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Book Review: ‘Perfect Ruin’ by Lauren DeStefano

I’ve got a few things that I want to post, but realized it’s been a while since I did a book review. I figured I’d get this out of the way while it was still fresh on my mind! I made mention of Lauren DeStefano’s “Perfect Ruin” in a post earlier this month, so I’m happy to get to share a full review of this work!

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On the floating city of Internment,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.

Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close to the edge of Internment, the floating city and her home, can lead to madness. Even though her older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. There’s too much for her on Internment: her parents, best friend Pen, and her betrothed, Basil. Her life is ordinary and safe, even if she sometimes does wonder about the ground and why it’s forbidden.

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, Judas is 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.

The Short: 5 out of 5 stars

The Long: This was a well written book. I’ve read DeStefano’s ‘Chemical Garden’ trilogy, and knew I wanted to read more of her work. When I first read the synopsis for this one, I wasn’t sure about it. But knowing her writing style, I jumped in with two feet and was pleasantly surprised!

DeStefano is skilled at giving her characters depth and making the reader care about them. The world of Internment was a bit detailed, but she did a fantastic job at explaining what we needed to know, as the story progressed. There was never a point where I grew bored, and this was a book that ‘annoyed’ my family, since they often found me squirreled away reading, when I should’ve been making supper! This was not only a great story, but DeStefano sucks the reader in with her eloquent and poetic writing. There were multiple passages I chose to re-read a few times, to ingest them fully, before I could allow myself to move on. Yep, she’s that kind of writer!

I honestly don’t have any criticism for this book, so I’ll give a few of my favorite points.

Basil & Morgan: Their relationship is precious! Yes, they were matched at birth. Yes, they had zero choice in whether they wanted to be together or not. But that is what I love about this relationship. They choose to love one another, despite each other’s short comings. Even though they must be together, they’re also happy to be together. This is so indicative of a real marriage relationship. Basil and Morgan are forced to stay together, since there is no divorce on Internment. And they prove that in the end, love is a choice, not something that magically happens when you wake up one day. It’s hard and takes lots of work. The reality of this concept that is presented between the two of them is flawless. Go Basgan or Morsil or whatever ‘shipper name they’ve been given!

The Deep Dark Ugly in Morgan’s heart: Throughout the entire book Morgan fights the desire to leave Internment. She talks about her brother as if he was the only one who ever wanted to go. She denies that it’s her deepest wish and does whatever she can to pull the wool over everyone else’s eyes. But it’s still there, something she wrestles with daily, something the reader can see clearly, even if Morgan cannot. This makes her real and gives the reader something to relate to. We all have our secret desires. We all have that ugly we never want another living soul to find out about. Thank you, Morgan, for being real.

Morgan & Pen: Friendship is hard. Especially when your friend is broken, and you realize you are, too. But they stand by one another, they never leave the other’s side, even when it comes to breaking the law or even death. These two are kindred spirits to the core. They would do whatever it took to take care of and protect the other. Even abandoning their own families. This is a beautiful example of unconditional love. We all need a Pen in our lives, I think. 

That’s it! If you enjoy YA Fantasy, this book should be in your pile to read!

Happy reading, friends!

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