Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano
Book One of the Internment Chronicles
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Rating: 2 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher
Summary (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.
What I Liked:
I don't think I have spoilers in this review. But it's possible.
I'm not even going to bother summarizing this book. It was a really bad experience for me, you all. I had such high hopes for. It sounds so dreamy, right? Like there is so much potential in this book. The synopsis really sold me, and any doubts I had were banished by the lovely cover.
No, wait. I SHOULD summarize this book. Basically, Morgan lives in a city in the sky. She wonders what is on the ground. Things happen, the dominoes start to fall, and suddenly, everyone is ALL ABOUT getting off Internment, and finding out what is on the ground.
The writing is what gets this book two stars, versus one star or zero stars (yes, I have thought to give a book zero stars, if possible. Unfortunately, Goodreads doesn't let me give books zero stars). The writing is gorgeous, lyrical, poetic. I love the flow of the writing. It's almost like reading an epic poem or something. Sometimes, I'd pick out bits of prose, and whisper the words out loud. If there is one thing that Destefano did REALLY well, it is crafting her writing style. It's wonderful.
But that's just about the only "wonderful" thing about this book.
What I Did Not Like:
How do I begin. I have no idea how to start. And you know, usually when I give a book a low rating (two, one, or zero stars), I get all fired up, because there something (or things) about the book that makes me angry. I get all passionate and riled up, and it comes across that way in my review. Well, with this book? I feel more resigned than anything else. Apathetic, I suppose. I'm almost disgusted. It took me TWO DAYS to read this book, rather than the usual two hours.
While I LOVE the writing style, the book itself is SO BORING. I think one of my Goodreads status updates said something like, this book isn't boring, just dense. Well, that was about 35% into the book. And that 35% was VERY boring. I didn't think it was that bad at the time, because I reasoned that I was still less than halfway into the book.
Well, honestly, this book NEVER picked up the pace. Even when something specific happened to Morgan and her parents, I was like, *rolls eyes*, why couldn't that thing happened to Morgan as well? Like, honestly, the book is so boring. Most of it dealt with Morgan moaning and complaining to herself that she is different, that she is too curious, that she dreams too much. Her "musings" are so whiny and ridiculous, in my opinion. And that's like, THE WHOLE BOOK. Oh my gosh, I feel so unsafe, the city is unsafe, oh and I want to look down at the ground, because I'm different, and my family is different, and everyone is watching me, oh I'm so special, la dee dah!
Barf. Grow up, little girl. Morgan acts like such a child, with a child-like mentality. She approaches everything with a stupidity that baffled me. Go after the murderer? Yeah, GREAT idea, that will DEFINITELY make you feel safer. Go after Pen because you want to say goodbye? SO SMART, because, you know, everyone in the city ISN'T after your empty head. Right. Genius, really. Instead of spending so much time with your head in the clouds (quite literally), try actually USING your brain, and think about your survival. Morgan might have seen that the specialist was especially creepy when it came to the tea or drink or whatever. Idiot.
I didn't connect with any of the characters. Just saying. They all seemed one-dimensional and stuck-up, if you ask me. Very flat, with no personality. WAIT, except Morgan - she had a personality. But I HATED her personality. It is dull and dry and scared and whiny and stupid and weak. I hate weak people. I especially hate weak people who are weak in the beginning of a book, and are still weak at the end of the book. Zero character development whatsoever.
Oh, and let me tell you all about this very predictable plot. Internment is like paradise. Well, the phrase "trouble in paradise" basically sums up this book. Out of nowhere, in Morgan's time, there is disruption of the peace. A rebellion of some sort is taking place. So, obviously, what do you think is going to happen? Because, you know, Morgan wasn't daydreaming about leaving Internment and seeing the ground for nothing. You KNOW it's coming. Everything is so predictable UGH!
The only that thing that I thought was coming that didn't (at least, not in this book) was a possible love triangle. Basil and Morgan are paired together, as all citizens of Internment are paired before birth. So, when a different male who does not have his partner appears in Morgan's life, I was like, here we go with the love triangle business. Well, it DIDN'T happen (yet?), thank goodness. Small mercies.
Basically, I really hated how I wasted two days of my time reading a book that really just did NOT get to the point. I felt like each page I read was the same thing, over and over. Morgan wants to see the ground. Morgan wants to be safe. Morgan thinks things are suspicious, but does nothing to protect herself. Blah blah blah. Morgan is so stupid and very dense and not brave AT ALL. There was this one passage, in which one of the characters tells Morgan that she was very brave. BULL. Morgan was a wimp. Morgan is a wimp.
And tell me why there is so much emphasis on what Internment looks like, the outside of the city, and yet, when it comes down to it, we never actually get a clear idea as to what it looks like from the outside. I was so FURIOUS about that. You can't do that!
Also, there are quite a few plot holes, with the world-building of Internment. Like, where do they get new resources? How do they manufacture their goods? Where does the waste go? Do you know how deadly waste from electricity harvesting, and water coolant from refrigeration and whatnot can be? And with a small city like Internment, you can't just dump it in a field like a landfill. And since Internment is (apparently) like a floating chunk of earth, you can't just shove it deep into the soil, because then it will just fall through the island of dirt. Right? And water? Where does the water come from, and go? The recycling plants? The industries? The inconsistencies of this "perfect" place drove me nuts.
And the ending! What BULL! Everything happens so quickly, and there are no explanations to anything. I didn't know what was happening with the bird. I didn't know if things were going up or down or sideways. I know the main thing that happened, but the HOW is the problem. Too much of the ending is spent on coddling Morgan. Are you alright, Morgan? Are you hurt? Are you okay? STOP. JUST STOP. TELL ME WHAT IS GOING ON OUTSIDE. THROW HER OUT AND MAKE HER DESCRIBE EVERYTHING TO ME. THAT WOULD HELP IMMENSELY.
Okay, maybe I did get passionate about why I disliked this book. I'm still extremely disgusted with this book. We'll see about the sequel.
Would I Recommend It:
Contrary to what most of the other reviewers would say, no, I would NOT recommend this book. It makes no sense, it's boring, and it didn't do me any good by reading it. I got no sense of love, accomplishment, happiness, or any positive feelings from reading this book. I hate to say it, but I really could have gone through my life without reading this book.
2 stars. There is a good chance that I'll still read the next book in the series, if only to assuage my curiosity. I have so many unanswered questions. I hate unanswered questions.
Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!