Review: Perfect Ruin

September 30, 2013 book review 8 ★★★★★

I received this book for free from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Perfect RuinPerfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
Series: Internment Chronicles #1
Published by Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Pages: 356
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Genres: Legends, Myths, Fables, Other, Science Fiction, Utopian, Young Adult

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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy: On the floating city of Internment, you can be anything you dream. Unless you approach the edge. Children’s Literature says “shades of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984 inspire DeStefano’s sci-fi/murder mystery page-turner.”Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close to the edge of Internment, the floating city and her home, can lead to madness. Even though her older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him.

There’s too much for her on Internment: her parents, best friend Pen, and her betrothed, Basil. Her life is ordinary and safe, even if she sometimes does wonder about the ground and why it’s forbidden. 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 once she meets Judas. Betrothed to the victim, Judas is being blamed for the murder, 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 whom she will lose.

I have been fangirling over PERFECT RUIN since before I even got my hands on an ARC. All I’ve wanted for months on end was to read this awesome sounding new book from Lauren DeStefano. I loved the Chemical Garden Trilogy and just knew that I would love this new series. I mean, let’s be honest, how more original can you get than a floating city utopia? The summary intrigued me, the cover is absolutely stunning, and Lauren’s tweets about PERFECT RUIN for months had me dying to know what Internment is really like. I have to say, this book definitely lived up to my very high expectations!

Morgan Stockhour has a more curious mind than a cat. She lives on Internment, the floating city in the sky, but daydreams about what it’s like on the ground. On Internment, it’s impossible to leave and any thoughts about the ground can deem you irrational. But this perfect city may not be as perfect as it seems. The death of one of Morgan’s classmates shakes the city and makes Morgan question everything about her home even more.

One of my favorite things about all of DeStefano’s writing is her characterizations. She crafts such interesting, well-developed characters. I loved Morgan’s curiosity. She loves her home but is an explorer and has a great imagination. She’s extremely protective of her family and doesn’t want to do or say anything to hurt them, despite her natural attraction to the edge. She’s also quite loyal. She and her betrothed, Basil, have such a wonderful relationship. You wouldn’t think that having arranged marriages would work, but it certainly does for them. They are perfect for each and the sense of pride and love between the two of them is palpable. They are wise beyond their years, that is for sure. One of my other favorite characters is Morgan’s best friend, Pen. She is the complete opposite of Morgan in that she couldn’t imagine anywhere but Internment. She knows the history book by heart and believes in everyone and everything on that city. She’s innocent, in a way. But she’s also not so innocent. She has a tendency to think or say things that are a bit rash. She’s by no means perfect but you can’t help but love her anyway. I also loved Amy, Daphne’s (the murdered girl) younger sister. I can’t go into detail about her without spoiling something. She’s young but has incredible insight, a past that has made her the way she is now. You’ll really like her too!

This story was interesting, unique, and had my attention throughout the entire thing. The setting was very easy to visualize, which I love! It’s mystifying and makes you want to go outside and see if it actually exists. Because this is the first book in the series, PERFECT RUIN turned out to be more of a world building, character development type book. But there is some major plot building as well. There’s the mystery behind the murder, Morgan’s gradual distrust of the city and an increase in her curiosity, and then there’s a huge plot twist that changes the entire course of the novel. I wish I could say more but I don’t want to ruin it. Prepare yourselves for page 222. That’s when everything changes, it’s heart-wrenching. I tweeted that it’s never kittens and rainbows in Lauren DeStefano’s books. It’s true! When things seem like they are finally going well, something bad happens and everything changes. This book is full of twists and turns that will keep you glued to your seat.

One of the best things I found about PERFECT RUIN is that it brings up a lot of hot button topics. In this utopia, there are planned marriages. You are betrothed to the opposite sex. If you have feelings for the same sex, you have to go through an attraction class to correct you. If you have a baby out of turn, the baby must be aborted. Everyone forcibly dies at the same age. Medicines are given to almost everyone for one reason or another and you must report that you took them. All very serious issues that make you wonder if this utopia really is one. I love that DeStefano wasn’t afraid to put these things in here to make you, the reader, question what is right or wrong. It added a completely new dimension to this otherwise already fascinating and wonderful read.

If you’re a fan of Destefano’s previous novels, you’re going to love PERFECT RUIN. If you haven’t read anything from her before, I highly suggest you go out and buy this book when it comes out on October 1st! It’s fresh, intriguing, thrilling, and overall just a phenomenal book. You’ll be captivated by the premise of a perfect floating city. You’ll be rocked by the implications of a murder. You’ll come to love Morgan and her group of friends and family. You’ll be heart broken but then will be presented with an opportunity of hope. The ending was heart pounding and will leave you dying for the next installment!

5 Thought Clouds!
Favorite Quote:

I’ve known you all your life, and you’ve always tried to hide the parts of yourself that you think are wrong. But nothing is wrong with you.” –Basil, page 81*

*quote taken from the ARC version of PERFECT RUIN



8 Responses to “Review: Perfect Ruin”

    • Christine P

      It really was so neat to be able to visualize the city. And the premise was super interesting and set up for a great new series. I hope you get a chance to read it soon and like it!

    • Christine P

      I was so worried I put it on too high a pedestal but it definitely didn’t disappoint. I do wish there had been a bit more action but I know that’s being saved for the next book. I just don’t think I can wait until 2015 for the next one. That’s almost 2 years away!

    • Christine P

      If you liked TCG trilogy, you’ll really like this one! It was completely different from those books but it still was completely true to DeStefano’s writing style.

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