Wednesday, April 6, 2016

ARC Review: Flawed

Title: Flawed (Flawed #1)
Series: Flawed
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Source: Emma

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 obedience is paramount and rebellion is punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her-everything.

My Review

In her new Young Adult debut, Cecelia Ahern takes readers on a new kind of dystopian adventure. Flawed isn't just your average dystopian novel, and I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It's gritty, emotional, and addicting, but it also forces readers to think about life in different ways. Not everything in life is black and white; there are gray areas. That is what Flawed is about, and it's sure to captivate readers.

Flawed, the first novel in a duology about a futuristic society that values perfection, and being imperfect is worse than being a criminal. If a person does something that is deemed wrong, they are marked for life as a Flawed member of society. In one moment, Celestine North's life as a perfect member of her town and country is taken away from her because she does what she believes is right. That one decision changes her life forever.

If you're like me, you've probably read quite a few different dystopian series. I'll admit that I was a little late to the party, but there are some dystopian novels and series that I've really enjoyed. There are also some that I've started and stopped reading just because it seems like the authors are trying to hard to come up with the next big book in the genre.  Flawed is not like that. This book brings all of the ingredients needed for a dystopian novel together plus some new ideas to make a unique novel that will have readers questioning everyday events and occurrences. I loved everything about this book - plot, characters, concepts - literally everything. I found it to be something fresh in a genre that is now getting a lot of flack for its unoriginality, and I believe that this novel just might be what people need to start enjoying dystopia again.

The plot of Flawed follows the basic plotline of many popular and successful dystopian novels, wherein society brings about change to try to make for a more peaceful or utopic living environment. In Ms. Ahern's case, she presents The Guild, a court system that brings people to trial when they are accused of having a flawed personality or being imperfect. After a few very popular cases, The Guild, and its leader, Judge Crevan, are being questioned by many people. People are starting to think that something is wrong with the way issues are being handled. More specifically, they think that their once heroic Judge Crevan is corrupt. Celestine North's case seems to be the match that lights the fire. People are outraged by what's become of her, but they don't even know the whole story. What will this young woman do when she becomes the poster child for The Guild and the people who are sick of it?

I also really enjoyed the characters in Flawed because of how different and unique they all are. First of all, Ms. Ahern provides a diverse cast of characters, particularly the North family. Celestine and her siblings are biracial, and although it's only mentioned a few times, it's something. It's just something that I would have liked to see a little more about it, especially with the black and white metaphor going on throughout the novel. I'm hoping that more will come of this in the sequel, Perfect

Cecelia Ahern does an excellent job at providing a unique cast of characters. The main characters all have different roles, and I'm sure that many readers will enjoy getting to know them. At the beginning of the novel, Celestine North is perfect., but that soon changes for her. Her boyfriend is Art Crevan, son of Judge Bosco Crevan. Celestine has excellent marks in school, and she's set to make something of herself after high school. Juniper, Celestine's older sister, is the antithesis of Celestine. When Celestine follows the rules, Juniper tests them. When Celestine excels at school, Juniper struggles. When Celestine's life is turned upside down, Juniper finds hers is turning as well, and there are some moments in the book that really capture what it's like to have a sister and to be jealous of her.

As far as setting goes, I couldn't exactly tell where exactly the novel is supposed to be set. From context clues about people traveling and local terminology, I'm assuming that Flawed is set in Ireland or the U.K. It didn't really bother me not knowing exactly where the book was set, but it would have been nice to know where in the world this book was set just to really imagine what things look like.

I really enjoyed reading Ms. Ahern's YA debut novel. It's just one of those novels that really worked for me, and I often found myself crying or tearing up at the horrible and terrible beauty of this book. I think it's a book that many teens (and adults) will enjoy reading, and as an English teacher, I think it would be an excellent book to read after reading The Scarlet Letter. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes dystopia and anyone interested in the rights and wrongs of society.

Cecelia Ahern is the award-winning and bestselling author of many adult novels, including P.S. I Love You and Love, Rosie -- both of which were major motion pictures. Flawed is her debut young adult novel. She resides in Ireland.

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