Tuesday, April 5, 2016

#Review - Flawed by Cecelia Ahern (Young Adult, Science Fiction-Dystopia)

Series: Flawed # 1
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages 
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

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.

Flawed is the first installment in Cecelia's Ahern's Young Adult, Science Fiction-Dystopian series called Flawed. One could say that Flawed is a reimaging of the Scarlet Letter. There are certain similarities. 17-year old Celestine North is considered to be perfect. She excels at mathematics, has the perfect boyfriend in Art Crevan, and her model mother Summer is the perfect example of what beautiful is supposed to signify. 

But, Celestine lives in a country where those who make bad choices, pay the price by being branded as being Flawed. Things like Bad decisions (Temple branding), Lying (Tongue branding), Stealing (right palm), Disloyalty (Chest over the heart), and stepping out of line (right foot) are met with swift justice. One day you may be the perfect role model, the next day, your world may come crashing down on your head.

Flawed is the story about Celestine's one moment of judgment that ends up causing all sorts of devastating reactions. One decision to help someone, will end up putting Celestine in the spotlight for everyone to see. To those who are against the branding, she is a hero. How can one person be forced to suffer so much indignity for a simple mistake? To those who believe it is righteous to punish those who step out of line, she becomes the Gold standard not to piss off the Guild who rules the country. 

For those around Celestine, she is now a second class citizen with no rights, and expected to live with strict rules which comes with severe punishments. Celestine isn't the easiest character to like when the book first starts. But, after her choice to help someone she wasn't supposed to because of who they were, everything starts to unravel. Let's be clear here. This isn't a book that is free from violence. Nope. At one point, I was totally thinking I should move onto something else because it was just too much violence for one book. Then I understand that perhaps the author was trying to send a message to readers. 

Celestine is no longer going to take everything that is told to her at face value. She is going to ponder her situation, and question everything that she has been taught about the Council and it's desire to brand the Flawed for making honest mistakes. Celestine's only mistake was having compassion for another human being. In our reality, one can only hope that if you were to meet someone like Celestine did, you will also stop what you were doing, and help those less fortunate than yourselves. 

I do like the fact that Celestine's family stuck by her side even when things went horribly wrong. I can't even imagine any other character being put into the situation where Celestine found herself, and NOT had her family turn their back on her. Honestly, I find it humorous when someone says to me, oh, this book is something you won't like due to a love triangle. I can honestly say, that was even on the table while reading this story.

Yes, Celestine had a relationship with Art before this all went to hell for her. Yes, she found a connection with another boy who was in the similair situation as she was. But, Carrick is a character that I want to know more about because of the fact that he really gave Celestine hope when things were looking bleak. What we do learn about him, makes him worth the time to pick up and actually finish this book, and then move on with the sequel. 

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