Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release: 3rd October 2013
Genre: Dystopian, Mystery, Thriller, YA
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
"On the floating city of Internment, you can be anything you dream. Unless you approach the edge.
Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close to the edge of Internment, the floating city in the clouds where she lives, can lead to madness. Even though her older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. If she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in her best friend, Pen, and in Basil, the boy she’s engaged to marry.
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 once she meets Judas. Betrothed to the victim, he is the boy being blamed for the murder, 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 whom she will lose."
Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy is one of my favourite series so I was looking forward to this new book from her to begin with and then when I found out what Perfect Ruin was actually about I literally couldn’t wait to read it and started it as soon as my copy arrived. I was drawn into the story straight away – Lauren’s world building is flawless and her words paint such a vivid picture that you can’t help getting sucked in. Perfect Ruin is a mystery driven dystopian novel that has similarities to books like Delirium, Matched, Across the Universe and Divergent but is mostly something completely new and exciting.
The book is about a city in the sky that has a protective force around it stopping anything from getting in and anyone from getting out. Small, claustrophobic and alone in the sky it’s important that Internment thrives and so couples are betrothed from birth, have a waiting list to reproduce and are scheduled to die at a certain age to stop overpopulation. Life on Internment is controlled but fair - you can be whoever you want to be and everything is shared out evenly. The lack of need along with the fact that you have nowhere to run means that crime on Internment is a very rare thing and so the whole society is shocked when a teenage girl is found murdered - her number one suspect being her betrothed. Soon a series of crimes begin and our protagonist Morgan starts to question the running of her home in the sky and whether escaping to the ground is as impossible as the King would have them believe.
I loved, loved, loved this new world that Lauren has created! Her descriptions of living amongst the clouds and the stars sounded so beautiful and majestic yet also claustrophobic and limited. Life on Internment is brutal but in a more subtle, discreet way than the world of The Chemical Garden series. Internment is creative and fully developed as a world but it doesn’t give up all of its secrets at once. You’re always given just enough information to understand what’s going on and more is revealed with each chapter right until the very end. Even after finishing this book I’m still left curious about this land in the sky and I suspect that Lauren has a lot more to give us in future books.
I enjoyed getting to know every single character. No matter how small their part each character was interesting and developed. My favourites were Morgan’s brother Lex and his wife Alice who I just wanted to wrap up in a big hug they had been through so much! Strangely enough I also really liked Celeste who I’m not sure if I’m supposed to like but I do anyway. She’s a curious and interesting character that’s for sure! I also really liked Daphne (the murdered girl) who although we never actually meet in this book has a strong presence throughout the novel thanks to the snippets from her essay at the beginning of each chapter.
Overall Perfect Ruin was a brilliant first book to set up the series and kept me up late at night turning the pages. I feel like this series has great potential especially after that cliff-hanger ending that hints that a whole other exciting part of this world is going to be uncovered in book two. In many ways it feels like this story is only just beginning and I can’t wait to find out more about this enthralling world in the sequel.