Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Becky's View: Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
♦publisher: Simon & Schuster
♦release date: October 1st, 2013
♦hardcover, 356 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: The Internment Chronicles, book 1
♦source: from publisher for 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.

Review: Perfect Ruin marks the start of another exceptional series from Lauren Destefano.  This time around, she's given us something more mystical and a lot less gritty than her Wither series.  The city of Internment has it's own myths and legends, and it's ruled by its beliefs and by its seemingly respectable king.  The people revere the Sky God who legend says put them in the sky. They know that if they try to get to the ground below, there is the hefty price to pay.

Morgan leads a quiet life, going to school and spending time with her friend, Pen, and the boy she is betrothed to, Basil.  Her family life is marred by the fact that her brother, Lex, is a "Jumper", someone who got too close to the edge of Internment.  He was left blind and seemingly close to madness.  Still, Morgan is close to him and his wife, Alice.   Morgan is constantly worried about her own thoughts of the edge and fears turning out like her brother.  When a student is murdered and strange documents with the student's  unconventional, some would say traitorous, views on Internment and it's beliefs pop up around the city, Morgan begins to question her world even more.

Ok, in full disclosure, I almost didn't finish this one. I raced enthusiastically through the first 100 pages, and then somehow it lost me. I actually put it aside for awhile. Then, by chance, I ended up alone with this book and decided to pick it up again. I couldn't be happier that I did.  This story and characters dug into my brain and from then on I was completely enthralled by it through the fantastic, climactic end. 

All the characters rang so true to people living in a falsely ideal society.  I loved Basil's sturdiness and sincerity, Pen's strong, sometimes misguided belief and optimism, Thomas and his snarkiness and persistence and devotion to Pen despite being put off.  Even Morgan's parents, though they seemed kind of there, but withdrawn---you get a pretty strong inkling that there is something else going on with them.  Lex and his wife Alice have an intensity to their love that spells out just how much they've both been through.  Then there is Judas and Amy and even some great characters that drop in right near the end of the story---the whole cast is well written and all do their part to touch the reader.

The love story is beautifully done.  Morgan and Basil are betrothed through the laws of Internment, but they've grown to really love each other.  It was pure and strong and unquestioning.  I really enjoy when a love story doesn't take over the plot, but provides a constant source of support for the main character.  Basil was amazing in that way.   When the rest of Morgan's world seems to be falling to pieces and she's worried she's losing her mind, he's there to stand by her and reassure her.  And while I was worried for a while with the appearance of Judas that it was going to take an ugly turn into a love triangle, I was so grateful that it didn't go there. Thank you, Lauren Destefano!

Love this quote from just after Morgan admits to Basil that she has thoughts of the edge:
He knows that I'm not like the other girls---the normal ones---that a part of me is slipping off this floating city, and he doesn't care. He doesn't care.  

Maybe we're both beyond saving.

The ending was so exciting!  Full of suspense and uncertainty, and it has an almost whimsical "down the rabbit hole" kind of feel to it. My heart was literally pounding with anticipation!  It's definitely a cliffhanger so prepare yourselves to be left dying for book 2, as I am!

Find Lauren Destefano online:  Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase Perfect Ruin: Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound


  1. I'm reading this now, and I'm glad I read your review because I was waiting for Lauren's magic to happen and I was missing it. I'm so glad it's there:)

    1. I hope you stick with it, Stephanie! I can't pinpoint it exactly, but there was just a certain point where this story took hold of me and I couldn't put it down after that!

  2. I've read a lot of reviews that made this one sound like it was just so-so overall, so I was really glad to read your review! Now I know to stick with it since the ending sounds like it's totally worth it. I also love the idea of there being a love-interest who's already established, so there's no plot lost in that side-story of a budding relationship. I mean, I love a good romance, but sometimes that's not the point. ;) Thanks for the great review!! :)

  3. Yup, those are my favorite kinds of love stories----when the couple have some long standing history before we even meet them!

  4. Aw, YAY! I'm so glad you loved this book too :) I just thought it was amazing. <3 Sigh. I cannot wait for book two as well :)

    1. I know!! I just saw book 2 has a release date of Feb 2014?? I hope that's correct---I couldn't stand to wait a full year for it!! Glad you enjoyed it, too, Carina!

  5. I'm glad that you like it this book :)
    Sounds very promising this book:)

  6. Ok, this really sounds like and interesting book! *__*

  7. I always thought the cover for this book was so pretty! I've just never felt drawn to the book so much. But since you thought so highly of the book I might just have to change my mind and read it :D

  8. I have this book on my kindle and I can't believe I haven't started it. The synopsis sounds fantastic. Great review!

  9. Ooo...I have this on my wishlist. I'll look into getting this after I finish the first series. Thanks for the review. The story is pretty unique!