Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Monday, April 21, 2014

Title : Perfect Ruin
Author : Lauren DeStefano
Genre : Dystopian
Published Date : October 1st 2013

Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages : 356
Source : Bought

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.


Once upon a time when friend lend me her copy of Wither, I was actually pretty reluctant to read it. But afterward, Lauren DeStefano manage to make me fall in love with her work and stalking through Goodreads if in case she wrote another book.
When I saw Perfect Ruin? I was ecstatic. And flying city, you said? Give it to me right now.

"They’ll find pieces of a girl who followed the rules. That girl is gone now."

One reason I've loved DeStefano's work so much is that she has her magical way on constructing her fictional world. And as usual, this book also delivered a perfectly solid world. Largely dystopian but still believable, otherworldly but not nonsensical. And completed with a series of rule that pushed the story forward, Internment—where this book took place—is so real and vivid.

Sometimes, when a book was sets in a completely fictional world, the author tends to delve into the history too much it felt like we was reading a history book. But this book managed to filled us with necessary info, yet still has a quick pacing
The way the tension built in this book was also perfect. It piled one mystery after another, and tugging us with a false hope that will make us curious and glued to its every page.

Then there's this bit of essay at every chapter's beginning, which is tied to the story. And actually, I really love reading that snippet. It is wise, thought-provoking, and sounds so genuine.

And I was particularly sure I would give this book a flawless 5-stars, until somewhere in the middle, it all went downhill.

The setting of this book, Internment, is a city floating in the sky, said to be banished from the ground, and therefore, its people are not allowed to even took a gaze at the ground. So, Pop Quiz : Is there any transportation to go down below? Nope. Good. Is this believable? Very.

But one event after another, it reached a turning point when everything just turn bad for Morgan, and then what? She survives, and a revelation was made. 
Turns out that her slightly crazy brother along with the accused murderer and the strange girl—which Morgan's brother reminds her to stay away from, mind you—and a bunch of other people was making a plane. A freaking plane that could actually fly, and no one notices anything, and then this trio somehow managed to stay very very calm about it. And then out of the blue, they suddenly tell Morgan and even bring her betrothed to it. Just after she passed through a hard time. And it is highly possible that her betrothed could spill the secret outside.
Was it still believable? Not so much. And honestly, I hate how this semi Deus ex Machina suddenly came to play. Like, super suddenly.

The characters, on the other hand was superb. The characters were all so developed that even the most minor one has its distinctive personality.

Morgan, our main character, was unfortunately overshadowed by this well-developed cast, though. Sure she has a strong trait or two, but overall, she's just a little bit above average. 
Pen, her besties, on the other hand, was very interesting. She's strong, fierce, independent, yet still has a believably real fragile side to her. And I could totally feel the friendship between them as well. Not just a the-main-character-must-at-least-have-one-BFF kind of friendship, but rather a true, heartfelt friendship where they both need each other.

The other side characters like Morgan's brother and his wife and the other, was also very unique from each other, and although it's quite a number of character being thrown together at one place, I could still distinguish them easily.
And one character that I'm really curious about is that spoiled Princess Celeste. I don't really know why, but in a way that she was strange and weird, she also seems very interesting.

But, despite the well-developed characters, this book also has its downside from the romance
As usual, the same things happens over and over again on the romance of DeStefano's novel. The love has no chemistry at all. Even though the characters are betrothed since birth, they accepted each other. And if they accept, shouldn't there be love? Connection? Feeling? I actually feels none at all.

And then I arrived at the ending, and it's honestly killing me. It was one hell of a choppy ending, and calling it a cliffhanger would hugely be an understatement. I was honestly taken aback when I flipped the page and saw there's nothing more.

But it does the nice trick on making us curious about what will happen next, though. 

So overall, there's not a lot from this book that disappoint. Beside the nonexistence of the chemistry and the sudden appearance of the semi Deus ex Machina, this book is actually a pretty fun read.
If you're looking for a dystopian read that might have been a little different, with a well-developed characters and interesting world-building, I highly recommend this one.

Cheers, x

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  1. I've been DYING to read this book but don't know why I haven't grab my copy up until now. The premise is sooo interesting, but I've never read anything by Lauren DeStefano, so I'm a bit nervous. Also, boo to the no chemistry romance :(

    1. It seems like that's always the probs with DeStefano's book. No chemistry at all. But she a goddess of making interesting story concept, so you should definitely check her book :D


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