Perfect Ruin

Perfect Ruin

Book - 2013
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Sixteen year-old Morgan Stockhour lives in Internment, a floating city utopia. But when a murder occurs, everything she knows starts to unravel.
Publisher: New York :, Simon & Schuster Children's Pub.,, [2013]
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781442480612
Branch Call Number: FIC DeSte
Characteristics: 356 pages

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l
lightningstrike
May 06, 2016

Great book, although I feel the second half of the book was a bit too fast and some things were left unexplained.

LPL_KimberlyL Jan 21, 2016

If you're a fan of dystopian books, gorgeous prose, and unique world-building, this one is perfect for you! DeStefano is one of my favorite authors--her writing is beautiful and delicate, while still remaining grounded. The worlds she creates require a little suspension of disbelief, so if you are capable of doing that, then I highly recommend you check Perfect Ruin out!

JCLChrisK Dec 04, 2015

Sheltered and naive. That's the narrator of this book. She's always lived a protected, easy life, and doesn't have much to be anxious about. Of course, she lives in a world without poverty. Where there has never been a murder in her lifetime. Where crime, accidents, and disease are minimal, and almost everyone lives happily and safely to old age. (As far as she knows, anyway.) So life is good and there's no reason to question anything.

Except that she's a human. A human teen, at that. There might be no reason to question anything, but it's human nature and impossible to avoid. Morgan worries she's an "irrational" because of her daydreaming nature that has her imagining fantastical and impossible things, wondering if there might be more to life than what she knows. She believes she's odd for having these thoughts, that surely no one else ever thinks the same. So she does her best to hide them and act like everyone else on Internment, her floating city in the sky.

But then something strange happens: the train that runs around the edge of Internment stops for the first time in Morgan's life; not only stops, it actually goes backwards. She is filled with a nervous disquiet by something so strange. Soon she learns it was because a girl her age was found murdered on the tracks, and everything changes. She never knew such a thing could happen. She never knew she would have reason to feel fear, validity to question and doubt the security of her worldview.

The murdered girl is just the start. Other equally unthinkable events follow. And secrets begin to emerge, secrets that have Morgan realizing she is not as strange or unbalanced or irrational as she imagined. Not in the least.

DeStefano does a nice job delicately handling Morgan's awakening, making her a complex and believable character. Secondary characters are treated equally well. I especially enjoyed the interpersonal relationships and the romance. Prominently communicated through character perspectives and interactions is the excellent world-building, with a history, religion, and society that shape them. The second half of the book, once everything falls apart, becomes a bit too fast and action-centric for my tastes and I'm annoyed at how steep a cliff the ending hangs over, but I enjoyed it enough that I expect I'll be reading the second one to see what happens.

A solid 3.5 stars.

l
lmatsugu
Aug 29, 2015

I loved it. This was the first book of Lauren DeStefano I've picked up. Everyone else said that this book could have been better, so I can't wait until I read more of her books.

As of this one, I was so into it. It's not a challenging book at all, but it perfect for light reading before you sleep. Careful not to read until morning!

Kereesa Jul 27, 2015

If you like DeStefano/Wither you will like Perfect Ruin. It's dystopian-lite, filled with similar characters, and DeStefano's flowery writing. I just didn't like it.

forbesrachel Jul 18, 2015

Conformity or freedom? Morgan knows that on Internment, an island floating in the sky, there is but one choice, and yet that doesn't quell the voice in her head that desires to know more. Wisely, she remains quiet about her fascination with the "ground" to all but those whom are closest, for there is more at work than originally seems. When a murder occurs, "paradise" is thrown into panic. This is a place so small that something so heinous just doesn't happen, and yet things are about to get worse. Morgan finds herself swept up by plots she knew nothing about because she senses that something is not right. Her curiosity also places her friends and betrothed in danger as well. Morgan desperately wants her home to be the idyllic place of safety she grew up believing it to be, it is only as she opens her eyes that ours are opened as well. DeStefano slowly reveals the true colours of her "utopia": being betrothed at birth, age limits, the decision makers. Things like this we automatically judge as wrong, others things have us less certain; the loyalty these boys show towards their betrothed feels false and forced, but because they say they love them we can't say for sure yet. Whether right or wrong, the system works, and some aspects of this society make an interesting case study; resources are limited, so recycling is essential, a train runs the circumference of the entire island, and everything is set in zones. Perfect Ruin is a thought-provoking dystopia. Very little actually happens, but it never feels like the slow burn one would expect it to be. The characters and their thoughts on life are more than enough to keep us engaged. The first volume of the Internment Chronicles is intriguing, and ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. You'll want to read book two, which promises to look at this world from a different angle, immediately following this one.

BCD2013 Jun 12, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
Morgan was born in the floating city of Internment, but it's not until she's sixteen years old that she starts learning its secrets.

BCD2013 Jun 12, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
Morgan was born in the floating city of Internment, but it's not until she's sixteen years old that she starts learning its secrets.
- Andrea Lipinski

j
jorbenton
Feb 18, 2014

This book grabbed my attention from the synopsis until about 50 pages in. She hit pretty hard on the world building and I felt it was immensely boring until the last 150 pages or so. At that point it really picked back up and I was interested again.

On a positive note, I LOVED the relationship between Morgan and Basil. (Even if the actual character development was lacking.) The idea of perfectly betrothed couples growing up together is just too adorable.

While overall I was disappointed with this book, I will be continuing with the series this fall. I am hoping that *spoiler* with Internment left behind we can really move along with the story and character development!

m
mangocats026
Feb 08, 2014

I'm a big Lauren DeStefano fan. The Chemical Garden series was so...twisted and amazing. Perfect Ruin didn't disappoint, but I suppose it could've been better.

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lmatsugu
Aug 29, 2015

lmatsugu thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 18

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green_tiger_230
Jan 10, 2014

green_tiger_230 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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