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: Imprisonment, branded and flawed.
In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.
This novel initially made me feel like it was every run-of-the-mill dystopian novel, but, once I got through the initial introduction I was hooked.
Despite the classic themes of the caged-in society genre, Cecelia Ahern takes it to a place I didn’t expect. I was sitting on the edge of my seat and I speed read through the entire novel in what felt like a few hours.
This novel has me at a loss for words. It is beautifully written, impactful and witty. It is also a truly devastating novel. With themes of tragedy and triumph. Chaos and calm. It had me gripped from the beginning. I cried with the characters, laughed and I honestly felt so much adrenalin when the character took her stance against society and the government.
The ending… I have no words. My heart was furiously pounding, I was literally chewing on my own hair I had that much anxiety. Honestly, it made me feel like I was with her. That I was fighting alongside her. I felt her outrage, I could truly feel her pain as if it were my own. Metaphorically speaking, that is.
However, I do wish the side characters had more… depth. I wished the author took the characters aside and put some ‘oomph’ into their personality.
It felt stale. I’m not saying they didn’t have a personality, I’m just saying it felt like she picked up a stamp, dipped it in oil and pressed down and said: “bobs your uncle”, and that was that (Raise your hand if you’re an Aussie and you get that saying).
It felt cloned. Replicated and overdone. They didn’t have anything unique about then. Pretty boy Art who wants peace, has a witty personality and is deeply in love with the main character. Only to find out she is ‘tainted’ and suddenly turns against her. Darth Vadar anyone?
The main character who is perfect, follows all the rules and just wants to live her life when one day she decided to do the exact opposite.
I mean, sure, the series titles are literally Flawed and Perfect. And it does go with the novel, but that doesn’t change the fact that it felt overdone.
Celestine North, the main character who’s life is bound by rules, prestige and perfection.
Until, in a spur of a moment decision, she makes a fateful mistake in the eyes of the law: she helps an elderly man, branded with the words Flawed.
Held to trial for aiding the Flawed. Now deemed to live a life of an outcast, with a plain restricted diet, forbidden from procreating and with an assigned curfew and a ‘whistleblower’.
Celestine decides in court that despite encouragement to plead innocent, she pleads guilty. Voicing her opinion on a flawed system where she is deemed guilty and punished with not one, but several Flawed markings.
|With a hidden secret, she decides no one should suffer the fate of the Flawed and decides it will be her mission to take down the corrupt system, risking all she has to take a stand and fight against all odds. Not for herself, for all those who fell unworthy to the system.
An almost perfectly written book, however, the flaws of this novel is abundantly evident for all readers to see.
A predictable love triangle. With a dorky, next-door neighbour type character vs super masculine, brooding, “would die for you” type character.
I mean, it is a classic. It’s sexy, and it leaves you sitting on the edge of your seat wondering “What is next?”. Meanwhile; with the next-door neighbour characters, we already know.
Now, I understand why we use this trope, but please, can a single novel branch out from it?
Because of the aforementioned thoughts, I would like to rate this novel 4.5/5 bookmarks. Good on you, Cecelia Ahern, you’ve created a wonderful novel that is one of my favourites to remember.