Review: Perfect (Flawed #2) by Cecelia Ahern

Title: Perfect (Flawed #2)
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publication Date: 6th April 2017 (HarperCollins Children’s)
Pages: 288
Genre: Dystopian
Format: Hardback

Links to buy: |Amazon UK| |Waterstones| |Book Depository|

Celestine North lives in a society that demands perfection. After she was branded Flawed by a morality court, Celestine’s life has completely fractured – all her freedoms gone.

Since Judge Crevan has declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with the complicated, powerfully attractive Carrick, the only person she can trust. But Celestine has a secret – one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground.

Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save only herself, or risk her life to save all the Flawed. And, most important of all, can she prove that to be human in itself is to be Flawed…? [Goodreads]

Frustration. That’s all I felt until the end of this book because being perfect isn’t a thing!

Celestine is Flawed, making her an outsider to everyone around her who are ‘Perfect’. But no one is Perfect and she knows it. Especially when the man in charged should be marked Flawed, Judge Crevan, the man who gave her the sixth Flawed brand on her spine. But Celestine has been marked as a threat to others and is on the run.

Perfect picks up shortly after Flawed. Celestine is in hiding, but she knows her time is running out. But after a surprise raid from the Whistleblowers, Carrick finds her.

It’s a little slow during the reunion between Celestine and Carrick. Their relationship and romance is so bizarre to me. After a few intense stares through glass and the shared moment of knowing about the sixth branding, they are in love? They hardly know one another! Which is how the complications roll out but this is all after they go way too far with one another first. Part of me thinks, is that the point?

Luckily after the reunion, a bit of GCSE science and rushed romance, it all kicks in. The pressure resumes and we’re reminded that Celestine and Carrick are wanted. And unlike the first novel, they are both more vocal and active. They don’t stand the hatred against them and take charge of the situation. Celestine and Carrick both have the same intentions, though like the Divergent series, miscommunication makes the journey longer than needed. People and trust issues…

Celestine follows an un-perfect, and yes flawed, journey to get where she wants to be. But she keeps going until she get’s what she wants. She’s our UK Katniss.

 

My rating:

I liked it

Review: The Crown (The Selection #5) by Kiera Cass

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Title: The Crown (The Selection #5)
Author: Kiera Cass
Publication Date: 19th May 2016 (HarperCollins)
Pages: 352
Genre: Dystopian/Romance
Format: Paperback

Links to buy: |Amazon UK| |Waterstones| |Book Depository|

When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined. [Goodreads]

If you’ve made it this far into The Selection series, you’ll know how literal the book titles are. The Crown is the last and final installment in The Selection series and where it should tie everything together, I felt like it gave an okay ending. I did not love it. At times, the novel got a bit boring.

After seeing the fun side of Eadlyn in The Heir, I was optimistic. I was excited to see her tone down her brattiness and generally become kinder. Sadly, this didn’t ease up that much as even if she listened to other problems that weren’t her own, her later thought was ‘it isn’t my concern right now’ and move on. It felt like a huge waste… Part of me wonders if Cass was trying to show Eadlyn as a strong female lead. She has the pressure but focus on her future role, which really pushes her forward in what she does, but there is really nothing that makes her relatable. I wonder if Eadlyn’s determination and drive overshadows everything else and maybe I’m reading her as a character wrong?

Admittedly, I was still sucked into this book. Cass delivers on the mixed emotions of frustration and happiness. However this only came down to the romance side of this book, which took a huge side-line. As her mother is still recovering and her father not leaving America’s side, Eadlyn steps up. It seemed a lot like child’s play here as we saw her go through meetings and do the reports for Illéa. Her control took over and her assertiveness just became both annoying and boring. She’s eighteen!! You don’t know anything at this age and she apparently thinks she knows better than everyone.

Although I could complain about too much perfectness in the ending, I was pleased… romantically and even surprised! An entertaining read… the ending was not as satisfying as it could have been.

