Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books (24th Mar 2016)
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 in which 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.
I have always been a fan of Cecelia Ahern’s romantic comedies and when I heard that she’s branching out into my current favourite genre: YA, I was beside myself with excitement. I have read and loved some of Cecelia Ahern’s books before this, which is why Flawed was one of my most anticipated books this year.
Imagine living in a society where perfection is the norm and if you trip and make a mistake, that would be a colossal choice you’ve made. Cecelia Ahern introduces a world that is imaginative as well as frightening. In Flawed, a society that is governed under the Guild, only cares for perfection and has zero tolerance for mistakes and errors. Those who disobey the law will be punished or worse, be branded with an F, marking them as a Flawed member of the society.
Celestine North is the epitome of the perfect girl in her society. She’s an excellent student, she’s incredibly smart and she’s dating the head of the Guild’s son. Surely nothing could go wrong, if she had not gone against the beliefs that every person in the society follows and that small error in her judgement might have been the biggest flaw she possesses and she must suffer the consequences of her actions.
I liked the concept of Flawed, where people are expected to be perfect and efficient, because the society Cecelia Ahern created in her first foray into YA was just the very essence of the quintessential, utopian society, where everyone is deemed flawed if they were to make mistakes and errors in judgment and constantly striving for perfection. To be accepted. One wrong move will get you hauled away and be sentenced to a devastating lifetime of being a social pariah.
Seeing that I am a huge fan of a string of Cecelia Ahern’s novels in the past, I was buzzing with excitement to plunge into the world that she created and be fully immersed in the story of Celestine North’s one wrong move that would determine her fate for the rest of her life. However, I didn’t find that sparkle in Flawed as I did in Cecelia Ahern’s novels in another genre. Maybe it’s because I am so used to reading her writing style that fits romantic comedies so well, I had a hard time settling into her YA dystopian.
I really didn’t connect with the protagonist, Celestine because I felt that she was rather stoic at first, but I did warm up to her gradually. I liked how she was a firm believer of the Guild, probably aided by the fact that she’s dating the son of the head of the Guild, but I really enjoyed how her views and beliefs towards the system changed after her sentence as a Flawed. Hope I didn’t spoil it for you, since the title of the book is quite straightforward and self-explanatory. The other characters in the book weren’t too bad either, but I felt that the book revolved a little bit too much on Celestine. There was a lot going on, like how Celestine had to live her life as a Flawed and be ostracised by society, but I would have liked to read more about her relationship with Art and possibly Carrick, who went AWOL throughout most of the book.
Let’s talk about the romance in the book. Or the non-romance. Maybe it’s been downplayed since it’s the first book of a series (I think!) but Cecelia Ahern did tease us with a potential love triangle that, unfortunately, didn’t happen. And don’t get me talking about the ending because that was just cruel. I don’t know if I am more excited for the sequel or I’m frustrated with how things ended in Flawed. The book is about 400 pages and the pacing was OK for me. I would have liked Flawed more if it had started off differently because the first 100 pages were quite a drag, but thankfully, things picked up! I would have preferred if the world was gradually introduced as the plot progressed instead of the – sorry for using this term – infodumping in the earlier chapters.
If you’re a fan of Divergent and YA dystopian, you might want to pick Flawed up because it’s a good YA dystopian novel. Aside from the issues like how the story panned out and the lack of romance, I enjoyed Flawed and it was refreshing to read something by your favourite author who is branching out of her usual genre.
I’d like to thank HarperCollins UK for sending me a proof copy of Flawed for review in exchange for an honest review.