Friday, January 7, 2022

Review: PERFECT RUIN by Lauren DeStefano


Rating: 4.75/5 stars

I downloaded this audiobook on a whim when I needed something to read and I forced myself to pick a book that’s been sitting unread on my shelf for years. Perfect Ruin was a delightful surprise and I’m so glad I ended up choosing it!

This book takes place in Internment, a land in the sky. Morgan lives in Internment but constantly dreams of traveling to the Ground. However, thoughts of the Ground are forbidden and the one rule of their society is don’t approach the edge; if you do it’s already over. 

Perfect Ruin is a dystopian mystery of sorts with fantastical elements, and it feels totally unique. I’ve read a lot of young adult dystopias and this has got to be one of the most interesting worlds I’ve seen. Same with Lauren Destefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, which I read and loved back in high school. It must just be her writing style and creativity that I love because I ate this story up and can’t wait to continue on with the series. 

The world-building here is strong, and I enjoyed seeing the day-to-day life of the citizens on Internment. Because there is limited space for the people, births are strictly regulated and every citizen is given a betrothed at birth who they will grow up to marry. A lot of their life seems normal like ours, but then one detail pops up and I’m reminded that this is indeed a “utopian” society. 

Morgan is riding the train one day when it suddenly stops and starts traveling backward, an abnormal occurrence. She later learns it was because of a murder, the first in a century: the body of a girl her age was found on the tracks. Terrified but curious, Morgan is desperate to learn more about this girl and why she might have been killed. 

Along with her betrothed, Basil, and her best friend, Pen, Morgan sets out to uncover some dark and hidden secrets of Internment. She ends up befriending the dead girl’s betrothed and her younger sister, who both help her realize that life is not what it seems. I loved all of the relationships and friendships in this book. 

Perfect Ruin was a super fun read. For one, I love the idea of floating islands and I will read any book featuring that trope. Even better if the whole book actually takes place on the floating island, too. This novel was unique, fast-paced, and engaging, and I love the way it blended fantasy with dystopia. I’ve already downloaded the next two audiobooks because I cannot wait to read the rest of the trilogy.

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