Perfect Ruin

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Perfect Ruin

by Lauren DeStefano
Illustrator Teagan White

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | October 1, 2013 | Hardcover

Perfect Ruin is rated 3.625 out of 5 by 8.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy: On the floating city of Internment, you can be anything you dream. Unless you approach the edge. Children’s Literature says “shades of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984 inspire DeStefano’s sci-fi/murder mystery page-turner.”

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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 368 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.2 in

Published: October 1, 2013

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1442480610

ISBN - 13: 9781442480612

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slow, but enjoyable Perfect Ruin is compared to Huxley's Brave New World and Orwell's 1984. While I saw elements of 1984's Newspeak in Perfect Ruin, and the drugs of Brave New World (though not recreational) there were many elements of the book that I felt were more comparable to Lois Lowry's The Giver rather than the other two classic-dystopians. This book is slow for a dystopian. The dystopian world is also a little too complicated, as it shows through Morgan's narration--even towards the end of the book--explaining to the reader certain dystopian elements to her world. A good dystopian should be able to effectively display and teach the reader of their world's differences early into the book, rather than playing catchup to the Newspeak elements of Perfect Ruin. It was clear reading this book that this dystopian is no way a one-book thing (even though it seems that most YA dystopians come in a pack of three), however it takes way too long for the protagonist to become deeply involved into her world. It should have picked up far earlier. I am delightfully surprised that a love triangle didn't emerge. I was waiting for it to happen, and was very relieved when it didn't. Some reviewers have said they wished there was more romance. I disagree. I thought the little amount of romance was appropriate for the book and wasn't distracting towards the plot. And the romance in Perfect Ruin isn't bad--there's a careful balance DeStefano gives towards the romance with cute moments and it works. The betrothed glass rings is an excellent and creative imagery and one of my favourite things about this book. It's captured enough of my attention to read the sequel.
Date published: 2015-04-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great world! Morgan lives on Internment, a floating city in the sky. Living in a perfect Utopian society has its benefits, and her life starts off as perfectly ordinary, until a girl from her school is killed. Chaos starts to erupt from every side and she starts to think that her perfect life, isn't so perfect after all. Lauren's writing is always so beautifully written. She knows how to weave a storyline with a great cast of characters and whole new world where they can play. Perfect Ruin is no exception. This is a true utopian novel set across an island in the sky where the royal family rules, and everyone else follows into line. As always, Lauren has built a world that makes you feel like it's real. Where you follow the characters and their stories until it makes you feel like you're part of that world. (Did not mean to sound like The Little Mermaid there, honest!) I just loved how incredibly stubborn Morgan was. She always questioned everyone's actions and never accepted things the way it were. You can see her change from the accepting teenager in the beginning, to the stronger more independent character in the end. I even loved the secondary characters that Lauren brought to life. They complimented Morgan really well especially her best friend. Overall, a story that is worth its time to read with characters I'm sure will go through a huge character arc. I'm always a fan of Lauren's writing!
Date published: 2014-04-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Uhh... Lauren DeStefano is one of my most favourite authors. I loved her trilogy, Wither, and I was so excited to hear that she is beginning a new dystopian trilogy. New characters and a new beginning was exactly what I was looking for.  Where was the goodness here? This book didn't end up the way I expected it. I wanted a deeper story with more happening whatsoever. The characters were very boring and they didn't seem heroic at all.  This is classified as a dystopian book, but I don't think that it was a good idea at all. It seems like some of the lower class ones with no big idea just random things happening. I wanted better! More romance, more dystopian, more drama!
Date published: 2014-03-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved It! Lauren Destefano is an author I am so happy I discovered. Her Chemical Garden Trilogy was one of my favorite series these last few years. Her ability to create a new and exciting world was amazing and I loved reading it. So when I figured out that she was writing a new series I was extremely excited and wanted to read it right away. Perfect Ruin was a great read. I knew going in that it would be very different from her other series, but I did notice some similarities. For example, like in the Chemical Garden Trilogy, the characters are betrothed to another, and they have no choice in the matter. But unlike her last trilogy, the main character approves of this match and it is actually quite a sweet romance. Even though it seems forced at the beginning. What I loved about this book was the world itself. The imagination Lauren has is unlike anything i have read. When you read about a generation of people who were banished to the sky by God, and forced to live on an island in the sky, you have to admit that its pretty amazing. Internment is literally an island that is suspended in the sky, and its residence are forbidden to go to the ground, and if you try, then they are faced with some pretty horrific consequences. Another aspect of this story was the mystery element. This is something that Lauren touched on in her Chemical Garden series but in Perfect Ruin it is everything. When a girl is found murdered, her wrists and throat slashed everyone on the island begins to panic, and with good reason. There hasn't been a murder in over 20 years. I loved this aspect of the story. I wanted to know who was the murderer and why that girl had to die. And i loved how it effected our main character. She had always questioned the world around her, and why they were bannished from teh ground, but this just added to that. We saw her grow as a character and become an independent thinker and I loved that. I am so happy that Lauren wrote this series, it is both familiar and unique. It is a story that I cannot wait to follow, and considering how the book ended, the next one will have even more mysteries and surprises. And I cannot wait! A great read!
