You will be punished…
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 perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything. [Goodreads]
I was very skeptical about reading this book. Having only seen negative reviews around, general expectations were very low. I’ve read three of Ahern’s books and thoroughly enjoyed them. This book has also managed to make it to the list.
Being “Flawed” essentially means being human. But in their world, being human is wrong. Having those flaws means you’re dangerous, so much so that the everyone around you needs to know this, through branding on the skin and by wearing a branding patch. To isolate that person even more they have a watcher, a Whistleblower, who ensures the Flawed follow their set rules.
It was a struggle to push through the opening of Flawed. The beginning was slow and what drew out the pace was the repetition that kept occurring. It was so noticeable in every paragraph where Celestine explained something about the way her world ran or when being introduced to a character. As we were introduced to the possible new love interest, it was mentioned he was “young” and “around the same age” twice in one small paragraph. I get it. You like. Now let’s move on.
Luckily it subsided as the story went on. Or maybe it became less noticeable? Either way, other thoughts rolled around in my head and I flew through the pages.
It was horrifying to read what Celestine was going through. There are two occasions in the novel which were really upsetting to read. I felt the pain and despair that Celestine went through, which really made this book stand out. Because she is not Flawed, she’s completely normal! ..Well in our world she’d be normal (!!!). There was the right amount of intensity to capture the extreme circumstances of the rules and it never felt over-exaggerated. She was stripped from all hope and faith in humanity when she is the one showing how kind humanity is!!
This book was beautifully constructed and where there are elements which are similar to other dystopian novels out at the moment, it is also very distinguishable as an individual. It will be interesting to see how closely it does compare and differentiate itself from, say, The Hunger Game trilogy in the concept of having a strong individual female lead.
The novel wasn’t heavily romantic. I would class it as a coming-of-age but in a dystopian society. The romance that we did see was… insta-love. Because staring at someone through a glass wall and communicating through your eyes does not equal a connection. But I saw it’s purpose and it was twist in the novel that I figured out.
So now, go forth! Please read this novel! It tore me into pieces and as I tried to build myself back up a sledgehammer came and truly broke me. I can’t wait to see what Ahern has in store for us in the next book in the series. An amazing YA debut.
I really liked it