Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 356 pages
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.
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 when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — 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 who she will lose.
This book is well-written and the world-building is intricate. I loved the idea of a floating world where the residents know there is another, bigger world on the ground, but they can't reach it. The city is surrounded by a wall, and if they go over the wall to try to see over the edge, it leads to madness or worse.
Morgan, the main character, is likable and relatable. She's been sheltered by her parents and she's never really questioned the rules, but ever since her brother went over the wall (he's called a jumper, although I'm not sure I totally understood since it doesn't seem like they actually can jump over the edge, the wind and other things keep them from doing that) she's been feeling restless and not as satisfied with this seemingly perfect world. "I'm looking for more than what I know."
The details of the world are slowly revealed throughout the course of the novel and you find out that even though there is hardly ever any crime (Morgan's parents don't even lock their doors), many people are not as happy as they seem. "There is the termination procedure. The dispatch procedure. The dusting procedure that reduces bodies to ash. The mercy procedure that dispatches the infants who are born unwell." Also, your spouse is chosen for you before you are even born. And then you find out that most people deal by taking "medicine." I found the world to be fascinating, but the plot was a bit slow in the first half and I was somewhat frustrated that certain things aren't explained. However, to be fair that was because it was told from Morgan's POV and she didn't really know too much about what was really going on.
I did enjoy the book, but I never really connected with the characters. Basil's such a great guy and I was so happy that there wasn't a love triangle, but at the same time I didn't feel like I got to know him at all. He would say things like, "Whatever you decide, I want you to know that I'll stand behind it. I said I'd follow you off the edge, and I meant it. I'd jump into the sky with you. Wherever you go, you won't have to go alone." I should have been saying awwww. But for some reason, I just never felt anything.
The book ends in a huge cliffhanger that definitely makes me want to read the next one (but also annoys me). To sum it up, gorgeous writing, amazing world-building, but I never became emotionally invested in the characters.
Posted by: Pam