Date published: 2014-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lauren DeStefano Does It Again Lauren DeStefano does it again!  The Chemical Garden trilogy was so good, I wondered whether her next book would live up to it and with Perfect Ruin she has set up the beginning of another truly unique dystopian future.  On Internment, DeStefano deals with current issues which are often brought up in dystopian literature, in fact she seems to bring them all up: forced abortion, eugenics, population control, ageist euthanasia and a routinely medicated society.  All the while for the inhabitants it might as well be a happy little place to live except for the disturbing lure of the edge which inevitably kills or maims those who get caught in its attraction.  A quick, page-turning read with genuinely interesting characters.  In this book there is no character defined as the "bad guy" as the King is just a ruler in his tower at this point. I really enjoyed this and while dystopian in nature as her previous books, the author ha gone out in a completely different direction making this series unique from the other.  The only thing that annoyed me a bit is that the ending is decidedly a cliffhanger (literally ending with a jump, don't worry not a spoiler, just a pun for those who've read the book LOL).  I like books in series to be individual stories themselves with a finite ending, yet remaining part of the whole series.  Cliffhanger endings don't impress me but I didn't find this one frustrating as it was more anti-climatic so I'm not docking points.  A good solid, unique, fun 5 star read.
Date published: 2013-12-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing characters Back when I first started to blog seriously Lauren DeStefano's debut Wither was one of the first dystopian/post apocalyptic novels I had ever read that I actually liked. I remember being blown away by her writing and the story she gave me. As I read The Chemical Garden Trilogy I continued to be blown away by Destefano's writing and her talent for weaving words together in this incredibly poetic way. It was magical. Upon finishing Sever (book three in the Chemical Gardens Trilogy) I was happy that there was already plans for more from DeStefano. I couldn't imagine seeing nothing else from her. I didn't know a lot about what to expect from this new series, which I had been described a utopian society in a city floating on a rock in the sky. Sounded good to me. So I went into reading Perfect Ruin knowing very little and and not expecting a lot. I did see a few tweets here and there from fellow bloggers who were having a hard time getting into the story. This left me feeling a wee bit nervous. Perfect Ruin is the first book in three part trilogy (I think). It introduces us to Morgan a sixteen year old girl whose family has been through some trials. Her older brother Lex is a jumper. What this means essentially is that he tried to jump from Internment (the floating city) to get to the ground, this is a big faux pas. As it often leaves those who survive mentally incompetent. This is unacceptable because Internment is a city that is very tightly run. Residents of the city marry who they are told to marry, they have children when they are told to have children, they take medication when they are told to. Everything is all very regulated. This is to ensure that nothing goes array in the city. So when a girl is found murdered, there is chaos. Homicide isn't something that that happens on Internment and it sends everyone into a frenzy. Including Morgan who is beginning to question the way things are on Internment and is feeling the pull of the edge herself. Perfect Ruin (to me) was a little reminiscent of Matched by Ally Condie (which was the only book I read in that trilogy). In that everything in the city was very regulated and there was a way everything was to be done. Even the way I saw the city in both books was the same. I am in no way comparing this story to Matched because I think they are very different. However their societies are similar. If you didn't like Matched still give Perfect Ruin a go, because it is very good. As mentioned earlier, some of the earlier reviews on this book has said that not a lot happens in Perfect Ruin, and that the beginning is pretty slow. I agree and disagree. It is true that not a lot happens in the beginning, but what's DeStefano is doing is setting the stage. She's showing you what life on Internment is all about. What Internment itself is all about. These are all important details. I loved that by the end of the book I felt like I knew the workings of the city and those who lived there. What I really loved about Perfect Ruin were the characters. I thought Morgan is a fantastic protagonist. She is a curious, loyal and brave individual. Her brother Lex is also one of my favourite characters. He's suffering from his jump which left him blind and he is a wounded soul who wants something more from his life. According to the powers that be on Interment this makes him erratic and mentally unstable. But Lex is intelligent and he is also incredibly loyal. I loved the relationship that he has with Morgan. It's something special. Lex is often off in his own world, but there are times when you see how truly he cares for his sister, and it's beautiful. Basil, Morgan's betrothed is also a pretty interesting character, I have a feeling we'll be seeing some interesting things from him in the future. I also liked how well he and Morgan interacted. They respect one another and that's important for any relationship. While Pen, Morgan's best friend was one of the few characters who didn't stand out for me. I feel like she's going to surprise us and be a monumental figure in future books. I'm curious about her. Overall, I really liked Perfect Ruin and I was in my happy place the whole time I was reading it. It's beautifully written and the characters are well developed and three dimensional. If you are going to read this book, read it for the characters alone.You will not be sorry. Lauren DeStefano know's what she's doing.
