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: 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

Movie Review: Love, Rosie

If you missed my review for Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern press here.

Love-Rosie_glamour_14aug14_pr_b_1080x720Director: Christian Ditter
Release Date: 22nd October 2014 (Lionsgate)
Running Time: 102 minutes
Certificate: 15

I have been super excited for this film. I read Where Rainbows End really quickly and I couldn’t wait to see how it’d be shown in a movie form. The thing I loved most about the book was how Alex and Rosie kept in touch with one another all the time, through messages, letters, emails, everything. There would be breaks but you could always feel that their friendship was really strong.

The film was a condensed version of the book (obviously!) showing their lives from 18 to 30.

What surprised me most about this film was what they included. This shouldn’t have been a surprise but I went into the film thinking they wouldn’t show everything up to the end of the book, in my mind I came to the conclusion that they’d ‘make up’ an ending. But they didn’t. I liked the small details of the messages and letters, which kept the same wording from the book. Obviously, the whole film wasn’t built with them writing and reading letters or even having message chats, but the film would jump from ‘Life of Rosie,’ then ‘Life of Alex,’ then something drawing them together. I felt like the friendship wasn’t solidified enough. There would be scenes of them together and then they’d be apart with no communication between them.

Another factor that I will pick at is the scene lengths. I realize that they needed to fit 12 years into the film but there were times where the scenes did not get the amount of time needed. This was more obvious when a character was going through an emotional stage in the film. Of course, this is all down to the book-movie transition and the editing. I hope when the DVD comes out there’ll be a lot of deleted scenes because it would be lovely to see a longer version of some of the scenes.

Sam Claflin and Lily Collins did a magnificent job playing Alex and Rosie. Watching them literally have to grow up on screen was something I was unsure about at first, but I think they achieved it really well. Especially Lily, when she had her child and her development as a mother.

There were also shots in the film that I thought were composed really well. Funnily enough, these two shots are also used in the trailer! I thought they were poignant parts of the film and even as a still, it could reflect so much. Okay, there’s me randomly rambling over shots you have no clue about! (Airport and field, if you have seen the film, try figure it out from those words..!)

As a movie alone, it was really enjoyable and I liked the little comedy elements to the film. As an overall page-to-screen movie, it was very condensed, making the sequence of events far too realistic for me.

My Rating:

I liked it

3 cup

Check out the trailer below!

Review: Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern

714985Title: Where Rainbows End
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publication Date: 8th November 2004 (HarperCollins)
Pages: 585
Genre: Romance
Format: Paperback

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

From naughty children to rebellious teenagers, Rosie and Alex have stuck by each other through thick and thin. But just as they’re discovering the joys of teenage nights on the town and dating disasters, they’re separated. Alex’s family move from Dublin to America – and Alex goes with them. For good.

Rosie’s lost without him. But on the eve of her departure to join Alex in Boston, Rosie gets news that will change her life forever – and keep her at home in Ireland.

Their magical connection sees them through the ups and downs of each others lives, but neither of them knows whether their friendship can survive the years and miles – or new relationships. And at the back of Rosie’s mind is whether they were meant to be more than just good friends all along. Misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck have kept them apart, but when presented with the ultimate opportunity, will they gamble everything for true love? [Goodreads]

The fim ‘Love, Rosie’ only being a few days away from release, I thought it was a suitable time to pick up the book. I’ve read The Gift and Thanks for the Memories by Ahern and I really enjoyed them so I knew her style of story, yet Where Rainbows End surprised me!

The first thing that struck me about this book was the layout. The way that the story is told is through a series of notes, instant messages, emails and letters. At first, I found it really odd, however as I read on the emails and letters became longer and it flowed much better than in the first instant. But the messaging wasn’t just with Alex and Rosie, which I thought was the best part of the book, we also got a chance to read about their relationship with their family and friends, and in some cases, revealing their feelings they hid from one another. Due to the way the book was written, I found myself getting through the book much quicker than typically thick books like this one!

I did not know much about Where Rainbows End other than the things that are mentioned in the trailer. There was actually a hell of a lot more drama than is reflected in the trailer (but I hope there is also some of this in the film – although from the trailer it doesn’t look like it spans across 50 years of Alex and Rosie’s life!). When I mean there’s A LOT OF DRAMA, I do mean it very very literally. A. Lot.

My favourite characters were Katie and Toby and I loved reading their character development. Their relationship is almost a reflection of Rosie and Alex when they were younger and, really, how theirs should have gone if all their circumstances didn’t drag them away from one another. The highlight for me was when reading their instant messaging talk and how it changed at certain ages, that really did reflect how younger generation lingo (even I had that phase where I began abbreviating and using single letters for words etc.)

My only complaint is the ending. Expected, yes, after all it is a romance, but it didn’t sit too well with me. Maybe it was the fact that it was all just too easy in the end? Or maybe the journey between Rosie and Alex tired me out I couldn’t be bothered with them any more? Whatever it was, the ending unsatisfied me.

My Rating:

I really liked it

4 cup