I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
Series: Flawed #1
on April 5th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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Celestine North lives a perfect life. She's a model daughter and sister, she's well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she's dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.
But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule. And now faces life-changing repercussions.
She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found FLAWED.
In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where obedience is paramount and rebellion is punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her-everything.
I’ve never read a book by Cecelia Ahern before, but I was drawn in by her name alone. I mean, I’ve seen PS I love you in film format, and really enjoyed it… so her books have to be good, right? What finalized my decision was that it’s her YA debut, so there was no reason for me to hesitate.
Did it live up to my expectations? Although, it was completely different than I would ever have imagined, I would have to say, yes, it did. It was engrossing, emotional and vibrant, and it carried a heavy message. And it wasn’t until after finishing the book that I began to see some of its weaknesses. Or, at least what could possibly be seen as weaknesses by some readers.
First off, Celestine was one of the most unlikable characters in the beginning. She came across as shallow and empty. In those first few pages, I was very cynical about the book’s outcome. But, as the book progressed, her character began to fill in. What begins as a wrong-place-wrong-time event, ends with Celestine making a rash decision; to help a fellow human being. What’s wrong with that? you ask. Well, instead of blurring the lines between right and wrong, this book does the exact opposite. It draws a rigid line straight down between the two, and with that one action, Celestine has crossed that line. Throughout the course of the book, Celestine goes from shallow teen, to Flawed, to accidental symbol of freedom and human rights.
This is where my second point comes in… the story is completely implausible. This dystopian world takes place in the near future, where a new form of punishment has been introduced. When someone acts immorally – lying, cheating, taking advantage, even taking unnecessary risks – they aren’t imprisoned, because what they’re doing isn’t against the law. Instead, they’re branded as Flawed. Like, a literal brand. An F is burned onto their bodies, where everyone can see that they are immoral, and are therefore, to be shunned. As if lying is a disease that can be caught. As implausible as this future is, it’s a really effective way to illustrate bigotry, corruption and the mob mentality of hatred. It’s stark, and it’s ugly. And that made this book enthralling.
Flawed isn’t fast paced, and it isn’t action packed, but please don’t look at this as another “weakness”. This book is entirely character driven. If you need to be constantly bombarded with shootouts, blood and gore, then this may not be the book for you. But… if you’re interested in an intriguing world of political and personal corruption, and internal struggle, then I highly recommend you give it a shot.
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