Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
(The Internment Chronicles #1)
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 356 pages
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.
I was first introduced to Lauren DeStefano's writing when I read the Chemical Garden's trilogy. Jessica reviewed that series, so I never really got a chance to gush about how much I loved it along with her writing. She just has a way of creating these worlds and scenarios that almost seem impossible. I often mention about how I would love to jump inside of an author's head and see where they get their ideas from. I definitely would love to pick her brain.
Perfect Ruin is the first book of the Internment Chronicles series. I admit that I had to look up the word internment because it's not a word that I use. It means a confinement of people. In Perfect Ruin, many years ago God decided to cast out the first humans that he created due to their behavior. He placed them on a floating rock in the sky above the clouds. Since then they have built a community of their own, with rules and regulations for their citizens to abide by. I love this book's concept. The idea of being punished for making mistakes, cast away to the clouds, and separated from the rest of humanity. It would give a new perspective on life, and how you live it. Especially since on Internment, they are well aware that there are others below them. The edge of Internment taunts them with the other world being so close, yet so far away.
I must say that I immediately took to Morgan when I started reading. She lives in a world where it's many years after Internment was created. Who you marry is decided before your birth, and the rules of Internment are just embedded in her. She's curious about the edge, but up until a certain point she's lived in a safe bubble. She actually likes Basil, the boy who she is betrothed to. The innocence of Basil and Morgan is captured beautifully. You can't help but love them as you watch them grow. Watching them reminds me of your first love with new feelings and confusing thoughts. It's very well written. I adore the two of them together. For some reason their sheltered life and naivety doesn't bother me. I adore it. It makes me want to go back to youth when you trusted your parents every word. Not a care for your surroundings.
I really enjoyed the support characters of this book as well, especially Pen. Everyone should have a friend like Pen. Someone who will stick by you through thick and thin. And I wish I had a sister in law like Alice. Alice is just so loving and supportive. Her patience with Morgan's brother Lex is truly admirable. In fact, there is just so many undertones of love in this novel that's just hard to miss. I think that's one of the reasons why I enjoyed it so much.
As the story really starts to unfold where secrets start to be revealed, and Morgan learns that things aren't always what they seem. The readers are thrust into a whirlwind of events. And I just couldn't put the book down, once they were set in motion. This book has an ending that makes you scream because you just don't want it to end at that moment. But it's actually a pretty good segue into the next book, and I definitely can't wait for it.