Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Perfect Ruin (The Interment Chronicles #1) by Lauren DeStefano
Published 2013 by Simon & Schuster.

Links: Goodreads.

Source: Giveaway.

Genre: YA fantasy.

My rating:

On Interment you can be anything you dream – a novelist or a singer, a florist or a factory worker… 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.

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I won Perfect Ruin in a giveaway hosted by My Friends are Fiction, thanks, Kristen! :) It has the loveliest new cover, don’t you think?

I was a bit disappointed by the story, though. Mostly, the pace was too slow for me and though things happened, I couldn’t muster up the excitement to really fall for the plot.

Internment is a big chunk of rock that’s been separated from Earth and is floating above it with its own bubble of atmosphere. There’s a very ordered society living on it – they control how many people are born, when they die, what they eat and which pills they take. All is peaceful because nobody makes an effort to question the decisions of their King – except those who have walked all the way to the edge and tried to jump off.

Morgan is a teenager who goes to high school, is happy with her assigned future husband and never really questions her place on Internment (or so it seems) until a girl is brutally murdered. I’m not a huge fan of first-person narration – it can be hit-or-miss for me – and this was one of those books where I would have appreciated more than one point of view. Morgan is… limp. I think that’s the best word to describe her. Even when she’s in huge trouble, she just says she knows her future husband will come save her, she’s got this eternal optimistic view that everything will turn out fine on its own.

The other characters were pretty unmemorable, with the possible exception of Lex, Morgan’s brother, who tried to jump off Internment once and is now blind and spends his days writing weird novels in his room.

Everything felt so slow, the feeling that something bad would happen soon was so pervasive, and yet it took ages for the plot to move on. I found myself skim-reading so I’d get to the next plot turn, which is something I really dislike doing.

I had a problem with the group of rebels, too. This part contains spoilers, so proceed with caution. They’re building a machine that’s basically a mechanical mole so they will be able to dig through the rock of Internment and escape. We’re talking about 20 people at most (and some are killed off), but this has been in the works for generations! And instead of trying to change the living conditions for everyone, to help those who are being oppressed by the totalitarian system, they just save their own asses. Eh.

I don’t think I’ll be reading the rest of this series. I failed to connect with it and I’m clearly not the intended audience – or perhaps I just have too many pet peeves for a story to satisfy me? Anyway, I’ve seen other people like it so you might want to give it a try if the premise sounds interesting to you!

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Have you read Perfect Ruin? What did you think?

Would you leave a shiny prison and save yourself or would you help save everyone else first?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

  • Maraia

    I did read Lauren DeStefano’s first trilogy, but the blurb for Perfect Ruin didn’t do anything for me. Sounds like I was smart to skip it. :)

    I certainly hope I’d try to save everyone else! I think about this sort of thing a lot, but really I don’t think there’s any way to know until you’re in a situation like that. Which hopefully we never will be.

    • This was the first book I read by this author and I can tell you it didn’t make me enthusiastic about trying another! The cover, though, I think I was helpless and just HAD to get it no matter what (good thing it was a giveaway).

      Yeah, I sometimes think about these things, about what I’d do in a similar situation and then I have to push it away from my mind and just hope against hope I never ever get to experience such things.

      • Maraia

        I wouldn’t rush to read the Chemical Garden trilogy. I did really enjoy the first book, but they got progressively less interesting. That always seems to happen with dystopian series.

        • I think this problem isn’t limited to dystopias – YA SFF in general suffers from this. I think that this practice of writing trilogies is ruining a lot of very good stories that would have worked perfectly had they been standalones. I understand the marketing logic behind trilogies but I hate what they do to the story.

          • Maraia

            Tamora Pierce’s original series are all short, delightful quartets. :D

            You’re right, though. There are series that work as trilogies, but you can always tell when the length is forced. That was the unique thing about Uprooted and the biggest reason why I don’t think it’s YA. It has enough content/plot for AT LEAST three typical YA novels!