November 19, 2013 • Cee • Reviews

ld-prPerfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1) by Lauren DeStefano
October 1, 2013
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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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.


First sentence: “We live encapsulated by the trains.”

WOW. What a disappointment this book was. I was initially intrigued of Perfect Ruin because of the cover and the floating island! (It steered me wrong though. :( ) Perfect Ruin is set in a dystopian society about a teenage girl who lives on the floating island called Internment and has a fascination with the ground. Her life and the lives of the people on the island are disrupted by a murder, and Morgan begins to question her lifestyle. Things are revealed about the island that isn’t all peachy keen.

This was basically what I was thinking when I read it: BOOORRINNNNNNGGGG WHEN IS THIS GOING TO PICK UP, then WUT. AHHHH. (when the twist happened more than halfway through the book), and then UGHHHH WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID I AM SO MADDDDD WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING.



  • Lex + Alice!

I love these two. They are far more interesting than Morgan. Both have hidden feelings/secrets I wanted to learn about, especially Lex being a Jumper and what that means for him and Alice. Their interactions are so fascinating because they have been through a lot of tragedies together. It’s a wonder seeing them still trying to function. It makes me feel so sad for them! The book should’ve been about those two.

  • Daphne Leander.

Here’s the thing: I have a lot of feelings for Daphne Leander even though we don’t really meet her, considering she’s the one who was murdered. (That’s saying a lot that I prefer a dead character to Morgan.) We get to know a little about her in the beginning of each chapter where parts of her essay “Intangible Gods” are placed. In the essay, she questioned everything like the way of life in Internment and what’s on the ground below. What she had to say intrigued me because it would certainly cause people to be concerned and the King to take actions to quiet this questioning of Internment. It opens up a whole slew of conspiracy theories about her death.

  • The history of Internment (+ plot twist).

I was sucked into the history and the mythologies behind Internment’s inception because it’s completely fascinating. Origin stories are always the best! I could read an entire book about Internment’s history. It’ll be far more interesting than what actually occurred in the book. :P

When I reached that little plot twist, I jumped up in my seat and had to find out what happened. That moment was when everything got interesting, but it made me want more build-up and hints to the corruption. Everything before it was very unexciting,


  • Morgan.

MORGAN DID NOTHING IN THE BOOK. At least, not for the first 200 pages of the book. Yeah, she was silently questioning the beliefs of Internment and all, but SHE DID NOTHING (yes, I’m repeating it). She was just sad, incredibly passive, and soo fucking sheltered that I wanted to shake her. You know how there are murders on the floating island? Well, she doesn’t investigate it at all like the synopsis said. She just knew that Judas didn’t do it. That’s it. No active sleuthing on what’s happening on the island or actually proving that Judas is innocence. Information basically fell into her lap – they are told to her by the people around her. (Hello, this is a dystopia world so I expect the heroine to be active.)

She makes me incredibly angry because of her stupid actions. I really hate calling anybody stupid because that’s just plain mean, but holy fucking god, Morgan…*sigh* It’s not so much that she’s intellectually stupid. She’s a smart girl, but the things she does… Let me put it this way: you know in horror movies, when the main character is doing everything that she shouldn’t be doing (like splitting up from the group or running up the stairs to escape from the killer)? Well, that is Morgan for last 100 pages of the book. It boggled my mind that she left the place (you know what I’m talking about ;) ). SHE WAS TOLD NOT TO because it was dangerous for her, BUT the problem I have is that she’s putting everybody at risk! Yeah, she comes back, but somebody could’ve followed her (and the person did). AND she said,

Spoiler title
“I’m going to murder the King”
in the fucking public. WHAT THE FUCK. WHY ARE YOU BEING STUPID? OF COURSE SOMEBODY WILL HEAR YOU (AND THEY FUCKING DID AND YOU GOT CAUGHT). Everything about that was completely out of character. She had an instant personality change and I did not care for it.

  • The plot.

The pacing of the plot was sooo slow. Nothing exciting happened until 200 pages into Perfect Ruin. And boom, the twist happened (which was awesome for a few minutes), but then it slipped back to stupidness (because of Morgan’s actions and by how fast everything was moving along). I didn’t feel the urgency that she and the others had to leave Internment. Morgan should’ve actively investigated what was up, so that the information isn’t told (instead of shown) and isn’t dumped all at once. That might’ve amped up the fear of getting caught.

