Monday, September 30, 2013
Book Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Series: The Internment Chronicles, #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.
What an unusual book. Unusual in a good way though! I really wonder what does on in DeStefano's head on a regular basis, considering The Chemical Garden trilogy and now this trilogy.
I was a little confused at first, I wasn't sure if we were on Internment yet or if that was later on in the book but then I figured it out and it all made sense. (I was on vacation in the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee when I started Perfect Ruin, so my head was literally in the clouds!)
As per Lauren DeStefanos previous work, we are first drawn to the cover. Simple but elegant with one women as the focus and then a few different sketches/pictures/details. From first glance, you're drawn to the book, and I hope that the cover follows the same theme. There is nothing that turns a reader off more than changing the cover art halfway through a series.
Internment is a world up in the sky. People live on it, they are born out of a queue, paired with their betrothal, live life then die at an age that the King has deemed fit, their ashes are released to the sky god and everything and everyone is okay with this. That's life on Internment.Wrong doings and bad situations are rare. Inhabitants of Internment don't get too close to the edge because they see the damage caused by this. Life is happy and people don't ask questions until a young girls body is found murdered and all of a sudden life on Internment isn't what it appears.
Morgan is curious and bored, she knows there is more to life and the ground below intrigues her. But she can't tell anyone for fear it will mark her as irrational. She has a lot riding on her shoulders as it is. But when the young girls murdered body is discovered, Morgan is adamant on finding answers and in turn will help unlikely foes, do things she knows are wrong and keep secrets from those whom she loves the most. DeStefano has gone and done it again, she has created this unbelievable world, but makes it so easy to believe. The stars, the train, the bugs all of it is painted so clear in the readers head. The characters in Perfect Ruin are written with so much care and passion. I was going back and forth between who was my favourite - Pen, Basil, Lex or Alice.
Pen because of her tenacity. She was fearless and funny and so focused on the History of Internment. She is Morgans best friend and they have been through a lot together and are like sisters. Their relationship was easy and fun. Basil because of his devotion to Morgan. His kindness and strength are his best qualities. He loves Morgan not just because they are paired together but because he sees Morgan for who she really is.
Lex because of his philosophies and the fact that he's seen things throughout his life that no one thought possible. And though he is blind, he can see the truth behind so much. And Alice for her love and devotion through thick and thin. Each character playing a key role in Perfect Ruin.
I enjoyed so much about Perfect Ruin, right down to the paragraphs before each chapter and the way they all fit together and pull the whole story together. The one and only thing that really bothered me was the one specific death (I wont give anything away) and the non-reaction we get, though I'm hoping that will be addressed in Book #2. If you were a fan of The Chemical Garden series, you'll enjoy this crazy world and love reading Perfect Ruin too.