Flawed is Cecilia Ahern’s first foray into Young Adult fiction and the first book of hers that I have read. I will definitely be reading the follow up.
Check out the book trailer below and have a read of the official synopsis on Goodreads.
My Review/Plot Summary
Genre – Dystopian
How are the ills of society managed? – Government, laws and a police force all still exist to punish illegal activity but another organisation, The Guild, monitor moral and ethical “errors”. They employ Whistleblowers to bring in people to face trial through The Courts to determine if they are Flawed in one of five ways. Each type of Flaw carries with it a brand – as in literally a part of your body, including your tongue is branded with a hot poker with a giant F on it, and you have to wear an armband to signify if you are branded (some brands just can’t be displayed permanently). Flawed people have a curfew, a specific diet to follow, their own segregated seats on buses, they can’t progress to jobs where they might have influence. In fact, being found Flawed could be considered worse than being sent to jail – it’s a life sentence.
What type of things can get you branded? – Corrrupt bankers would be in trouble, celebrities flogging a miracle body transformation fitness video whose plastic surgery comes to light, adultery…helping someone travel to a country where euthanasia is legal, helping a Flawed person who might be dying. Can you see the flaw in the system yet?
You can find out how you might be branded here – http://www.maximumpop.co.uk/quiz-how-flawed-are-you/
Protagonist – Celestine North – the perfect student, girlfriend of the Guild head’s son.
I am a girl of definitions, of logic, of black and white.
Perfect girl, perfect life – perfection is a myth.
My thoughts – I love a good dystopia and this was a good dystopia. It reminded me a little of Delirium which I also loved. Society outlawing what are essentially human traits, things we can’t always control. Morality is not as simple as Good/Bad. People criticise the likelihood of whether something like this would come to pass, I think if we look closely at what is happening around us it’s sadly not too hard to believe that this could happen – similar does happen elsewhere (hands being chopped off for stealing, proposals for people to wear identifying tags).
Flawed is a perfect coming of age story, Celestine starts the story with her black and white thinking, blindly following what she is told to do. But then the Whistleblowers come for someone she knows and the whole world becomes full of shades of grey and she finds herself questioning what she knows, including herself. She moves from trying to blend in to standing out and speaking up and she isn’t the only character to find her voice when it is trying to be silenced.
The branding process is barbaric and you will find yourself wincing during some of the scenes. Without the harsh injustice though would people have been driven to action?
As with any dystopia it makes you question your current society and this book is uncomfortably relevant. There is a question about people being all talk and no action and this is something I battle with. I’m sure there are times we have all taken a step back from intervening in a situation that we should have to protect ourselves.
For me the short chapters keep the story whipping along and I managed to read it in around 5 hours or so. There were characters that I would like to get to know a bit more but hopefully they will get their say in the second book. This is very much Celestine’s story, and one well worth reading.
I am very excited to be able to offer a giveaway of a copy of the book as well as some Flawed ‘branded’ surprises.
To be in with a chance of winning, on twitter share how you have come to realise you are #PerfectlyFlawed (using this hashtag) and link me to the URL of your tweet in the comments below. I will pick my favourite after the Closing time/date – 13:13 Wed 13th April (a #PerfectlyFlawed date). Can only ship to UK addresses.
*The publisher provided me with an e-copy of the book and I will receive a goodie pack myself but my review has not been influenced by this. I seriously pouted because I can’t read the sequel Perfect right now, this second. Be warned this is the first of an addictive series – oh yeah, my flaw might be my book addiction! Well, one of many.