Date published: April 5th 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
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.
I have been a huge fan of Cecelia Ahern for years. I’ve read every single one of her books and loves each one to a varying degree. So when I found out that she will have a YA dystopian book out, I’m excited for this new venture. A bit apprehensive yes, but excited too, because I did not know what to expect when my favourite author starts writing in a different genre that she is known as and a young adult book too! I usually try to steer clear away from reading YA unless if it’s from author(s) that I really really want to check out, so of course I have to give this a try.
Flawed is a duology (with the second book out next year!) about Celestine North, who lives in a society who views traits like cheating, making bad decision, stealing from the society, disloyalty to the Guild and stepping out of line as character flaws. If found guilty of any (or all) of these, the person would be branded with an F (ala Scarlet Letter) in specific places on their bodies. Christine has always thought of herself as someone who is loyal to the Guild (basically like the ruling system) and have always abide by the rules. But then something happened that makes her question the whole system.
I thought this was a really great book, with enough action to make me interested with the whole premise from the start to the finish. It was intense and really gripping that I found myself unable to put down the book and I totally forgo sleep in order to finish it. The best thing about it was that even though it has a little bit of a slow start, but when the action happens, it just zips through, without sacrificing any of the details and that’s what I love about Cecelia. There are a lot of details, some even graphic than others, so just prepare yourself.
As for the characters, what I love about Celestine is that even though she thinks (and maybe knows) she is perfect, she is flawed. She makes ‘bad’ judgment and she breaks rules and at the beginning, I don’t feel like I can relate to her at all. However, it changes as the story progresses along and makes you want to root for Celestine. As for Art, I don’t feel any connection at all with him and I don’t even feel the chemistry between him and Celestine. I was intrigued with Carrick and was gutted when there were too little of him. I definitely need more of him. I need to know his backstory, what drives him and what he really is like. Bosco was excellent as antagonist; I hated his gut! Pia’s character is well-written too and I hope we’ll see more of her in the next book. I also love Celestine’s family, especially her mom, granddad and Juniper and thought that the way their family works in time of change is admirable.
Overall, for a first venture into YA dystopian genre, I thought that Cecelia Ahern did very well in creating the world that makes me questions everything that they ever do. I love that she also focuses on family values that even though things had changed, Celestine and her family still stick together. There were little to no romance in this book but that is not a problem for me.