When I heard Cecelia Ahern and YA in the same sentence, I just knew I had to get my hands on it. I’m not the biggest fan of the cover, compared to the US version but it feels very Cecelia doesn’t it? Dystopian fiction feels a tad overdone, and in this one, I did feel echoes of The Hunger Games/Insurgent etc. I did feel a bit like, oh here we go again and at points it felt very scripted. Having said that, I still absolutely loved it.
“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.”
I’ll be honest, you can see the plot line of this book as soon as you start reading – the horrific treatment and segregation of the ‘Flawed’ and the young heroine, Celestine who innocently lives her life abiding by the rules, but feeling sorry for these people. You know what’s going to happen – there’s no tension there. Unfortunately, having read ‘the big’ dystopian YA on offer, they seem to start all feeling fairly similar, or following a similar pattern. Luckily, Cecelia Ahern introduces a few new aspects, some unsuspecting twists, and brilliant writing to make it worth reading and really enjoyable.
There’s something awfully familiar about the leader of the rebellion who never meant to be a rebel (*cough* Katniss), but I still found myself whipping through the pages. Though the plot structure feels pretty similar, I loved how Cecelia’s story questions human morality, presented in the idea of a ‘Flawed’ person. I loved the different brands that you received if you had poor lack of judgment, or if you lie, or ‘step away’ from society and the isolation that comes with such a label. It was a brilliant concept, and one that I could easily imagine in society – we judge each other for such things anyway, in the media and in rumours, this book just goes to the extend of branding poor choices onto people. This book makes its difference by focusing in on what it’s like to make a mistake, if you learn from it, or if you should be reminded of it forever and considered to be a lower citizen. It questions whether one choice determines your life, or makes you ‘flawed’ and what perfection really is. And it shows how no matter what rules there are or the risks involved, you can’t beat human compassion.
Flawed is such an easy read – I finished it within one afternoon and I think had it come along before the height of the dystopian YA, it would have been huge, in place of The Hunger Games & Insurgent. I’d definitely read the next one and I would certainly recommend it to other readers – Cecelia has proven herself to be a great YA author with a brilliant voice and some inspiring and interesting concepts too. It’s a really enjoyable, and lovely read and if anything, I think it’s just a shame that it wasn’t published 4 or 5 years ago!
It’s published by HarperCollins on 24th March – so go buy it and lose yourself in dystopia once more.