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Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Thoughts: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

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 copy received from Simon and Schuster Canada

Back when I first started to blog seriously Lauren DeStefano's debut Wither was one of the first dystopian/post apocalyptic novels I had ever read that I actually liked. I remember being blown away by her writing and the story she gave me. As I read The Chemical Garden Trilogy I continued to be blown away by Destefano's writing and her talent for weaving words together in this incredibly poetic way. It was magical.

Upon finishing Sever (book three in the Chemical Gardens Trilogy) I was happy that there was already plans for more from DeStefano. I couldn't imagine seeing nothing else from her. I didn't know a lot about what to expect from this new series, which I had been described a utopian society in a city floating on a rock in the sky. Sounded good to me. So I went into reading Perfect Ruin knowing very little and and not expecting a lot. I did see a few tweets here and there from fellow bloggers who were having a hard time getting into the story. This left me feeling a wee bit nervous.

Perfect Ruin is the first book in three part trilogy (I think). It introduces us to Morgan a sixteen year old girl whose family has been through some trials. Her older brother Lex is a jumper. What this means essentially is that he tried to jump from Internment (the floating city) to get to the ground, this is a big faux pas. As it often leaves those who survive mentally incompetent. This is unacceptable because Internment is a city that is very tightly run. Residents of the city marry who they are told to marry, they have children when they are told to have children, they take medication when they are told to. Everything is all very regulated. This is to ensure that nothing goes array in the city. So when a girl is found murdered, there is chaos. Homicide isn't something that that happens on Internment and it sends everyone into a frenzy. Including Morgan who is beginning to question the way things are on Internment and is feeling the pull of the edge herself.

Perfect Ruin (to me) was a little reminiscent of Matched by Ally Condie (which was the only book I read in that trilogy). In that everything in the city was very regulated and there was a way everything was to be done. Even the way I saw the city in both books was the same. I am in no way comparing this story to Matched because I think they are very different. However their societies are similar. If you didn't like Matched still give Perfect Ruin a go, because it is very good.

As mentioned earlier, some of the earlier reviews on this book has said that not a lot happens in Perfect Ruin, and that the beginning is pretty slow. I agree and disagree. It is true that not a lot happens in the beginning, but what's DeStefano is doing is setting the stage. She's showing you what life on Internment is all about. What Internment itself is all about. These are all important details. I loved that by the end of the book I felt like I knew the workings of the city and those who lived there.

What I really loved about Perfect Ruin were the characters. I thought Morgan is a fantastic protagonist. She is a curious, loyal and brave individual. Her brother Lex is also one of my favourite characters. He's suffering from his jump which left him blind and he is a wounded soul who wants something more from his life. According to the powers that be on Interment this makes him erratic and mentally unstable. But Lex is intelligent and he is also incredibly loyal. I loved the relationship that he has with Morgan. It's something special. Lex is often off in his own world, but there are times when you see how truly he cares for his sister, and it's beautiful. Basil, Morgan's betrothed is also a pretty interesting character, I have a feeling we'll be seeing some interesting things from him in the future. I also liked how well he and Morgan interacted. They respect one another and that's important for any relationship. While Pen, Morgan's best friend was one of the few characters who didn't stand out for me. I feel like she's going to surprise us and be a monumental figure in future books. I'm curious about her.

Overall, I really liked Perfect Ruin and I was in my happy place the whole time I was reading it. It's beautifully written and the characters are well developed and three dimensional. If you are going to read this book, read it for the characters alone.You will not be sorry. Lauren DeStefano know's what she's doing.

~Happy Reading Everyone.


  1. The characters and writing sounds great. I can't wait to read this one

  2. I love Lauren DeStefano's writing, too. But I was kind of hoping we'd see something different from her rather than another dystopian. It does sound a bit like Matched from your description, but then again, I think all dystopians tend to run into each other at some point. I'm okay with slow pacing as long as it's because the world building is getting a good base and it's setting the stage, as you say. And that's why I responded so well to Wither, as well. It was only in the later books that I wished the pacing could've been faster. But yes, this sounds promising! Thanks for the great review - very helpful!

  3. I haven't read anything by DeStefano...gotta get on that!


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