Date published: 2013-10-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good series beginning Morgan Stockhour lives on the island of Internment, which is an island floating in the sky way above the ground. Her older brother Lex was a jumper and Morgan doesn’t want to end up like him, so she does her best to pretend she doesn’t wonder about why the ground is forbidden. Then there’s a murder, first in as long as she’s been alive, and Morgan can’t contain her curiosity, especially after becoming convinced that the boy accused is innocent. This is my first experience with a Lauren DeStefano book. I do plan on eventually reading the Chemical Garden books and after reading this one, Wither has crept up the TBR list. I love the cover of this book. There’s so many little details that become apparent the more you look at it, even though it appears quite simple at first glance. And I find that black and read work so well on book covers together. The book felt like a cross between the dystopian elements of Matched and the City of Ember. One of the biggest problems I had with the book was, other than when a character would mention the ground or being thankful to the God of the sky, it didn’t feel like they were on some floating island. On the plus size, it was obvious a lot of thought went into the issues that would arise with the lack of space available(population control, food, etc). I really loved the little quotes at the beginning of each chapter, each one taken from an essay that plays a part in the plot. And a lot of the characters have little hinted side stories to make them feel like real characters instead of plot devices. The main character, Morgan, I found to be quite relatable most of the time, and her actions were understandable even when I couldn’t relate. Her and her betrothed Basil were cute and loving together but I was more drawn to the fiery back and forth of Pen and Thomas. I’m excited to see where DeStefano takes them in book two. The plot didn’t really draw me in until about 2/3 through the book. Morgan has a lot of inner debating and even when there’s a murderer on the loose, there’s not a lot of action or even reaction, which seemed a little weird considering it’s been so long since there’s been a murder. Once the action started to pick up, it was hard to put down and ended up turning into a ‘just one more chapter’ book until the last page. And the ending really sets up book two quite beautifully. I definitely plan on picking it up. *I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for an honest review.
Date published: 2013-09-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Although nothing is perfect, this sure comes close Originally posted at Ficsane Reads. (ficsanereads.wordpress.com) This is the first Lauren DeStefano book I’ve read so I can’t compare it to her Chemical Garden series. What I do know is that PERFECT RUIN is so unbelievably great that the story still lingers in my mind, even hours after I have finished reading the book. PERFECT RUIN takes “unique plot and amazing premise” to a whole new level. From start to finish, it is impossible to not be drawn into the story and its complex, wonderful characters. The little quotes at the beginning of each chapter, which came from Daphne Leander’s essay, are my favourite. They are thought-provoking, and although, yes the idea has been presented out there, somewhere, somehow by someone else, DeStefano was still able to render the idea in her own way. ROMANCE. "Each of us has a betrothed so that we won’t have to spend our lives alone. It leads me to wonder to whom the gods are married. The elements, perhaps. Or do they know something that we don’t about soltitude?" (168) This may be the first book I’ve read where the lover of the main lead had been established from the beginning. In Perfect Ruin, everyone has a “betrothed” – also known as a fiance. In the world of Internment, everyone born are immediately paired with someone – and everyone has a partner. Unless your partner died then you’re forever alone (sucks). I really liked this new take on romance. I’ve read countless of books so I’m not too sure but this really stands out as the very first book I’ve read that had the romance established. Initially, I had thought that this will be the main issue of the story: having people assigned to you for eternity. I kept thinking, what if Morgan falls for someone else? what if Morgan just doesn’t feel anything for him? What if? Despite my questioning, Morgan never proved any of these. Although all I can say without spoiling is that the little other fragments of the story – in other words, other characters, may or may not shed light on this aspect. This book, like many other books, is NOT finding who you are while finding who you love. Instead, this book is about finding out the mysteries of your world, understanding who you are, while having someone at your side – and there is nothing better than having someone there for you, supporting you all the way. Absolutely loved this take on romance! CHARACTERS. Morgan Stockhour – I initially disliked her, but then I gradually realized my annoyance for her naive-ness was the problem. Around halfway the book, the growth of Morgan’s character made sense and in the end, I’m so proud of her as she finally opens her eyes to see that her world is everything but perfect, thus inevitably making me love her. Basil Crowl – He’s not your typical YA hottie – and that makes me all the more drool-worth. I love Basil’s character, at first, my theories made myself skeptic about him but that still didn’t prevent me from loving him and his personality. Alexander “Lex” Stockhour – I love this character the most because I could relate to his curious mind, always questioning, very skeptic of things and knowing that the world isn’t perfect, nor will it ever be. I love how he’s blind, I love the risks he has taken to find the answers he seek, even though it had caused him. I love his relationship with his wife, Alice. Each time they interact, I just fan girl so much. I can’t help it! Falling in love with Alexander Stockhour’s character is as inevitable and vital as breathing. Daphne Leander - I LOVED all the beginning quotes from each chapter from her essay, “Intangible Gods” – love, love, love it! I hope DeStefano includes the entire full length essay as a bonus on the final copy or something. THE WORLD OF INTERNMENT. I am fascinated with the whole Internment world. I love the mention of “the ground” what life must be like there. The world building of Internment took this book to a whole new level. I absolutely love it! THE UNFORESEEABLE OCCURRENCE OF EVENTS THAT MADE THIS BOOK SO PERFECT. It’s Chapter Twenty (I’m not sure what chapter it would be in for the final copy). I think that this event, this unfortunate happening of event was essential to the plot. That was so good! I usually see these kind of events coming but obviously not this. Kudos to DeStefano for making me tear-up. If you want to read a book that has the right amount of everything that equated to imperfect perfections, complex characters that will stay with you forever, a world filling your mind with fascination and wonder then this is your book and although nothing is perfect, PERFECT RUIN surely comes close to it.
Date published: 2013-08-14

