“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 in which 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 in which perfection is paramount and flaws are punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.”
My Thoughts: I have loved Ms. Ahern’s past novels, so I was both excited and a bit nervous about her foray into the world of young adult fiction. I want to report that my fears were unfounded, but alas, Flawed is a bit…well…flawed.
Don’t get me wrong. Ms. Ahern takes a lot of chances with this novel, and some of them work quite well. Her writing is as exemplary as it usually is. I believe that the issues lie with the age of her heroine and a difficulty in selecting just the right voice for Celestine. Unfortunately, she comes across as completely clueless in all her self-righteousness. This should sound authentic because a teenager is nothing if not self-righteous and clueless, but instead it strikes a false note.
Then there is the problem that Celestine is supposed to be this brave heroine akin to Katniss, but she rarely, if ever, takes action on her own initiative. For most of the novel, events happen around and to her even though she does nothing. She is not a leader by example or by action. She is not a motivational speaker. She is just the wrong girl at the wrong time who is so caught up in the rules and their logic that she fails to see the larger picture unfolding around her.
There are other issues throughout the novel which bothered me but which would spoil the plot were I to discuss them in detail. That being said, however, I do think Flawed has potential as a series. In spite of all my issues with it, they will not prevent me from reading the next book in the series, for the message within the story is timely and extremely pertinent, and I do appreciate the chances Ms. Ahern takes throughout the story.