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BOOK REVIEW: Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

| 3 September 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

Harper Collins
March 2016
Paperback, $19.99
Reviewed by Amy Briggs

Young Adult/Paranormal



When I was a child, I always thought that to run away you had to physically get up and run, like children in films. A hateful shout, a slam of a door, then run. I’ve learned that lots of people run away without even going anywhere. I see it in Mum’s newly polished face; I see it when Dad disappears into his head at the dinner table; I see it when Ewan gets down on the ground and really focuses on his cars and helicopters. Juniper does it when she puts on her headphones and blares her music with her back to the world. I’ve never known how to do it before.

Celestine lives in a country where society strives towards perfection and Celestine is the perfect citizen. People who are not perfect are branded as Flawed, forever marked with F for their mistakes against society:

The Flawed are regular citizens who have made moral or ethical mistakes… On Naming Day, the judges decide whether the accused is Flawed. If so, their flaws are publicly named and their skin is seared with the F brand in one of five places. The branding location depends on their error of judgment. They are not imprisoned; they haven’t done anything illegal, but they have carried out acts that are seen as damaging to society. They still live among us, only ostracised, and under separate rules.

Celestine North loves reason. She aspires to be a mathematician and sees things in black and white. Celestine is one of The Guild’s biggest supporters; she believes its structure makes rational sense to keep society in order. .

I’m a girl of definitions, of logic, of black and white.

But Celestine is severely shaken and begins to questions her world when a close family friend is branded as Flawed. Suddenly Celestine sees cracks in her society’s system and impulsively acts on it, but this mistake transforms her life forever. Now she is one of the Flawed, a minority of society and imperfect in her perfect world.

For this reader, Cecelia Ahern has done it again. A prolific writer in adult novels, her first YA has the same tone and flow as her previous novels.

A dystopian young adult paranormal, with tones similar to ‘The Hunger Games’, this first novel of a coming of age series, has the perfect protagonist as she realises that her childlike adoration of the adults in her life aren’t all that she viewed them to be. Celestine feels alone, but as the novel unfolds, she finds an inner strength to strive to continue to believe in what she feels should be ethically right. Celestine is a reluctant hero, but like all heroes, she endeavors to make things right when things are so uncomfortably wrong.

Ahern shows excellent skill in developing her characters as, alongside Celestine, we are equally intrigued by other characters roles in her story. Ahern also builds a superb realm with scenes that keep you glued to the pages as they unfurl right into your imagination.

This is a great start to the series and this reader impatiently awaits the second installment!

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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