Book Review – ‘Flawed’ by Cecelia Ahern

A world of emotional crime and punishment just as flawed as a political one, and a girl branded a rebel leader…

Flawed Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Dystopian

No. of pages: 336

From Goodreads:

You will be punished…

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 don’t mind a bit of a dystopian novel every now and then, it takes me back to my younger days of reading filled with nostalgia, wonder and excitement. ‘Flawed’ managed to bring a fun and tense adventure worthy of this genre.

There is something righteous (not to mention vindictive and satisfying) about wrong-doers being labelled Flawed as punishment. Adulterers. I can certainly see the appeal. A part of me likes the justification of inflicting a label on the perpetrator after being emotionally scarred in the world of ‘Flawed.’ So too can I see the reasons in preventing people with these flawed tendencies from getting into positions of authority and power. But as soon as that premise is set up, we begin to see the cracks of corruption. That no system is infallible. And our teen protagonist Celestine is trapped in the political rip tide, and has to decide in which moral direction she wants to swim.

I like Celestine’s thought processes how they began to question small things all leading up to an incident she thought unfair ultimately landing in hot water. She comes from a place of naivety and innocence but with a resounding heart of compassion. This is where we begin to see the formation of her core values, something that drives her through this story. After Celestine is arrested and placed in a holding cell, I did not get her need to please, or comradery with her cell mate Carrick. There seemed to be no motivation or logical reason for her to feel this way other than the author playing God and steering the storyline. This was aspect was the biggest let-down for me – the attraction and concern between Celestine and Carrick initially felt contrived and full of unjustified tension.

Flawed Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

The sister relationship between Celestine and Juniper annoyed me – I would have liked to have seen a better connection between these two, so that the tension they had for each other was justified an more realistic – it felt a little juvenile. They both had conflicting moral compasses and indignation towards each other that didn’t translate effectively. After reading the likes of ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ by Jenny Han and the sisterly bonds described there – both loving and full of conflict, I look for these complex relationships in sisterhood.

A shining light was how much I loved Celestine’s parents, especially her mother, even though they weren’t too prominent in the storyline. You get a real sense of unconditional love and the lengths they would go to to protect their children. With a common trope of the single parent or absent parents that dominate this genre, ‘Flawed’ really stepped up with this parental representation.

Following on from the aforementioned instant attraction above, when it came to Celestine and her thoughts on possible love interest Carrick, all this exposition about her cell-mate – I don’t buy it. How can Celestine know what he is thinking all the time? Where is this strong connection coming from? It aggravated me. It wasn’t insta-love, but something equally akin to it, and started off on flimsy footing. Things did get better after this initial stumble… The love interest(s) dropped out priority in the plot and Celestine seemed to get her footing. I actually started to really enjoy ‘Flawed’ then.

The pacing got so much better and I no longer felt tripped up on the writing style or plot details.

Flawed’ was pretty much Celestine navigating her way through the treacherous world of political power plays, while remaining true to her instincts – these aspects of her character really grabbed me. The plot did feel a little contrived – demonising the ‘bad guy’ but it didn’t bother me so much. I like a good villain. The environment of mistrust – and everyone having their own agenda… that aspect felt refreshing.

Predictable – yes, fun – absolutely!  Loved how the conclusion was open-ended. I’m actually excited to get my hands on the sequel ‘Perfect.’

Overall feeling: You got me Cecelia Ahern!

Flawed Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Flawed Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle


© Casey Carlisle 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

5 thoughts on “Book Review – ‘Flawed’ by Cecelia Ahern

  1. daniellethamasa says:

    I feel like this is a well-written review. When I first heard about this book, it felt like it would be one of those fairly predictable dystopian type stories, so I never picked it up because I just wasn’t in a big dystopian mood. We had too many of them come out for a while there. Still, this might be worth checking out at some point in the future…if the mood strikes anyway.

    • femaleinferno says:

      It definitely falls into the typical dystopian novel, though I enjoyed it better than a lot of hyped books out there. I didn’t blow me away, but was entertaining and thought provoking – plus it was a quick read. Great to mix up my reading schedule to stave off the dreaded reading slump… da-da-daaaaah!

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