Flawed – Cecelia Ahern
I’ve read literally everything this woman has published, I think it’s pretty safe to say that she’s one of my favourite authors, usually, her stories are heartbreaking or bitter sweet romances (personal favourites being Where Rainbows End – which is now a film called Love, Rosie – and PS I Love You – also a film), this is her first YA novel and also the first in a series. Though I’m not entirely sure how much enthusiasm I’ll have for the rest of the series…
The stunning YA debut from internationally bestselling author Cecelia Ahern.
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 this stunning novel, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society in which perfection is paramount and mistakes are punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.
Can I just say, this isn’t a bad book, it’s a perfectly acceptable YA novel. I really enjoyed and raced through it. My problem is that even though the details are different, the story isn’t anything new. Young girl living in dystopian world becomes disillusioned at the way things are run, finds herself becoming known to the government, rebels and brings about change. Like, I could literally be describing, The Hunger Games or Divergent or the Matched series or any number of other YA novels. Which is such a shame because as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, I love this author.
The basic premise of this story is that because the bankers and the people generally in charge of society majorly fluffed up and bought about an economic crisis, some rich, middle class men decided that they would weed out any ‘imperfections’ by branding people they deemed to be flawed and segregating them in society. Think the Scarlet Letter. Or in more horrific real life terms, being anyone Hitler didn’t approve of during the thirties and forties. The Flawed are actually branded with an actual iron in increasing severity depending on how flawed said rich, middle class men decide you are and are then forced to live in practical isolation because those who aren’t flawed aren’t allowed to even really talk to them. Yeah, as you can imagine, the house prices are probably well cheap in this place cos there can’t be many people who want to live there. Anywho, this is where our Celestine comes into the story, having been bought up to hate the Flawed and falling for one the head judge’s son, she gets herself into a situation which requires her to go on trial, she is found guilty of not being perfect (in the eyes of the aforementioned rich middle class dudes) and this leads her to start questioning the nature of the society in which she lives. Much like how Tris did after discovering she was divergent. And Katniss did, after rescuing Prim from having to take part in the Hunger Games. And that I think is the reason why I found this so disappointing. It wasn’t anything I hadn’t read before. Which in a way was nice because it was familiar, you know exactly what you’re going to get with a book like this, but at the same time, the market is over saturated with books just like this, with leading ladies just like this and boring love triangles just like this. It’s such a shame! Mostly because as I said, I really enjoyed it. But then I also really enjoyed Divergent and the Hunger Games.
That said, this was a great YA novel, it literally ticked every single box and you know, sometimes you just want a ridiculous, teenage dystopia which you can while away a few hours with, which this was completely perfect for. It wasn’t too long, it wasn’t too arduous, the world building was done just right and there were moments where Cecelia Ahern’s charm and knack at writing great romance scenes really shone through even if this isn’t her strongest novel. While I have done literally nothing but moan about how tired the concept is, the story is quite promising and the descriptions of Celestine’s torture etc made gripping reading.
Basically, this is a generic, but inoffensive YA novel with an interesting idea and a host of interesting characters, but it’s nothing you won’t have come across before. I’m not put off the idea of finishing the series, I just don’t think I’ll leap at the chance to read an advanced copy. I still love Cecelia Ahern and have high hopes for future books, but I think we all know how the sequel will turn out.