Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an 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.
When Simon and Schuster approached me about Perfect Ruin by New York Times Bestselling author Lauren DeStefano, I was extremely excited! For a good year now I've been hearing people talk about the Wither series (especially during all the promotion that went on for it's third and final book) and although I have yet to read that series, Perfect Ruin makes me want to start very soon! This book reminds me of all the reasons I love dystopian so much! It has this energy fueled with secrecy and manipulation that made this world Lauren DeStefano creates excruciatingly tempting to unravel.
The first 100 pages or so of Perfect Ruin were a little on the slow side for me, but once I got past that point, there was no stopping me! The story goes like this: in a floating piece of land called Internment, people are told approaching the edge will result in madness and consequences. Seeing as Morgan's now blind older brother Lex was one of the people who went too close to the edge, Morgan tries desperately to disregard her curiosity of what lies below them--- the unreachable ground that has always been a mystery to her and everyone else in Internment. Suddenly, a murder occurs that causes Morgan to start realizing that the perfect facade the government puts on isn't so perfect after all, and the only escape is finding a way to the ground. Little does Morgan know that she isn't the only one with rebellion on her mind, in fact, those closest to her have secrets of their own.
Looking back, what I like most about Perfect Ruin would definitely be the many characters involved in the story. There are multiple characters and relationships (both romantic and not) that add a certain amount of intricacy to the novel. In the middle of all these character is Morgan, the female lead of Perfect Ruin, who I thought had a little bit of recklessness to her while still remaining rational enough to make smart decisions. Her closeness with her family and friends, especially her best friend Pen, all had history to them that made you attach yourself to all of the people in her life. The same is true for all of the other many characters of Perfect Ruin, whether they be primary or secondary ones. The depth in all of them makes you want to discover all of their history and hidden secrets that have molded some of them into tortured souls with dark pasts.
Of course, how can a romantic like me not write a review without mentioning the romantic elements?! The romantic story line between Morgan and her betrothed, Basil, is in no way what fuels the storyline in Perfect Ruin, but it does provide those sweet, tender moments in times of darkness and victory. Dystopian novels are naturally just great settings for love stories to take place because they provide a sense of hope in otherwise hopeless situations (which in Perfect Ruin, is the fact the government is trying kill them). In this particular relationship between Morgan and Basil, they not only give each other that love and hope, but they also support each other and allow for one another to find an emotional release. I loved the two of them together-- and loved it even more to see that although they are betrothed (matched by the government) it's clear they'd be with one another even if they weren't. In addition to Morgan and Basil, there are also some other couples within Perfect Ruin that through small glimpses, allow us to see the full effects this floating, government dominated world has had on other's lives.
Overall, Perfect Ruin has made it's way onto my list of dystopian recommendations! The setting of the world is unique and the intricate characters and secrecy give Perfect Ruin it's own distinguishable flare. The story ends at a place that although I predicted, still provides those bookworm chills that will have you anticipating the unknowns that come along with book two. Are you excited to read Perfect Ruin? What are your thoughts on dystopian novels in general? Be sure to let me know in the comments below! Keep Reading!
Your Y.A. Bookworm,