It’s been a while since I’ve read a good dystopian and knowing how much I enjoyed Love, Rosie, I jumped at the chance to get my paws on Cecelia Ahern’s young adult debut, Flawed.
Our main character, Celestine, lives in a world where making a wrong decision can lead to you being branded ‘flawed’ and becoming a second class citizen. I really liked this concept, and it was well thought out, there was history, and it was explained clearly and in a fair bit of detail throughout the book, which really helped to pull me into the book.
The idea got me thinking as well, and I thought it was interesting that Cecelia included a case extremely similar to that of Ashya King and his parents. (If you’re unaware of that case; Ashya’s parents took him out of hospital when the NHS couldn’t provide what his parents thought was a safer form of treatment. They fled the country to Spain, where they were arrested and questioned. Thankfully, Ashya received the treatment his parents wanted him to and he made a recovery.) Including a case that was so big (in the UK at least) made the ‘flawed’ system more understandable, and more ridiculous; it was a pretty clever way to get the reader to feel outrage towards the system.
In general, I think there was a lot of the way that the Flawed were treated is applicable to society nowadays, where certain groups of people are still treated like second class citizens.
I saw a few comments on Goodreads that Celestine is bland or dull. I agree that at the beginning of the book she is fairly dull, because she’s someone that follows the rules. But as the book progresses, she got more and more interesting and I couldn’t help but feel for her. It was Celestine that kept me gripped to the book and turning the pages rapidly, so that I could find out what happened next.
Finding original dystopian novels is hard because they all follow a very similar format, but I don’t think that makes a book bad. It’s fairly clear from the first few chapters what will end up happening, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable for me, because I was so sucked in. I finished Flawed in the space of three days, which isn’t super fast for me, but I was working during those three days, so I fit reading Flawed in wherever I could.
The secondary characters were well developed as well, and I enjoyed seeing changes in her mother and Pia especially. (That’s right, a young adult novel with good parents who are actually present!) Judge Crevan was a truly vile character whom I absolutely hated – think of the way Dolores Umbridge makes you feel and you’ll know how I felt about him.
The problem I had with Flawed was the ending. I remember getting to the 70% mark and thinking, “hmmm, there’s not much time for something big to happen and get it wrapped up in the next 30%,” and I was absolutely right, because nothing really happened or was resolved.
Flawed ends on a big cliffhanger (nothing wrong with that), but nothing big has actually happened or been resolved by the end, which left me feeling pretty deflated after being so into it. It would be like The Hunger Games ending when Katniss gets into the area, or Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone ending before Harry, Ron, and Hermoine go through the trapdoor.
I understand that it’s the first book in a series but it doesn’t really stand up on it’s own, which I felt quite let down by.
All in all, Flawed was an enjoyable read and I really got into the world and behind the movement that’s clearly going to try and shake things up, but the ending and lack of resolution was a bit of a let down.
What’s the last book you read?
*I received a free copy of Flawed in exchange for an honest review.