My rating:
It was okay

2 cups

Review: The Heir (The Selection #4) by Kiera Cass

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Title: The Heir (The Selection #4)
Author: Kiera Cass
Publication Date: May 2015 (HarperCollins)
Pages: 400
Genre: Dystopian/Romance
Format: Paperback

Links to buy: |Amazon UK| |Waterstones| |Book Depository|

Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she’d put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess’s life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can’t escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn’t expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn’s heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought. [Goodreads]

The Heir follows their eldest daughter, Princess Eadlyn. Reading about America and Maxon in The Selection Trilogy was frustrating but enjoyable and coming back to this series brought some sense of nostalgia.

The plot template was more or less the same as before. Strangely, it still affected me in the same way: I wanted to rant at the characters and slap them… in a loving way. To put it simply Princess Eadlyn is a brat. How this girl came from America and Maxon is beyond me. Thrown into the position her father was in at her age, it is time for Eadlyn to find her match. With the pressure of pleasing society but no interest in falling in love, Eadlyn meets her father half way with a compromise…But the Selection must be done. It’s fun too see the other side of this ‘competition’ as Eadlyn is from the inside and is now looking out. Her refusal on the situation really brought the book down… She was unhappy but if she opened up and thought more freely, she would have (possibly) had a better time.

The only real negative about this book is the 35 suitors. I felt like there were 5 suitors who really stuck out and the rest blended in with the furniture. Their names would prop up and question marks would float around my head. There wasn’t any balance at all. And with Eadlyn’s personality it’s a shame we weren’t able to get more about the other suitors before they left. Alas, Eadlyn is too uptight about it all…

At the moment, I’m in a really picky reading mood and haven’t been enjoying much of the books I’ve been picking up. Luckily this one has been great. Easy and familiar but oh so enjoyable, romantically predictable and with a few twists to keep us (semi) on the edge of our seats.

My rating
I really liked it

4 cup

Review: Flawed (Flawed #1) by Cecelia Ahern

23438288Title: Flawed (Flawed #1)
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publication Date: 5th April 2016 (HarperCollins Children)
Pages: 336
Genre: Contemporary
Format: US Hardback

Links to buy: UK edition – Hardback |Amazon UK| |Waterstones| |Book Depository|

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.

My rating
I really liked it

4 cup

Review: Reborn (Altered #3) by Jennifer Rush

***This post does contain spoilers. If you don’t want spoilers, please do not read this review. You have been warned.

19200019Title: Reborn (Altered #3)
Author: Jennifer Rush
Publication Date: 1st January 2015 (Little Brown Books)
Pages: 323
Genre: Dystopian
Format: Hardback

Links to buy: |Amazon UK| |Book Depository|

The Branch is in shambles, but Anna, Sam, Cas, and Nick can’t rest easy. Remnants of the organization lurk unseen and the flashbacks to their old lives are only getting stronger–especially Nick’s.

Following scattered memories and clues from his Branch file, Nick sets off alone in search of answers and in search of the girl who haunts his dreams. But the sleepy town where she lives in full of secrets and Nick soon learns that uncovering their shared past may have deadly consequences. [Goodreads]

Okay, so I love Nick. After we were shown his horrible and moody side, there was a part of me that knew things would turn around. And then in Erased, we saw his nicer side. We found out how the boys were connected to Anna and their relationships with one another – although in some cases they were a little vague. There was part of me that really wanted Anna and Nick to be together, however by the end of Erased, I knew that Anna and Sam were set as stone. As annoyed as I was, it was nice to read about a character who was pretty much sure of who she wanted to be with. Love triangles can be infuriating and I’m glad that Anna didn’t waste the readers time with her indecisiveness.

In Reborn, we have a dual narration from Nick and Elizabeth. Nick’s still getting haunted by this mysterious girl in his dreams and with Anna, Sam and Cas seemingly all happy with their lives now, Nick makes it his mission to uncover the story behind his past.

I had a bit of a love hate relationship with Elizabeth. She too has memories of Nick but she uses a sense of smell to recollect the memories of the past. I loved this aspect of her character. Totally relatable but it also made her really intriguing. Now onto my hate… She was a bit too easy.. Let me explain, she was a ‘typical’ girl. Her situation she was in at the end was too easy. Her memories that just happened to reappear. It felt rushed and it didn’t seem like there was a lot of thought in it, especially after the team have to think of a way to get her out.

The action in this novel felt too easy. It was very anti-climatic. And a poor end to the trilogy.

My rating
I was okay

2 cups