  • Side characters.

All the characters in Perfect Ruin had no personality. I didn’t like any of the them (except Lex + Alice). Pen was annoying. She was sooo…emotionally unhinged? There was something iffy about her, but I don’t know what. I was waiting for her to betray Morgan or something. There must be a hidden reason why Pen was angry for not taking her to see Judas. It didn’t feel like the “left alone” anger, but more like envy or something more? I saw no point in Judas’s character because he doesn’t have a big of the role in the book (which I’m sure will change in the second book). The only thing he contributed to the book was telling Morgan about Amy Leander and that wasn’t even helpful to driving the plot forward. We only get glimpses of personality in each character and that is disappointing.

  • The whole betrothal thing + the romance.

I was sooo grossed out by the whole idea. Yeah, I understand that its existence is to show that the people on Internment are being controlled. It just makes me sad that they have no choice in deciding whom they could love. I’m surprised nobody has actually rebelled against the idea. Also, when they are old enough to get married, they will wear rings with their betrothal’s blood in it? GROOOSSSS.

And goddamn, Morgan and Basil was soo boring together. It’s cute that they are devoted to each other (only because they’re each other’s betrothal). They had nooo chemistry with each other. The only romance I liked was Lex & Alice and Daphne & Judas (even though we get glimpses of it in Daphne’s letter for the latter).


  • For Morgan to take charge of her situation. Be active. Go out there and investigate. Grow a personality.
  • For the twist to have been revealed earlier in the book, so there’s exciting stuff going on and more suspense when the characters finally leave. I wanted the fear of getting caught to be more present in the last 100 pages of the book.
  • To feel the chemistry between Morgan and Basil. It was pretty lackluster.
  • For Judas to have a more important role in the book. Why mention him when he didn’t really reveal anything about being a rebel and all?
  • Explore being a Jumper. (It’s absolutely fascinating. I’m still curious by why they become mad after their attempts. I’m still a bit confused if the reason people are unsuccessful is because of the King.)
  • More world-building. More politics. More behind the scenes action. More appearance of the King.
  • For Perfect Ruin to get me excited to continue the series. (However, at the moment, I probably won’t be reading the next book when it comes out.)

See, that’s why you should never judge a book by its cover. Goddamn it.



3 Responses to “REVIEW | Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1) by Lauren DeStefano”

  1. Christie says:

    Sad to see that you didn’t enjoy this one! Lex and Alice were so adorable–I definitely wanted more of them as well. I do agree that Morgan was kind of a useless main character, but I actually thought the romance was cute. I mean, Basil’s so sweet, unlike a lot of the new YA heroes everyone loves (the cocky ones).

    P.s, this review was so organized! (All of your reviews are, but I’m a new follower and this is the first one I’ve decided to comment on.) I really love how you really share all of your insights on books.

  2. Oh no, not you too! I’ve been hearing nothing but negative things about this book, and now I’m afraid to read it :(
    I hate stupid characters, and from everything you said I’m sure that I would despise Morgan. I have trouble getting into the story if I don’t like the MC! I also hate slow pacing because I have the attention span of a goldfish and if I’m bored for more than like 20 pages I can’t handle it anymore. *sigh* The cover is so pretty and I was really looking forward to reading it. I bought it for Kindle simply because it was only $1.99, so I’ll still read it (if only for the plot twist, that has me curious)….eventually. I’ll definitely not be picking it up anytime soon!

  3. This book looks so beautiful with all those little drawings and stuff but NO, I so wouldn’t want it on my shelf because I’ll look at it and instantly think of Morgan’s stupidity. WHAT A TURN OFF.

    Lex and Alice are perfect! I so wanted to know what made Lex jump in the first place and why is Alice not bothered by Lex’s behavior. *whines*

    And I’d happily read a prequel if it was told from Daphne Leander’s POV. That girl is something.

    You’re so right! There’s was almost no action before the plot twist. I wanted to know what happens and fast. But the ending, oh the ending. It’s like taking candy from a bad kid and giving it to the good kid. I no like you, Morgan. Humph.

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