– More About This Product –

Perfect Ruin

by Lauren DeStefano
Illustrator Teagan White

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 368 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.2 in

Published: October 1, 2013

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1442480610

ISBN - 13: 9781442480612

Read from the Book

Perfect Ruin 1 You have all heard the warnings about the edge. We have been told its winds are a song that will hypnotize us, and by the time we awaken from that trance, it will be too late. —“Intangible Gods,” Daphne Leander, Year Ten wE LIVE ENCAPSULATED by the trains. They go around in a perfect oval at all hours, stopping for thirty-five seconds in each section so the commuters are able to board and depart. Beyond the tracks, after the fence, there’s sky. Engineers crafted a scope so that we can see the ground below us. We can see tall buildings and other sorts of trains—some of which disappear underground or rise onto bridges. We can see patches of cities and towns that appear stitched like one of Lex’s blankets. We’ve never been able to craft a scope advanced enough to see the people—it isn’t allowed. We’ve been banished to the sky. I’m told they can see Internment, though. I wonder, what must we look like to them? A giant oval of the earth with rocks and roots clinging to the bottom, I suppose. I’ve seen sketches of what Internment looks like as a whole, and it’s as though a giant hand came down and took a piece right out of the ground, and here we are floating in the sky. When I was a child, I used to think about the day Internment was ripped from the ground and placed in the sky. I used to wonder if the people were frightened, or if they felt fortunate to be saved. I used to imagine that I
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From the Publisher

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy: On the floating city of Internment, you can be anything you dream. Unless you approach the edge. Children’s Literature says “shades of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984 inspire DeStefano’s sci-fi/murder mystery page-turner.”

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.

About the Author

Lauren Destefano won The Thornton Wilder Award for a short story entitled Orange Blood while in high school. She received a BA in English with a concentration in creative writing from Albertus Magnus College in Connecticut in 2007. She is the author of the Chemical Garden Trilogy.

Editorial Reviews

"Definite excitment...."