This book absolutely, 100% snuck up on me.
I received my first Owlcrate in the mail this month and in it came Flawed by Cecelia Ahern, a book and author I have never heard of before. But I was willing–like I am with most Young Adult books that come with a good recommendation–to give it a chance.
I could not put this book down.
I started it on Tuesday morning, just reading the first chapter before I left to go nanny, and Tuesdays I’m gone for the rest of the day, so that was my chance to peek at it before Wednesday, my day off, came around.
Flawed gave me what I needed by page eight: action. Now, I’m not an action guru, I don’t need a blood and guts novel to convince me to read, but after a chapter or two of character development and being introduced to the background of the story, I get fidgety. I’ve read the inside cover, I know ish is about to go down, and I would rather a book hint at the drama early on than keep me waiting til halfway through.
Page eight, chapter three rolls around and the drama starts, the action picks up, and I’m invested in this world that Cecelia Ahern governs.
And I love it! I learn enough about the world and the characters to keep my barrings, but the dialogue and action carries the story from chapter to chapter, which is so refreshing! I love an articulate an detailed novel, which is why classics get me like they do, but every once in a while I want something that strikes fast like a match. This book does just that.
And it’s not brainless reading either. I didn’t just read this book in a day because it’s an easy read (meaning boring with plain language), but I read it all day because there was no good stopping point; once this book lit its match, every subsequent chapter was kindling to the flames.
Gushing aside, let me tell you enough about this book so that you know what it’s about but not so much that you feel like I gave it all away.
This civilization is coming out from the aftermath of a corrupt leadership ruining the economy and now society needs a new approach to how things are governed. So they created the Flawed system. There are criminals, and jails that they go to, but then there are Flawed, people that are allowed to still participate in society, but only just. In a culture that demands perfection, if you are found to be Flawed, then you are branded in one of five symbolic places, that tells everyone immediately about what kind of Flawed nature you have, and you are subject to limitations: plain food, a curfew, no passport, separate seating, and being looked down upon by everyone. You are Flawed. So when our main character, Celestine, finds herself in a situation where she deliberately aids a Flawed, she finds out what it truly means to be branded as a Flawed.
Ahern takes opportunities throughout the book to drop in poignant lines about how this society looks at the Flawed like they’re the problem, when what I hear myself thinking in the back of my head is that flaws are what make us human and relatable. Ahern seems to bring you back to that idea, without ever saying it outright. Masterful.
One of my favorite lines was this: