Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016
Hardcover, 368 Pages
Summary: 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.
I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and at first I was a bit weary when I started because I didn't really understand it -- the laws about being Flawed and how they worked and everything. But that only lasted for a chapter or two before I got familiar with everything. This book definitely takes a little bit of getting used to. But once you're caught up with the world and the system of how the laws work and everything, Flawed is actually a gripping story about facing the consequences for doing what you think is the right thing.
The one phrase that stuck in my mind a lot while reading this book was this: Stand up for what you think is right, even if you are standing alone. That's what happens to Celestine when she sees the old Flawed man having breathing trouble on the train. She goes out of her way to help him, even though she knows that's not proper etiquette for society, because she knows that no matter what the laws may say, you always need to reach out and help somebody in dire situations.
It just so happens that the consequences for Celestine's actions may end up being a lifetime of misery and being ostracized. So yeah, that's a bit of a problem.
I really admired Celestine's character throughout the entire book. Even though she knew what would happen to her if she helped the Flawed man on the bus, she did it anyway because she knew that she couldn't live with herself if she sat by and let something happen to him. Even when facing her punishments, Celestine refused to scream and give her tormentors the satisfaction of thinking they broke her. And then she became the face of a rebellion that she didn't even have any interest in being a part of.
It was really interesting to see how society worked around the Guild, which was technically not the enforcer of laws, but the enforcer of morals. But as all good stories go, if you give some sort of authority figure any kind of control, they're eventually going to run rampant with it, as the Guild did. There were several parts throughout the story where characters brought up the fact that the Guild was getting out of control and doing more things than they technically had the right to, and it was just really interesting to see.
(Minor spoilers ahead so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet!) The one character in this book that I really wasn't crazy about was Art. (Which is kind of weird, I know, since he's the one that Celestine loves and everything.) I just knew that there was something off about him from the start, and he got so easily jealous and crazy with that party invitation that I just got really, really turned off by him. As the series goes on, I'm predicting that he's going to let something as petty as jealously or Celestine's brandings to get in the way of their relationship.
All in all, Flawed was an interesting read about standing up and doing the right thing even if you know that there will be consequences. This book made me think a lot about what I would do in Celestine's situation - and I can honestly say that I don't know. Of course I want to say that I'd stand up and do the right thing, but when motivated by fear, maybe I would've kept quiet. I really don't know. This book definitely throws a lot about my own self-morals into question, and I'm just in total awe of Celestine's bravery. I definitely recommend this book even if stories like this aren't really your thing, because I didn't expect to enjoy this book so much but I ended up really, really liking it! It reminded me a little bit of the Matched series.
I definitely will be reading the next book in this series when it comes out!