so caring and understanding with her. We also meet Morgan’s best friend, Pen, who is outwardly reluctant to be with her betrothed, but secretly adores him. All these characters are strong, dynamic, and unique.

4. I loved learning about the inner workings of this city. There are so many laws and cultural elements. I can’t wait to read more about these people.

5. There are some really amazing twists and events that had my jaw dropping. The story is go, go, go, and I did not want to put it down. And the cliffhanger!!!!!!!!!! Oh man. I can’t even handle it.

6. Lauren’s writing and worldbuilding skills have improved so much! I was completely invested in this story and these characters. I loved her descriptions and her writing style.

7. As is typical with the first book in a trilogy, Perfect Ruin brought up a lot of questions. There is so much going on here, with so many layers of secrets that I’m still not sure I know what’s going on. I actually really loved that. I’m usually a control freak when it comes to books. I want to know everything all at once. With Perfect Ruin, I was left in the dark a lot. It’s perfect for the story, though. I felt just like the characters did, I learned with them, and I really could picture myself living in their world.

I feel like this review is really unorganized and pointless, but there’s so much I just don’t want to say for fear of spoiling things! I went into Perfect Ruin knowing only two things: it’s about an island in the sky, and there’s murder going on. That was it. And I think because I knew so little, I loved it so much more. Bottom line, I’m a new fan of Lauren DeStefano. She has created an amazing story that had me gasping for air and wishing for more. I can’t believe I have to wait a million years to find out what happens next! Definitely read this book.

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11 Responses to “Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano (Book Review)”

  1. Michelle

    Wow this sounds SO much better than The Chemical Garden series!! I wasn’t the biggest fan of those :( Anyway I like that it sounds super crazy and intense. I definitely think I’ll give it a try.

    PS- did you get a new blog design??
    Michelle recently posted…New Books Out Week of 9/29

    • Jana

      Yeah, it’s way better than The Chemical Garden. I only read Wither, and for some reason I never continued on with it. I hope you enjoy it!

      Yeah, it’s a new blog design. :) I moved from blogspot to WordPress in August and designed myself a new blog design as well. It was definitely time for a change!

  2. Crini

    I was really curious about this one but the fact that I didn’t like Wither at all (didn’t even finish it) made me not wanna buy it. After reading your review I will give it a try someday though :)
    Crini recently posted…Book Haul: September 2013

    • Jana

      Haha! I had not realized the baby plot line until you mentioned it. :)

      Yeah, I have not been seeing much of Perfect Ruin around the blogosphere, which makes me sad. I really loved it!

  3. Rachel S

    This book sounds incredible! I love details like you mentioned about the rules and inner workings of a city like this, I think it just so cool! I haven’t yet read The CHemical Garden series but I think I need to first, otherwise after reading this book I probably won’t enjoy it!

  4. Stephanie @ The Novlist

    I wasn’t the biggest fan of her Chemical Garden trilogy either but I’ve seen lots of people (including you!) saying that they enjoyed this book much more, so that gives me a lot of hope! I really want to like Lauren DeStefano’s books because she just seems like such a funny and nice author, so I hope I feel the same way about Perfect Ruin as many others seem to so far.
    Great review, as always!
    Stephanie @ The Novlist recently posted…The Music Post [1]

    • Jana

      Thanks, Stephanie!

      Lauren does seem really nice, and quite funny on Twitter. I love interacting with authors! It’s so much fun. Hopefully you love Perfect Ruin as much as I did! :) She has really grown as an author.

  5. Jaime Lester

    I have been looking forward to this one for a while, but I got nervous because of some not so flattering reviews. Now that I have read yours, my confidence is back up and I can’t wait to read this story!

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