By: Cecelia Ahern
Published Year: 2016
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Amazon Barnes and Noble
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): 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 perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.
The cover caught my eye because it was white, but if it wasn’t by Cecelia Ahern I would not have picked it up. It is very obviously a dystopian cover and I’ve been a bit burned out on them, so I think that’s why put me off a bit. My very first impression was “Yay! Cecelia Ahern is writing a YA novel! Not only am I super excited but this will also count towards the Debut Author’s Challenge!”
What I thought
Cecilia Ahern can do no wrong in my world.
Flawed is a dystopian novel in which a government funded group called the Guild has created a system in which they make people as Flawed in order to keep society pure and perfect. If you are branded (literally, branded with a symbol) as Flawed, not only do you have a set of rules you have to follow (such as curfew), but you cannot ever hold a position of power. Celestine has strived for her entire life to be perfection, but one day that changes. She aids a Flawed man, who reminds her of her Grandfather and, as a result, ends up on trial as being Flawed herself.
There are five different brandings that are given to the Flawed. You can receive a branding on your heart/chest for a betrayal to society, on your tongue for lying, on your temple for bad judgement, your foot for walking with the Flawed (aiding them), and on your hand for a reason which escapes me at the moment.
The interesting thing about the setting for this novel is that it seems more modern than some other dystopian novels in that it is set in a time very similar to the present. I also thought it was interesting that the Flawed/Guild system is very much stated as something that is only occurring in the country the novel occurs in. The characters mention that Judge Crevan (the bad guy) wants to bring the Guild and Flawed system to other countries, so obviously the entire world has not adopted this reality.
I did like Celistine, even though I could see a lot of people being annoyed with her. She is a very logical person who has always been perfect until that moment on the bus. She still holds a lot of that logic after she becomes Flawed, but the annoying thing is that she magically says all the right things. I enjoyed that she is reluctant from the beginning to be any kind of leader or martyr. She knows where she stands and doesn’t trust anyone easily.
The one aspect that irritated me so much was the love triangle. Ugh, whhhhyyyy???? It is not a rule that dystopian novels need love triangles. She is already dating the Judge’s only son which in and of itself is drama. The love triangle was so undeveloped and felt very shoved down my throat.
The concept of the Flawed does bring up a lot of interesting questions. What Celestine does is seen as compassionate, and at the same time is seen as Flawed. How can someone with positive qualities be seen so negatively? How can people who are passing such harsh judgement be seen as perfect? Who gets to decide what perfection is? Can a government ever not be corrupted?
By: Cecelia Ahern