Saturday, January 25, 2014

December Book Club: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

 Morgan lives in Internment - a part of the earth that was exiled to the sky. Everyone has a place and a responsibility and lives in peace with each other. Until a girl Morgan's age is found murdered on the train tracks. As the authorities try to find the killer, Morgan's life slowly begins to unravel and she worries that she will be drawn to the edge of Internment like her older brother who was blinded as a result of his curiosity. When the girl's betrothed is named as the murderer, Morgan finds herself unable to believe that Judas could really have done it. She clings to her best friend Pen and her own betrothed, Basil, and tries to make sense of the swirling mysteries building around her. Can she find the truth or will she lose everything she cares about?

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What we thought:
Rebecca T. - I liked the way that it wasn't a real dystopian society. As the story progresses we get more of the negative things that are going on, but overall this is a pleasant place to live. Overall, people are happy with their lives, their jobs, and their families. This was a welcome break from some of the darker dystopians that have been so popular (not that I don't love the darker ones too). I appreciated the lack of a love triangle as well. I also really liked the inclusion of religion as an aspect of society. Too often in books (especially YA) there is absolutely no mention of religion. Looking at earth's history, it is highly unlikely that religion would disappear from society, so I always appreciate it when an author weaves it in well as DeStefano does here. I was not as happy about the ending as it felt more like a chapter break than the end of the book, but I am very curious to see what will transpire in the second book.

Jenn N. - I enjoyed DeStefano's previous work with the Chemical Garden trilogy, but I loved Perfect Ruin!! I thought it was clever how this dystopian trilogy went against the cookie cutter oppressive society that dominates the genre and went against type with a seeming idyllic community. Of course, as the novel progresses, cracks start to develop in Internment's perfect reputation, and you're pulled into Morgan's investigation into the mysterious society. I also loved Morgan's relationship with Basil. For once we have a heroine who at this time seems to have no romantic conflict. She seems more than content with Basil, and I hope that doesn't change in subsequent installments. Although this is the first book in a trilogy I found that the book ended rather abruptly, but it certainly served as a great cliffhanger because I'll be reading the second installment as soon as it's available. I also have to add a side comment that Lauren DeStefano is the owner of the world's cutest cats. Check her out on Instagram and see what I mean.

For January we are reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, so check back to see what we thought!

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