Review: Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1) – Lauren DeStefano

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Summary:

On the floating city of Internment, you can be anything you dream, unless you approach the edge. Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close can lead to madness, like her older brother Len, a Jumper. She takes solace in her best friend Pen, and in Basil, the boy she’s engaged to marry. When she investigates the first murder in a generation, she meets Judas. The suspect was betrothed to the victim, but Morgan believes he is innocent. Nothing can prepare Morgan for the secrets she will find – or whom she will lose.

Review:

I came to own this book in a rather circuitous fashion. I remember considering picking up Wither, but then deciding the premise was just too absurd for me to even want to give it a chance. I started following her around the end of the year, when a blogger friend got her to RT my Shadow and Bone giveaway – she’s a huge Leigh Bardugo fan (which is awesome). I stayed following her because I started to genuinely enjoy her twitter feed. She’s geeky, she’s funny and chill. So when this went on sale around the same time, I finally decided to give it a shot.

And?

Well. We’ll always have Twitter.

This is one of those books that just didn’t work for me. The whole concept of Internment didn’t work for me. I know that people seem to like to label this as a dystopia, but I honestly don’t see it. Hunger Games was clearly dystopic – the Capitol lived a ridiculously hedonistic life-style at the expense of those in the Districts (and never mind that little tourney of theres). Divergent was clearly dystopic – you had your factions and if you couldn’t form well enough, you were sentenced to a life of miserable homelessness and depended on Abnegation for scraps of food. This though? If it weren’t on a freaking floating rock, it’d feel like a small gated community in modern America. Well, if that gated community had bizarre physics that blinded you or turned you epileptic if you tried to jump for Reasons. We won’t go into the whole “there is enough freaking power to keep a giant rock a float in the air, but not enough to keep electricity on/off for 24/7” bit either.

Also, speaking of Reasons, there’s the whole “let’s make the women into semi-second class-citizens!” nonsense. There’s a line where Morgan thinks about how soon one day she’ll be responsible for pressing Basil’s shirts and buying the soap she likes. She also mentions how until she’s the property of her husband, she’s the property of the educators. No real reason for that. Or the betrothal at birth. Or the creepy exchange of blood-filled rings at marriage. Or the bizarre “your partner dies young you can never have another one. EVER” never mind there are others who have lost THEIR loves young and are now not connected to anyone.

Okay then.

Stefano took the time to create a religion about the Sky God, but it’s nothing that spectacular.

I don’t know. The whole thing just felt…off. I applaud DeStefano for not even aiming for the triangle crap that fills YA (I liked how the girls did actually love their boyfriends, that was sweet), but the conspiracy felt old hat and nothing was that surprising. People stuck in a place will try and find a way out. It’s human nature. Implying that her mom had a roll in the rebellion by drawing lightning bolts and rainbows (but Morgan not knowing what they are) felt not unlike learning what Tris’ mother did in Insurgent. There’s just no surprise there.

The book was an easy enough read, but there isn’t enough here here to make me want to check out the next one, nor her other series Wither.  Ultimately, this is just another filler entry in the overstuffed YA dystopia genre.

Verdict: Skip It. The world of Internment isn’t interesting enough to make up for the lackluster story.

 

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