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Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles) Hardcover – October 1, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—The citizens of Internment don't view their city as a prison, despite its name. Suspended in the clouds high above the ground, surrounded by a force field of wind, the people believe that they are especially beloved of the sky god. Occasionally, however, someone will attempt to breach the high fence that circles the island and jump over the edge-an act that is strictly forbidden. Morgan Stockhour, 16, has been shunned by most students at the Academy ever since her older brother attempted a jump. She tells no one, not even best friend, Pen, or her betrothed, Basil, about the dark thoughts she harbors. When a young woman is murdered and fear begins to taint the idyllic life of the floating metropolis, Morgan finds herself helping the accused murderer and questioning everything she knows about Internment. In the midst of these troubles, the romance between Morgan and Basil offers a sweet counterpart to the pall that hangs over the city. DeStefano draws out the story slowly, building the anxiety and confusion with revelations gradually coming to light. Her prose flits from straightforward to lyrical as the story seesaws between gloom and hope. Fans of speculative fiction will enjoy DeStefano's concoction of tension and love with a cliff-hanger ending.—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Morgan Stockhour, along with her family and friends, lives in Internment, a city that floats in the sky. It’s surrounded by a train line; go beyond the trains and you come to the edge. Below is “the ground,” almost imperceptible to the Internment residents, who were banished from there generations ago, supposedly for their demands and curiosity. Morgan’s brother, Lex, is one of the currently curious, an edge “jumper,” who became blinded in the process—and put his family under the king’s suspicion. Morgan and Lex’s relationship has become strained, but she does have a strong support system in her sister-in-law; her betrothed, Basil; and her best friend, Pen. When a young girl turns up murdered, the myth of a safe, serene community is extinguished. A chance encounter with the escaped murderer makes Morgan question all that she’s been taught to believe and leads her down a rabbit hole of surprise, suspicion, and conspiracy. DeStefano has created a perfect storm—intertwining plot, characters, and setting beautifully. From the first page, readers will be enticed by Morgan’s voice, precise in its descriptions yet filled with curiosity. Internment becomes practically a character in itself, and what at first seems an almost magical place, surrounded by stars, will eventually stifle readers, as it does Morgan. The story’s framework is expandable enough to encompass tenderness, tension, and surprise. This is a page-turner, and waiting for the next book will be hard, hard, hard. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: DeStefano, author of the New York Times best-selling Chemical Garden series, has a boatload of fans. The promotion for this will garner more. Grades 7-10. --Ilene Cooper

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Internment Chronicles (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442480610
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442480612
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lauren Destefano earned her BA in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing from Albertus Magnus College in Connecticut in 2007. This is her first novel.

Customer Reviews

Fans of The Chemical Gardens will love this book, too!
Kiki Deister
I loved all the characters and Perfect Ruin and felt like I could connect with them, even though our worlds and experiences are so different.
R. Silver
And while Perfect Ruin was a good read, a really good read, it just didn't live up to my expectations.
Kelli of I'd So Rather Be Reading

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mary Bookhounds VINE VOICE on October 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Morgan lives above the earth on a floating island of land that was some how torn off and flung into space. This story is full of intrigue and mystery all built on a world similar to ours, but with striking differences. Things are very controlled on this sky island, everything to when you can have children to who that child will marry and if something happens to your mate, you are destined to be alone the rest of your life. The only real element of freedom is choosing how you earn a living. A murder has recently occurred and the whole country is on lock down and the small amount of freedom the citizens have is restricted. Morgan is intrigued and when she randomly meets the boy accused of the murder, she can't help wonder if he really did it. Especially when the murdered girl's sister plasters the revolutionary paper around the school. Morgan's brother, Lex, is a "jumper" one who has tried to fling himself off the side of the island but does not succeed. He is pretty damaged and now blind. There is a group of revolutionaries that oppose the government's control and are trying to get off the island. Something that has been tried for generations. I really enjoyed this first installment of DeStefano's new trilogy and she builds in all of the societal issues that she used in the Chemical Garden but with a bit of Across the Universe worked in. In some ways, this is a bit darker than that series. It has a wonderful ending that will leave you hanging a bit. Parents: some language, forced drug use, and sexual situations.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By BookJunkie on October 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Having read Lauren DeStefano's previous works, I was excited to read her next installment, even though the follow-ups after "Wither" were of a great disappointment to me. But "Wither" was great so I was eager to see what she has written after that series.

The thing with this book is that its the easily forgettable type of books, you won't find any great characters that stick with you nor any striking plot...the setting is the most imaginative thing you'll set out of this book: Morgan is among the "sky people" where there is a land suspended up above in the sky by the Sky God.

And there you have it. The setting. She, along with her family and friends live in a city that hangs in the sky and going to the edge of the land is forbidden though a few rebellious ones have tried and harmed themselves by doing so. Still, Morgan cannot stop herself from imaging what lies beyond her little world in the sky.

-It is a fluid read, it runs along nicely, the language is concise and easy to follow.
-Each chapter starts with a quote that's quite meaningful and deep.
-Characters are likable enough.
-Setting is quite unique but it isn't hard to understand or imagine the world that Morgan lives in.
-Religion. The explanation of a lot of things in the novel is explained by religion, especially how the inhabitants came to live in the sky...I thought it's a great reflection of how we, in real life, explain things away with religion and I thought that eventually Morgan would come to see that the way things are isn't because the "Sky God" ordered it to be that way. I was waiting for her to see that maybe she wasn't living on a land floating in the sky but was told so for whatever reason and that everything she knew was a lie.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By KVB99 on October 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Morgan lives in a strange world called Internment. What is Internment? Grab hold of your brain and shift it into neutral before proceeding. Internment is a big chunk of land scooped out of the earth and set up in the sky, where it floats some indeterminate distance over the planet below. On this piece of land is a somewhat modern city, and fields and forests. Around the circumference of this land a train constantly circles in a mostly non-ending loop. At this point, no doubt you have ten thousand questions. I did. But almost none of the basic questions you want to ask get answered--at least not in this book. You just have to accept the idea of a floating landmass or not accept it. I found it hard buy into, so that greatly affected my reaction to the story.

Most of the story centers on Morgan living a highly regimented life and gradually discovering that Internment is corrupt and oppressive. There is some romance in the story, but not much romantic tension--the story begins with Morgan matched up with her betrothed, Basil, and they are more or less are in love from the get go.

Most of the story centers around a murder that happens early on, and it's an event that soon leads Morgan to question what she's been told and consider leaving Internment by taking a suicidal leap off the edge. Near the end of a book, a different opportunity to leave Internment presents itself.

On the positive side, the characters have a lot of depth and the writing is generally good. On the negative side, as noted above, I found the world building to be too shallow. Also, the ending was a little weird IMO--again, there were too many `how is this possible?' questions for me to buy into it. Maybe the next book can overcome these problems by giving some backstory on things, but for now one has to judge this book on a stand alone basis.
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