Book Review: Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Author: Lauren Destefano

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Release date: October 1, 2013

Rating: ★★★★★

Purchase from Amazon | Barnes & Noble

SYNOPSIS

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.

BE WARY BOOKISH FIENDS. SPOILERS MAY LIE AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

An ARC was provided from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Lauren Destefano immediately pulls the reader into this world in the sky she intricately crafted.

I was completely shocked and giddy to have found Perfect Ruin waiting for me when I came home from VidCon in August. I didn’t expect to have it, much less be able to read it before the release date. It was, without a doubt, one of the most inventive dystopians I have read this year. Lauren Destefano immediately pulls the reader into this world in the sky she intricately crafted. It’s devastatingly beautiful.

characters:

The story is told from sixteen-year-old Morgan Stockhour. Morgan is your average Internment girl. At least, from the outside that is what it seems. Her family is inner turmoil. Her mother is docile, while her brother Lex is a former Jumper. He suffers from restlessness and frantically writes. From the very beginning, Morgan is unknowingly rebellion. It would be a tragedy to be named irrational. But that is what she is. She often wonders what is on the ground and the possibility of something else existing beyond their world in the sky.

I really liked Morgan from the beginning. Her voice was authentic and I found myself easily sharing her wildest daydreams. Everyone wonders what truly is out there, what is true, what is real. I liked that DeStefano was true to these aspects of life. Morgan was the epitome of wonder and question throughout the novel and slowly she begins to disentangle herself from the belief that is shared on Internment.

Other mentionable characters are Lex, who is a recovering Jumper and is disabled. When he jumped off the edge of Internment he suffered permanent damage. Then there is Alice, who is sweet and caring towards her husband Lex. There is also Pen, Morgan’s best friend and Basil, Morgan’s betrothed which by the way I absolutely loved! 

Other characters in the story like Judas, Amy, ect. were also integral to the story in ways that perfectly built the story and Morgan’s character development. And that, my dear readers, is what I love about secondary characters!

world-building:

The world itself is based off of this excerpt:

The first humans were especially ungrateful. After the birth of the sun and the moon, they asked for the stars. After the crops rose from the ground, they asked for beasts to fill the fields. After some time, the god of the ground, weary of their demands, thought it best to destroy them and begin again with humbler beings. So it goes that the god of the sky thought the first humans too clever to waste, and he agreed to keep them in the sky with the promise that they would never again interfere with the ground.

This reminded me of a story we read in English 10th grade. About how the first humans were made of clay. The foundation of internment is faith-based, as in, a god was the one to have placed their city in the sky. What else would explain their floating city? If the god in the sky did not place the city there then who/what did? Of course, these are the questions that Morgan churns in her mind.

Aside from the history of Internment, there is the incorporation of a King and rules that would be considered archaic. The people of Internment are matched before birth to their betrothals, not to mention that a birth itself is planned years in advance. There is also a specific age where they die.

It’s very different and very controlled. It’s also inventive and fresh. It makes the story exciting!

romance:

The romance was oh-so-sweet between Morgan and Basil. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the betrothal aspect in this story, but it works. It works in a way that doesn’t make me hate it. I loved how Basil was loyal to Morgan and how he’d stay with her no matter what. It didn’t matter if she was deemed irrational or if she decided to venture out to the edge. He would stand beside her in everything. That went beyond what it meant to be betrothed to someone. He honestly loves Morgan and in return, she loves him.

I also really love the dynamic relationships between Alice and Lex and Pen and Thomas. We got to see the difference between each relationship and how it wasn’t all rainbows and sugar canes. The difference was obvious, but it also worked. And that, to me, was real and plausible.

Lastly, I liked that the romance wasn’t the direct focus in the story. That did wonders to how incredibly devolved and executed the relationships were.

writing style:

Lauren Destefano’s writing is brilliant. I loved the easiness and metaphors throughout the story. The writing is engaging and forthright. I loved how easily immersed I became in the book. Once I was held captive, I didn’t want to be let go.

 

I also really loved how every chapter began with a snippet of an essay written by Daphne Leander. She was a sixteen-year-old girl who wrote about her questions and beliefs. This made the story concrete and I loved that Destefano incorporated this into the story, making it slowly progress with each chapter.

Lastly, my absolute favorite line from the novel is:

I leave her to her ascent for the stars.

I thought that was beautiful and in my opinion, wonderfully incorporates a major theme of the novel.

finale:

The ending had me like this:

I desperately need the sequel, which is too much to demand, I know, seeing as it hasn’t even been released yet! But you guys don’t understand….it just ends.

JUST

ENDS.

LIKE.

WHAT.

Lauren DeStefano is evil.

I honestly can’t wait to see what adventure awaits Morgan and her friends in the next installment. It’s too much of a spoiler to talk about what happens, but it’s GOOD.

GOOD, I TELL YOU.

I highly recommend this new series from Lauren Destefano. It doesn’t disappoint whatsoever. If you’re looking for a good dystopian find then this is a book for you.

Emma

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5 Comments

  1. I absolutely LOVED this book! I could not put it down. Yup, I loved it that much. When it showed up at my door I squeed and danced about. Hubby thought I was nuts. I love how Lauren shapes her characters. And the world she builds is totally unique. A cross between sic-fi and maybe some dystopian at some point, we shall see! I can’t wait for the next book!

    Reply
    • I completely agree with you! I practically squealed too when I opened up the package! I was shocked that I had even received a copy! I need the sequel in my hands like….NOW.

      Reply
  2. I had to skip parts of this to avoid spoilers, but SO glad to hear you liked it. I pre-ordered the paperback, so I have to wait until the end of the month to read it. :-/ The things I do for my book neuroses.

    Reply
    • I’m surprised that they have the paperback so early! I hope that you enjoy it just as much as I did, Jess! 🙂

      I have to be careful of spoilers. But I just can’t help myself sometimes :/

      Reply
      • I was too, which is why I decided to wait it out!

        And I like that you rate your reviews *mild spoilers* when you have them. I’m able to skim in a way where I get the gist and don’t ruin stuff.

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