Friday, September 27, 2013

Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

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I received this book for free from Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefanoPerfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Internment Chronicles #1
Published by Simon & Schuster BfYR on October 1st 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, YA
Source: Simon & Schuster Canada
Buy on Amazon

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 β€” betrothed to the victim β€” but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find β€” or who she will lose.

Perfect Ruin has a fantastic concept with the same easy flowing writing from DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series. Constrained on this island the size of a fist, we’re taken into the life of Morgan who’s been starting to wonder what’s over the edge. The one thing that is forbidden to all residents of this floating city. Oh did I forget to mention that part? Yes, the city is floating somewhere above earth. This lone city. With people. Living there!

Not only is this place the size of a cracker, but now people are being found dead. Murdered. And not nicely either – if there is such a thing. Not only do I love the fitting name – Perfect Ruin – but this story had me captivated from the get go. It has a gripping claustrophobic feel to it all, though the best part is the unknown. My imagination was on overdrive! Everything about this this confined life is so mesmerizing in an almost shocking way, and you’re absolutely craving to know what the heck this place is really about. There is definitely more to it than the “a God created it all” explanation from their history books. Since it’s told in Morgan’s perspective we can’t know more than she does, however – which is not much. We quickly learn that anyone who gets too close to the edge goes mad – as in mentally. Also, if anyone actually jumps they just get thrown right back on by some force of nature (or something)…usually dead. We’re never made entirely sure of anything but we’re told all of these compelling rid-bits that make us want to plow right through. The questions running rampant in my head kept me completely engrossed. Eventually… this made me cry, because we get no answers AT ALL. *throws book in toilet* It ends on an exciting cliffhanger (which I’m a sucker for) that promises tons of answers in the sequel, but as for this first installment we’re left hanging on every angle. If only it had been a bit longer, or the middle cut shorter, it would have made room for just enough progression. I feel like this was more of an introduction.

With that said, this book focuses on developing the world in an internal sense. We learn plenty about the inner workings of this floating rice cake. How it’s governed, how they live and get schooled, how population is controlled and such. The city was very much in the foreground of the novel. By the end I could clearly picture every corner of it – physically and governmentally. It’s intricately designed. I guess it would be reminiscent of how she built the world in her other series. She meticulously crafted the house and its vibe in Wither before heading into the real world in the following books. Ample attention is also given to her characters. When I turned the last page I knew Morgan inside and out. How she thinks, what she believes in, what she questions, her strengths and flaws. The secondary characters, however, could be a hit or miss for me. I loved her brother, her best friend, and Amy. Their personalities are addictive. It’s the love interest, Basil, that I found less interesting. He’s a complete mystery to me, still. Judas is more or less the same, but he seems to have better potential with a more vibrant personality. Although, his presence feels like the works of a love triangle…

From page 1 I was dying to know more about this immensely intriguing world, and after the last page, my curiosity was annoyingly left to its own desperate devices. That aside, Perfect Ruin is an engaging read with an exciting concept and a lot of promise!


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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22 Responses to “Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano”

  1. Savannah

    I think I saw another book with the cover of an floating island on it. I like the idea of the world that she has created. I sort of broke-up with the Chemical series cause I felt like the second book was blah. And I didn’t have the heart to pick up the last book. But, I might go back and pick it up cause I want to know how it ended. And I may pick up this one as well. Since the world building has captured my interest.

  2. Pili

    I’m so so so excited for this one and your review made me even more excited! I get so swept up on Lauren’s descriptions!

    Great review, Giselle!

  3. JennRenee

    Great review. I loved checmical garden series and I am hoping to get the same enjoyement out of this series. I have a hard time with very detailed books so I am hoping my mind can stay focused. It sounds so intriguing though.

    • Giselle

      I don’t think you’ll have a problem. It’s not overly detailed, it’s just well explained as far as inside the city itself. Like we get to learn how everything works in terms of how they live, how they travel, how their future is planned and how the population is controlled etc. Nothing is very complicated or overwhelming at all.

  4. Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader

    I wasn’t the biggest fan of Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, so I was admittedly a little dubious when I heard about the first novel in her new series. That said, I couldn’t help but grow increasingly intrigued as I heard you described it! A small, isolated island that floats above the Earth? A mysterious series of murders? Yes, please! While I’m very excited to delve into this new series, given what you mentioned about a lack of answers and a painful cliffhanger, I think I’ll wait until we’re a little closer until the release of the second novel before beginning it πŸ˜‰

  5. ShootingStarsMag

    haha I love all your metaphors for the size of the island. LOVE the title of this one too. It seems like an interesting book, and while I’m glad you learn a lot about the island, it’s a bummer you don’t get any of the bigger questions answered.

  6. Mel@thedailyprophecy

    I’m now wrapping up the chemical wither series and I can’t wait to read another work. The sound of the world-building is great. I love it when authors spend a lot of time on crafting a detailed world πŸ™‚

  7. Jack

    I actually really think I’d like this. I’ve had my eye on it for a while, s I’m hoping I’ll get an ARC to see what I think. Glad it was a promising read. Great review, as always my royal bloggy queen! πŸ˜‰

  8. Jackie

    Lovely review! I loved Lauren’s The Chemical Garden series but I think I’ll put this one on the back burner for a bit πŸ˜€
    Happy reading

  9. Amy @ Book Loving Mom

    This sounds really good. I love a good cliffhanger!! (I swear we are like the only ones) It’s too bad that it only seems like an introduction, but I’m glad that it took the time with world building. I think I would be frustrated to get no answers, but it would have me totally pining for the next book. Well played I say. Lol!! Great review babe!!

  10. Henrietta

    Sounds like an amazing intro to a series that is suspenseful and filled with mystery! Thanks for sharing. I may wait till its sequel is out before reading the series as I don’t like not getting answers >.<

  11. Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books

    I did not read DeStefano’s Wither trilogy and I’m not sure whether that would be for me, but I have heard great things about her writing style. It sounds as though you enjoyed the writing style in this book as well. And a really intriguing concept! It sounds pretty internally-focused, which is something I do appreciate in the books I read. That’s too bad that the secondary characters didn’t seem as developed, though. Thanks for the review – I’ll have to research further into this book.

  12. ODell @ Book Twirps

    I really like her writing style, and I’ve been looking forward to this one. I enjoyed Wither and really liked Fever, though Sever was very underwhelming (for me).

    Great review, as always! πŸ™‚

  13. Danielle

    I am sooo looking forward to reading this now! Despite the cliffhanger which is always frustrating this sounds really compelling. Can’t wait! Great review Giselle!