Jess’ Reviews: Flawed by Cecelia Ahern May 10, 2016 – Posted in: Review

I have to admit, I was pretty sceptical when I heard Cecelia Ahern was debuting her first Young Adult fiction novel. Despite her popularity and success with her previous books, two of which have become equally popular movies, I was never drawn to Cecelia’s style of writing. I almost put down “Love, Rosie” on multiple occasions because I was so frustrated with the stubborn-headedness of the characters and monotony of the plot, but preserved because many of my friends told me I would love it (thanks guys). But I didn’t.

That’s why I was a little more than surprised when I picked up a copy of Flawed and instantly fell in love. Flawed is a little similar in style and setting to Lauren Oliver’s Delirium and Ally Condie’s Matched series, so if you enjoyed those books, this definitely is the read for you.

The story is set in a futuristic, dystopian world where perfection is paramount, and flaws, such as lying or stealing, are punishable by branding, segregation and ridicule. The rules surrounding the Flawed are created and enforced by the Guild. It follows the life of Celestine North, who leads a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked and respectedby her classmates and teachers, smart, and she’s dating Art Crevan, son of the Guild’s leader.

But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision, one based on compassion and kind-heartedness. She breaks a rule and finds herself faced with the possibility of becoming a Flawed and losing her family, friends and everything she’s ever cared about.

What I found so compelling about this story was the fact that it was based around a miniscule act that wouldn’t be questioned in our world, but in this fictional world, it has horrific repercussions. The situations and descriptions were so vivid that I could imagine myself in the story, and I can tell you that my actions and thought processes would have been identical to Celestine’s. I loved reading about a character that was nothing special and absolutely normal in every way, that I could identify with. It was quite refreshing because often the teenage heroines of dystopian novels are fierce and brave and lead rebellions and do things that you could never see yourself doing in a million years (eg. Katniss Everdeen and Tris Prior).

The secondary characters were all very real, very human and flawed in their own rights (although not in the ways that were punishable in the eyes of the Guild). Celestine was an intriguing mix of strong and weak, brave and cowardly, independent and easily led. It meant that I was never quite sure what she would do next, who she would listen to and constantly found myself surprised by the direction she would take. Sometimes she would be second-guessing herself and her decisions until the last possible second, ensuring I was never entirely sure where the novel was heading.

This novel ended on a cliff-hanger, so I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel. All in all, this was a very strong YA debut for Cecelia Ahern. It does have one very graphic scene about branding, so I would recommend this to audiences 15+.