This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
(Description nicked from B&N.com.)
“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.”
I’m a firm believer that you will find the books that speak to you the most during the times when you most need to hear what they have to say. This is the case with me and Flawed. I saw an offer for an advance copy of this book and thought “Sounds interesting, I’ll give it a try”. And wow. Just… wow. Boy, was this book a punch to the gut, but in the best way.
You see, I’m pretty sure that most people have times in their lives when they feel that if they don’t come across as perfect, they will be thought of as having something wrong with them, or that they will at least be judged harshly. Sometimes we run across people in our lives who brand us as something that we’re not, and our standing among our friends and family is damaged. Sometimes we make bad choices and those around us won’t let it go. Anybody who has experienced any of these situations in their life will find a lot that resonates with them in this book.
But, this is also a story about the unexpected times people stand up for you. It’s about the ways in which they show their support and the surprising ways in which they do so. It’s about the ways they will defend you because they know the real you, the one that others try to bury. So lest you think this novel is all trauma and heartache, just know that there’s a lot of positive things to enjoy.
Yes, on the surface this is a teen dystopian novel. There’s romance. There’s drama. There are a few scenes that will make you cringe (the ones involving branding irons, especially). The best novels can take a familiar trope and express it in such a way that it speaks to you in entirely new ways. So yes, this is being touted as The Scarlet Letter meets Divergent, but it’s got so much of its own to say.
I got so into this book that when I got to the last page and realized I’d have to wait over a year for the rest of the story (Perfect comes out in 2017), I actually yelled out loud “OH COME ON!!!!!” That’s another sign of a good book–when you can’t bear to wait that long to find out what happens next.
I had a couple of niggling issues with this book, primarily surrounding Celestine’s insta-bond with Carrick, a boy she encounters while incarcerated by the Guild that metes out punishments to those deemed Flawed. There’s a certain point in that sequence where I could see her latching onto him as the only other person going through the same thing as her, but I think the author had it happen a little too quickly. However, it’s not necessarily a romantic attraction, so it didn’t bother me too much.
Otherwise, this novel made 2016 start off strong with regards to my reading. Flawed is one of those books that I’ll be recommending to everyone that I can, because it has so much to say about what the world can do to us, and how we can find the strength to hold our heads high.