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Review: Flawed

Flawed - Cecelia Ahern

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

Initially I got a copy of this from one of those feed your reader emails with a  read it now for the first 250 members. I also purchased a hard cover copy when I saw it in the book section of my local supermarket.

 

A reasonably interesting UK based dystopia which was in parts surprisingly brutal. The system of government was a little hard to wrap my head around. It seemed that bad decisions by the UK government brought the country to the blink of collapse so a whole new system was instigated. Something to do with moral decision making. People are branded Flawed - literally branded with an F seared into your skin if you break a rule. However many brandings you receive depends on how deep your infraction is. The heroine of the story Celestine comes from a “perfect” family.

 

Mum is a model, Dad does something for the local news station. She’s got a younger sister, and a younger brother. She’s dating the son of the most important judge on the Flawed council. The Judge – Judge Craven is seen by everyone else as a strict tyrant – but he’s more like a normal friendly dad figure to Celestine.

 

 

This image starts detoriating rapidly. The reader is introduced to the Flawed system right off. Celestine, her boyfriend Art, and Judge Craven and Celestine’s family are supposed to be having dinner with their neighbours. One of the neighbours is arrested and taken away for a Flawed infraction. It’s swift and disturbing and raises an interesting moral point. The infraction is for assisted suicide. Illegal in the UK but not in other countries. The neighbour took her dying mother to another country to help her die with dignity. But arriving home the Flawed people strike harshly.[/spoiler]

 

 

The people branded Flawed live outside of polite society and have to live by a set of harsh rules enforced by strict people called Whistleblowers who keep track of them to make sure they adhere by the rules or else there can be extreme consequences – and not just for the flawed, their family can be made to suffer too. And the head of all these decision, supposedly with two other Judges on the council, but Judge Craven seems to be behind it all with an iron fist. (There are of course, reasons, which are explained later on in the novel)

 

 

[spoiler]

Celestine’s perfect existence comes crashing down around her when she makes a decision to help a Flawed person, which is strictly against the rules. Everything changes as she knows it. She’s punished in a way she never thought she would be, she’s made an example of. She made a split decision to help someone and everything changed for the worst for her. Her punishment is very harsh and was actually shocking and disturbing to read.

 

 

 

She keeps thinking she will get out of it, but it’s a hard hit to adjust to her new circumstances. School changes, her sibling’s attitude change, the boyfriend disappears. The worst Whistleblower imaginable takes charge of her. Despite all of this, Celestine handles it all fairly strongly for a girl whose world has been thrown into chaos.

(show spoiler)

 

 

 

The story progresses as some of the things that happen to her are not standard protocol for punishment. What is done to her is completely against the rules. And when people start finding out, she gets involved inadvertently with another political party who want to change the Flawed system. The end is a big ass cliff hanger set for the next one.

 

It’s a little slow in the middle, and there was a potential love triangle, which wasn’t explored much but I can see it happening in the next one.

 

The novel raises some fairly interesting points in morality without being overly preachy about it.

 

Celestine is not abandoned completely, though she has some nasty incidents with the kids in her school class, she has the support of her mom, and when a famous reporter gets involved, she manages to turn the tables to get the woman to listen and use her platform for a better purpose. Not without drawbacks and drama of its own, of course. And this plotline does have its own little twists and turn.  After the first bit with the first introduction to the Flawed, and Celestine’s incident, there is not a whole lot that happens until right towards the end.

(show spoiler)

 

 

It started off quite well, maybe not fast paced and action filled, but interesting characters and a strange government system that was not entirely comfortable to read about. (Who decides it was a good idea to give these government people the right to say who’s moral or not when their own morals are often questionable?!) It was fairly obvious where it was going after about the half way point. It did have a fairly good little twist towards the end.

 

A fairly good, reasonably unique dystopian read. I’m looking forward to seeing where this series is going.