Title: Flawed (Flawed #1)
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Celestine North is the it-girl of the town. She’s a smart, beautiful, obedient daughter of an influential family, and she’s dating the perfect son of a Judge who sits on a morality council — she even believes in this concept of flawed humans and their disgusting immorality. In this society, if you lie, cheat, steal, or get caught doing another immoral act, you get branded and shunned from society, forced to live a simple life and follow strict guidelines and curfews. You are punished for your bad moral choices, although the judgment is left to humans and not to God. Celestine believes in that regime… until she tries to save a Flawed man’s life, and her morality is thrown into question by the entire town.
My first reaction when I finished the book was honestly this: “I cannot believe that this book was 368 pages.” I read it in just a few sittings, and it flowed so well through both fast-paced and slower, more description-oriented passages, that I didn’t notice how quickly I had gone through it. This is definitely a book for people who loathe winded opening to novels, and who are antsy for the action to arrive.
The world-building was good, although perhaps a bit flawed (see what I did there?). I originally there were too many gaps in the morality discussions. There were many instances that people should have been flagged as “Flawed” but were overlooked, and no one batted an eyelash. Although, upon further considering it, I guess that it’s the point in a society where the “law” is being constantly challenged and reconsidered. You see the flaws where you need the society to see them; the villains do a great job of twisting and turning rules to fit their own agency. This book is also a very good social commentary on media influence and on flock mentality. It’s a very interesting read and it raises a lot of social issues that leaves you craving more.
There were great characters, and although there were a lot, they were easily discernible. Unfortunately, there are love triangles, but they’re not too overbearing (although, no spoilers, I did find one specific connection a bit of a stretch toward the end of the book, but hey, whatever floats the main character’s boat). This book was written by the author of many romance novels, including the ever-popular P.S. I Love You, so I was a bit concerned when the first chapter outlines a girl madly, just madly in love with her ever-perfect rich, handsome boyfriend… But it’s not at all that kind of book. Don’t let the romance present in the first few pages throw you off.
It’s also a very interesting dystopian. This book is hailed as The Scarlett Letter meets Divergent; while I agree, I would also throw in Hunger Games, because it’s got the same media control and the same powerlessness to change the system, and yet the drive to get something done without lapsing into passivity. It’ll shelf nicely in the dystopian-lovers’ library!
Last thought: I know where the video is. 🙂
I would like to thank Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, as well as Netgalley, for the free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.