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

Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1)
by Lauren DeStefano
Summary: 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.

Release Date: October 1, 2013

Genre: YA Fantasy  Add to Goodreads  

Where to Buy: Pre-Order at Barnes and Noble . Amazon . Simon and Schuster . Bookish . Books-A-Million . Indie Bound

Source: I received a paperback ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Perfect Ruin was absolutely and completely enchanting. I loved it! It is the first book I’ve read written by Lauren DeStefano, so I can’t compare it to The Chemical Garden Trilogy, but I can’t imagine anyone being remotely disappointed. The book was fantastic, unpredictable, and intelligent with a unique premise that was executed brilliantly. Perfect Ruin is THE book I would choose to hand someone who doesn’t typically read YA, someone who thinks YA is all love triangles and hormones, or someone who doesn’t think YA can be intellectually stimulating.

The world was so incredible and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I’m so used to a dystopian setting being on the earth and in the future and either severely lacking technology or majorly advanced. What I got in Perfect Ruin was a somewhat dystopian world that has no apocalypse preceding it, no futuristic time period, no sterile science fiction feel, and nothing all that stereotypical or obvious for a dystopian setting. The setting was much like our world with another history, another mythology, and was on a smaller scale. It was amazing and I wonder how on earth the author dreamed up something like it.

The characters were so delightful and well executed. I connected with Morgan immediately and admired her curiosity and wonder. Pen, her best friend, was quirky, lovable, and a bit aggravating in the way that best friends can sometimes be. Basil was Morgan’s betrothed, the boy she was promised to marry, and her other best friend. He was her rock and anchor in many ways. I loved their relationship and how I was able to get a bit of a love story and the overall feeling of having someone there for you without the falling in love, hormonal, girl meets boy stuff that gets old after awhile. I talk a lot about how much I like romantic sequels in which the couple is already established and I get to see them work as a team and be there for each other. That’s probably why I took to Morgan and Basil so well. They were so completely made for each other. Morgan’s family was also great. Her brother was likable, smart, and somewhat troubled due to having been a jumper, though he had a wonderful marriage to his wife, Alice. The characters I met throughout the story were surprising and multifaceted, which I enjoyed. The author really shaped them into people with hopes and motivations who couldn’t be fit into neat stereotyped boxes, especially Judas and the princess.

The most incredible things about Perfect Ruin were the themes and parallels. Each chapter was opened with a passage from an essay entitled Intangible Gods by Daphne Leander, who ended up being a character of some importance to the story. The quotes were phenomenal to begin with, but became more important and relevant as the story progressed. Her views on the world of Internment were unpopular, shocking, and sacrilegious, but wouldn’t be new ideas to people on Earth. Her ideas were part of something bigger that Morgan found herself wrapped up in throughout the book. I think the best stories in the world are ones that take the impossible and use them as ways to say something about the reality we live in and that is exactly what Perfect Ruin does. Hope, fear, death, marriage, medicine, religion, curiosity, morality, and many more issues and topics were a part of the story. I think dystopian stories always have important lessons even if they are meant to be merely entertaining novels, but Perfect Ruin wasn’t afraid to get deep and intellectual, which I admired. I was not expecting such a hard hitting novel.

The plot of Perfect Ruin kept me guessing. The novel wasn’t an in-your-face dystopia at all, which kept me on my toes. It had an enchanting and magical feel to it, perhaps because Morgan was filled with so much wonder and awe about the world. I think this book may be the one to instill a love of dystopian concepts in people. They don’t always have to be harsh and science fiction-like in order to have important elements and forward ideas. Lauren DeStefano executed a wonderful story that was an elegantly written fantasy that still hit me with the concepts I think are significant in fiction. I enjoyed Morgan’s point of view, the themes and parallels of the book, the issues it dealt with, and the adventure. I loved the feel and tone of the book quite a bit, however, I think others who are looking for a fast paced adventure may find it to be too slow for their taste. Also, people looking for a story heavily focused on romance might find the story a bit disappointing, too. It isn't a fast and action packed or swoonworthy, full of feels romantic, but it's incredible nonetheless. I thought it was full of just enough action and romance, but I always feel the need to warn people so they have the right expectations.

I cannot gush enough about Perfect Ruin. It was amazing. I can’t wait for the rest of the series. I think it’ll be a major favorite of mine. I’m in love with the author’s writing and imagination. I highly recommend the book. I also can’t wait to read The Chemical Garden Trilogy and see which one I love more!


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