Series: Flawed #1
Published by HarperCollins UK on April 5th 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, General, Social Themes, Values & Virtues, Prejudice & Racism, Dystopian, Romance
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Also by this author: Perfect
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.
In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society in which obedience is paramount and rebellion is punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.
Flawed is one of those books that grabs hold of you and doesn’t let you go until the very end (and even then, you’re dying to get started on Perfect, book two). When I heard Cecelia Ahern was writing a YA novel I was sceptical – it was as if all these fantastic authors saw how well received YA was and thought, “easy peasy”, but I actually loved Flawed so much. It’s entirely different to her adult novels, with not a scrap of magic in sight, but it’s compelling, fast-paced and it actually made me feel genuinely sick, which is a first for a book. I’m generally okay with gore and stuff as long as I’m reading about it and not actually seeing it, but reading about the branding of the Flawed made me feel physically sick for hours. So, um, well done?
Flawed is set in the UK (I assume), although an actual place is never mentioned, except Hemmings, and I’m not quite sure if it’s set in the future or the now, but that’s not important. What’s important is that in this world, there’s a system where if you make a mistake – like embezzling money, cover up something you did that was perceived as wrong or, in Celestine’s case, help out a Flawed you become Flawed; you get shunned from regular society, you get branded and you have to live within a set of rules. Now I like the idea of the Flawed manifest, but their reasons for becoming Flawed are arbitrary. It all hinges on what the Judges think of you, kinda like the X Factor.
What makes the book so compelling is the fact that Celestine not only tried to help someone (compassion is over-rated in this world) but she’s seen as the poster girl for change #Katniss #Mockingjay and there’s plenty of people around her who want her to help them with their own agendas. There’s a lot to take in, a lot of things thrown at you throughout the book but it’s set itself up for the second book so incredibly well. Celestine is a likeable heroine, I actually liked Judge Crevin for a hot minute until it all went head over heels, and I liked her family, the way they’re initially presented made me worry Celestine would be ostracised, but that wasn’t the case and her mother, Summer, impressed me most of all with her actions.
Cecelia Ahern has written a winner here. I loved it. Like I said, I raced through most of the book in one sitting and only put it down to go to work and picked it back up as soon as I was finished. I’m so excited to get stuck into Perfect and see where it takes Celestine. There seems like there’s so much more to learn and I’m SO curious about Carrick, a boy Celestine meets while awaiting her trial – they barely talk/interact, but Celestine feels something so I’m intrigued to see where it goes. I really enjoyed Flawed, it was a flawless (sorry) first book in the Flawed series and it’s left me on tenterhooks for book two.