Author: Lauren DeStefano
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Fantasy
Series: The Internment Chronicles #1
Hardcover, 356 pages
Publication: October 1, 2013 by Simon & Schuster BFYR
Source: I recieved an Arc from the publicist in exchange for a honest review.
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.
This is my first time reading a book by Ms. DeStefano. I’ve heard about her Chemical Garden Trilogy for awhile now, but haven’t read it yet (I have Wither in my TBR pile). After reading Perfect Ruin, I can see why her books are so popular. DeStefano’s writing is entrancing and the words just flow seamlessly that I was sucked in from the first page. In Perfect Ruin readers are introduced to 16-year-old Morgan who lives on a floating island in the sky. Morgan is pretty content with the ways of Internment, she abides by the rules and belief that is ingrained in everyone since birth but slowly she begins to question the rules and yearns to see what else is beyond the edge of Internment. Everything that Morgan thought she knew about Internment gets shaken when a girl she knows gets murdered.
DeStefano’s world is quite unique, and very easy to understand. To ensure that no one will ever be alone, people are paired since birth and at the age of 19 they’ll wed. To control the population on Internment, once a couple wed, they have to file paperwork and enter the queue to get the ‘o-k’ to have kids. The biggest rule of all is to not be curious and go to the edge of internment or to even speak about leaving for ground. The pacing of the story was constant throughout the entire book. There were a couple of key scenes but nothing too crazy or big. I usually like an action driven plot, but DeStefano was still able to make things work well…she definitely has a way with words to keep you engage the whole way through.
In most of the dystopians I read, the heroine is always a strong individual, a leader you can say but it wasn’t the case with Morgan. Don’t get me wrong I like Morgan; it’s just that for the most of the book she is trying to figure out the mystery behind a classmate’s murder. Morgan questions the rules and beliefs of Internment but that’s just it…she voices it but doesn’t do anything else about it. She follows the rules and rationalizes everything she does, usually. There were times where she didn’t and she found herself in a bad situation that not only affected her but also her friends/family. The secondary characters were all okay, none of them really stood out except for Morgan’s best friend Pen. Pen loves Internment, and doesn’t question how things are but is still an outgoing-outspoken young lady and a really good friend.
There is a little romance that takes a backseat to the story between Morgan and her betrothed Basil (love the name). A lot of reviewers gushed about how adorable/sweet their relationship is and for the most part they do like each other regardless of it being an arranged marriage but I was meh- about it. Basil is sweet to Morgan but I think he takes the whole betrothed/protector title a bit overboard. It seemed like nothing in his life is important besides her or everything he does do revolves around Morgan, he literally lives and breathes Morgan. I mean dude, get a hobby. I just found his ‘love’ for Morgan a little smothering…not that Morgan mined.
All in all, Perfect Ruin was a great introduction to the Internment series. There is certainly still a lot of questions regarding the whole makeup of Internment but on the bright side the; mystery surrounding the girl’s death is revealed toward the end and readers are left with an interesting turn of events cliff-hanger. What I enjoyed most about this book was the writing, and it is probably what sticks out most for me in the already saturated dystopian genre. I am curious to see where DeStefano takes the story next, especially with that surprise ending. If you love dystopians, then you’ll want to check this new series out.