Friday 27 September 2013


Book review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

My edition: Paperback, to be published on 3 October 2013 by Harper Voyager, 352 pages.

Description: Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close to the edge of Internment, the floating city in the clouds where she lives, can lead to madness. Even though her older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. If she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in her best friend, Pen, and in Basil, the boy she’s engaged to marry.

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, he is the boy 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.


A few years ago I was obsessed with young adult dystopian novels. From The Maze Runner and The Hunger Games I went to the Gone series, Divergent, Matched and Delirium and while those were enjoyable books (some betters than others, but they were all titles I'd happily picked up further instalments from), after a while a slew of similar trilogies and longer series came out and I became bored of the genre, only picking up some novels here and there to finish up a series I'd been heavily invested in a few months before.

One of the casualties of me dropping most of my YA dystopian series was the Wither trilogy by Lauren DeStefano (see my review here). I actually really enjoyed the first novel I'd read but because I'd become disinterested in the genre and read so many likewise titles in quick succession it'd became hard to keep them all apart and after a while all I remembered from Wither is that I flew threw the pages because I was gripped by the storyline but the exact plot or any specific details had escaped me.

Now fast-forward a few years, the Wither trilogy has finished and the first title in a new young adult dystopian series by DeStefano is about to be published. I came across the details for the first book in The Internment Chronicles just a few weeks ago and was highly intrigued by the blurb. And so when the UK division of HarperCollins offered some proof copies of the novel up to their Twitter followers, I didn't hesitate to put my name forward, hoping that this novel could reignite my love for the young adult dystopian genre - and I wasn't disappointed.

The story is this: Morgan lives on Internment, which is a city in the clouds above (so we assume) the earth we know. A select group of people moved there generations before to escape whatever was going wrong on earth and while it seems as if everything on Internment is peaceful and orderly, the murder of a girl around Morgan's age sets in motion a series of events that uncover secrets that show that in fact quite the opposite is the case.

Despite Morgan being a model student and citizen, her older brother's status as a "jumper" (someone who, either through their own curiosity or an accident has come too close to the edge of the city and has attempted to jump off to reach what lays below) puts both her and her parents at risk as they're seen as a possible threat to the King and his reign over the city. And as Morgan slowly uncovers the truth, so does the reader and what follows is a highly intriguing and often unexpected journey (literally and figuratively).

I'm really glad that Perfect Ruin is the novel that I chose to reacquaint myself with the young adult dystopian genre as I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and it's even got me excited again to read likewise books. It's a well thought-out story, with an interesting array of characters that have a lot of potential to grow into strong people that can lead a revolution down the line (because like with any good dystopian book, there's bound to be a political showdown at some stage!).

I do have to say that the world building was done a tad too slow to my liking and I wanted the story to progress more rapidly than it was as I was keen to find out what was bubbling beneath the surface. Thankfully when we finally got to the stage where the perfect fa├žade was crumbling it had been well worth the wait and at that point I didn't want the novel to end at all; I was dreading turning that final page which would mean I'd have to wait at least another year for the continuation of the immensely gripping last chapter.

In all, while the first instalment in The Internment Chronicles had a bit of a slow start it rapidly got highly intriguing and surprising as the story progressed. And I look forward to reading what will happen to Morgan and the other characters next, and down the line discover the true story behind the origins and reasonings behind the city in the clouds.

You can pre-order your copy from,, Waterstones or your own preferred retailer.

Would you like to know more about the author? You can connect with her online at:




Twitter: @LaurenDeStefano

Many thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

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