Title: Perfect Ruin
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Internment Chronicles, #1
Date(s) read: September 29 – October 2, 2013
Genre: YA dystopian
Source: Publisher (ARC)
On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 15-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.
Without a doubt, Lauren DeStefano has quite the imagination on her. When her first book, Wither, came out, I was completely smitten with the world and eager to find out more. Even though the series ended on a bit of a mediocre note for me, I still really appreciated the thought and detail DeStefano put into her work and was very excited to see what she would come up with next. And now with this first book of her new series I can say that she still has one of those imaginations that some writers would definitely be in awe of, what with this story about a floating utopia above the Earth.
I absolutely love DeStefano’s writing. She can easily pull a reader in within the first few pages with her descriptions of worlds we can only dream about. The whole idea of Internment is fascinating to me. Who wouldn’t want to live in a floating utopia in the sky? Or, really, a floating city in general. I also did really enjoy the characters — Morgan and Pen, especially, and I have a bit of a soft spot for Basil — but I felt like there was something missing from the whole story.
I’m not sure if it’s just me and maybe I’m out of the mood for dystopians, but this book really didn’t grab me as much as Wither did. Or, maybe it was a hype thing since so many readers have fallen in love with this new series and maybe I just had too high of expectations, but when I finished the story I felt kind of indifferent about it. I do want to find out more about these characters, but I didn’t finish with that pressing feeling to get the next book in my hands immediately. This might have to do with the fact that there are a LOT of questions asked throughout the story but very few answered by the end. I have full hopes that the next books in the series will answer these questions, but there’s a definite feeling of incompleteness to me to finish a story with more questions than answers.
That being said, I did enjoy my experience reading the story. Morgan was a really great character and she kind of reminded me of the main character in Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands And Teeth, with that hope that there is something that exists beyond the borders of the world she knows. I also really enjoyed her brother Lex (though I will admit, it took me about 3/4 of the novel to realize he was blind) and Alice was such a treat, even though we don’t get a lot of her.
There is one little bit of the story that irked me that I can’t really talk about without spoiling things, but I’m not really sure what it is about authors these days — YA authors, especially — who want to please everyone. I’m not sure how I can talk about this without talking about it, but I will say this: it’s okay to be cruel. Not everyone has to be happy. (And if you don’t know what part I’m talking about, feel free to send me an email and ask. This was a part that really, really made me upset at the YA genre in general.)
There are some bad things going on in Internment, the so-called utopian society, and there are answers that need to be given. I know that I will check out the next story in the series and I hope that it grabs me just a bit more than this one. Like I said, DeStefano has quite the mind on her and it can only get better as she continues to write.