October 4, 2013

REVIEW: Perfect Ruin (Internment Chronicles #1)

Perfect Ruin (Internment Chronicles #1), by Lauren DeStefano
Published October 1, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format: ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: young adult fantasy/dystopian
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) 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.

Okay, I loooooved Perfect Ruin. I mean, it's about a city in the freaking sky! How is it that this hasn't been done before? Because, that idea is sheer brilliance. And, Lauren DeStefano executes it beautifully. 

Morgan lives on Internment, a city on a hunk of ground floating in the sky. As one would expect from an area the size of a postage stamp, everyone's lives - including, births, marriages and deaths - are very prescribed. It was thought that everyone was happy with things the way they were. Then, a young girl is murdered, which, like, NEVER happens. And, all of a sudden, the thought of escaping to the ground below becomes a thought more frequently occupying not only Morgan's mind. Which is akin to treason. 

This is the first book I've ever read by Lauren DeStefano, and I'm now left wondering why that is. Her writing is so beautiful. The way she describes this floating city and the people who live in it is like poetry. 
"Don't focus on the edge, I tell myself. Stay inside the tracks. Stay in this little place where awful things happen, but where beauty hides in beams of sunlight, in the green grass and the gentle lapping of the lake forming and destroying watery shapes. Ignore the men in uniforms that stand at length, sullying the image. They'll be gone soon. Everything will go back to normal."
Morgan is the girl who tries to be good and conform to her society's standards, but just can't seem to stop imagining what more looks like. Her brother tried to jump over the edge once and was rendered blind because of it. He's sort of become her hero, even though she won't admit it. She's been betrothed to Basil since birth, and as it turns out, she actually doesn't mind. They really do love each other and are so freaking adorable together. 

Morgan starts asking the questions no one else wants to ask, and because of it, the perfect society that has been carefully constructed by the king and the king before him and before him starts to crumble. It goes to prove that sometimes just one or two people - even teenagers - can start a revolution. 

The supporting characters are amazingly drawn. Basil is absolutely wonderful - he's real deal book boyfriend material. He is unwaveringly supportive of Morgan and their commitment to each other. And that makes her love him all the more. 

Pen, the BFF, is quirky and cute. Her betrothed Thomas reminds me of Toraf from the Of Poseidon series by Anna Banks - he is utterly devoted to Pen, and she acts like she can't stand him, yet you know she loves him as much as he does her. 

Then, there's Judas and Amy, the betrothed and sister of the murdered girl. They're angry and sad and totally misunderstood. And, finally, Lex and Alice, Morgan's brother and sister-in-law - they're probably my favorites. Lex was changed after his attempt to jump over the edge, and now he broods and is anti-social and a little mean. Yet, he loves his little sister and his wife so much, he's willing to do whatever it takes to make them safe.

Perfect Ruin is told from Morgan's POV. She really is the main focus of the story, so that makes sense. There is no cliffhanger, but the ending is left WIDE open for the story to continue in the next book. I absolutely cannot wait to see what happens. It's going to be really good. 

1 comment:

Anna said...

This sounds really good! I'm going to have to add it to my to-read list. I've been on a dystopian kick lately, so this is great.