Author: Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Internment Chroincles #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Dystopian
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Children
Your life is yours to embrace or to squander.
There’s only one rule: you don’t approach the edge.
If you do, it’s already over.
Perfect Ruin is the first book in Lauren DeStefano’s riveting new series, the Internment Chronicles.
First Sentence: We live encapsulated by the trains.
When I first heard about Perfect Ruin, I was feeling a bit iffy about it, even before I even heard what the book was about. I’ve read Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden Trilogy and didn’t really like it. I thought Wither was plain okay while I suffered through Fever, almost DNFing it at least ten times, but didn’t. After that, I couldn’t even pick up Sever, the last and final book in the Chemical Garden Trilogy. I didn’t want to know how the Chemical Garden Trilogy series ends; I could even care less about it. However, I couldn’t help but pick up Perfect Ruin after seeing the gorgeous cover, even after reading and remembering the mess that Fever was. In the end, picking up Perfect Ruin was a huge mistake of mine.
Let me start with the good parts of Perfect Ruin first. I love how the setting of Perfect Ruin is set up in an island floating up high in the sky, higher than where the airplanes fly. In fact, I love the idea of the island of Internment so much that I can’t help but wonder, why hasn’t any other authors wrote about islands floating up high in the sky before? It should be done many, many times.
“He’ll return,” she says. “Internment is only as big as the king’s fist. If you’re going to hide, you have to circle the same places over and over again.”
I wonder what makes her such an expert on hiding. (100)
That leads me to talk about the world-building in Perfect Ruin. The world-building was okay, but didn’t really satisfy my curiosity. I wanted to know things like how high was Internment up in the sky and how can the people of Internment survive with so little oxygen? I also want to know things like who decides who is betrothed with who and what happens if it just doesn’t work out? Where do they get the materials and resources to build all their buildings and get electricity? And simple things like is twenty or thirty seconds (I don’t remember the actual number used) to get on and off the crowded train really enough? I live in New York City and believe me, it’ll definitely take more than thirty seconds to get off a crowded train. Plus, unlike what Morgan said, standing near the train doors is not lucky, it’s the worse, especially when everybody tries to rush out. You’ll be seen as blocking the people trying to get out if you stand near the train doors because the train doorways are always narrow. Believe me, I know. I think Perfect Ruin needs to have more research done on the little things.
Throughout the book, I was wondering when something interesting would actually happen in Perfect Ruin. I can count with my fingers how many times that actually happened: once, when the truth I figured out about a hundred pages earlier was finally revealed. That excitement lasted for only four short pages out of the entire book. Keep in mind that Perfect Ruin is 356 pages long. I literally had no other feels while reading the other 352 pages. I wasn’t squealing over with excitement, I wasn’t fanning myself like crazy, I wasn’t plotting how a character I hated should die, I felt nothing. I suffered through those mind-numbing 352 pages.
I love you.
Is this what love means? That the rules aren’t the reason you stay together? (241)
Which brings me to talk about Morgan, the main character and narrator of Perfect Ruin. I was constantly annoyed with her throughout the book. Morgan is so weak and clueless. Throughout Perfect Ruin, I was screaming at her to actually stop and think instead of blindingly follow the rules. I wanted her to stop being a mindless follower for once and do something rational. But sadly, no, I didn’t get what I wanted. Morgan doesn’t know when to shut it and how to think on her feet. She constantly relies on her betrothed, Basil, for everything.
As for Basil, Morgan’s betrothed, he has absolutely no personality, except for one trait. In fact, I can pretty much sum him up all in one sentence: Basil will do anything and risk anything for Morgan. That’s it. Throughout Perfect Ruin, that’s the only thing that rang true about him: Basil loves Morgan. The other characters in Perfect Ruin aren’t any better. After reading the book, I still have no feel for them besides basic words like mysterious and too nice and evil.
He’s strong; one of the most promising athletes in the academy. I’ve seen him lift weights half as heavy as I am, and he can climb a rope in record time. But what is all of that worth, really? Can it protect against something that steals you away and leaves your dead eyes gaping at the moon? (190)
Is Perfect Ruin an unique dystopian? As of now, I’m leaning more towards the no side. Perfect Ruin still has an oh my god, our government is corrupt! element to it with the added rebellion side like most other dystopians do. The only really unique thing about Perfect Ruin that makes it stand apart from the rest of dystopian books is that it takes place in the sky, but I’m pretty sure that would not happen in the next book.
Perfect Ruin leaves off with a sort-off cliffhanger. The sad thing is, I can care less. I highly doubt that I would be reading any of Lauren DeStefano’s other books ever again. In fact, I’m pretty sure I won’t be reading the sequel to Perfect Ruin; I’ll be avoiding the books like its the plague.