Flawed – Cecelia Ahern (Review)

Title: Flawed (Flawed, #1)
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends, 2016
Genre: YA Dystopian

This review can be found on my BlogTeacherofYA’s Tumblr, or my Goodreads page

My Review:

Let me start by telling you that I have waited to read this book ever since it was an ARC on Netgalley and I was declined. The description was right up my alley: future society, everyone must be perfect, girl is not, girl questions society. Traditional Dystopian trope, right? Makes us keep finding books that compare themselves to The Hunger Games, or Divergent, and we sigh, thinking, “Here we go again.”

Not for me.

I loved this book with every fiber of my being. And though it was trope-y, it was powerful. Ahern is a great writer, I must say.

Celestine (I know…this name is really starting to get overused lately) is pretty close to perfect in her family’s eyes. Which is good because nowadays, after an economic crisis that led to many politicians to be found lacking in good judgement, people who aren’t perfect are “Flawed.” Celestine and her family do well: Celestine’s mother is a model, her father a reporter for The Guild. And her boyfriend, Art, is the son of one of the most powerful men at The Guild, Judge Crevan…but Celestine calls him Boz because they’re close.

After a neighbor is taken away to be marked Flawed on Earth Day, we learn what is to be her fate: The Guild does not consider flawed people criminals, oh no, no. They simply root out those people who aren’t of strong moral character, and they brand them in an area repressing their mistake in society: a large letter F surrounded by a circle. Kind of like The Scarlet Letter, once someone is marked Flawed, they become subhuman in society. 

The Flawed live by different rules: they do not get the same “luxuries” most people get. Once they are branded on one of five places relating to their flaw…everywhere from their temple for bad judgement to their chest for disloyalty to the government to their tongue for speaking lies (say ahhh! 😝)…the Flawed must remain separate from all things so as not to spread their poor ethics and choices.

Once Celestine’s neighbor is found Flawed for taking her terminally I’ll mother out of the country to be euthanized (quality of life issues), she is branded on her palm for “theft of society.” But that isn’t the worst part. The entire family is ostracized for having a Flawed relative, and the friendly, popular neighbors become reclusive.

After Celestine makes a “mistake” of her own, she begins to question the logical system she’s always loved. For Celestine is all about logic, and her choice was logical…wasn’t it? Suddenly a huge media circus surrounds Celestine, and her “actions” called into question. Really, what does it mean to be Flawed, anyway? 

Celestine, the perfect girl, doesn’t think she wants to be perfect anymore…

Is it Classroom-Appropriate?

Definitely. This book is rich with discussion topics: what it means to be “Flawed” and what it means to be perfect, the purpose behind the branding, the subhuman treatment of Flawed people even though they aren’t the same as criminals (supposedly). The people in the society live in constant fear of being deemed imperfect, broken, other. There is so much you can use for paper topics, in-class discussions, and activities in the class. I would want to use this book in the classroom and I think I will make a small lesson plan utilizing it already!

Age Range:

Lexile.com gives this a score of 760L, which means it’s appropriate for middle graders, too. The suggested age range is 12-18, but I would even add that you could go as young as 11 with this book and still feel comfortable. There’s no sex and no swearing. The book focuses mainly on character development and societal pressures, which can be understood as a young reader or an older one. I would feel confident letting my 12 year old niece read this book!

End Result:

Yes, there’s going to be tropes in Dystopian literature: the idealized society, the one person who finds flaws with the system, etc etc etc. That’s just part of the genre. If you put your predictions and prejudices aside, I think many will love this book.  There’s so many things I wanted to tell you about but didn’t want to spoil it for you. So I hope you fall in love with this as much as I did!


If you don’t, then at least you gave it a try, and that’s all I’m suggesting.

Happy Reading, my Perfectly Flawed Readers!!

P.S. This is the cover for the sequel, Perfekt, and I am squealing already. It won’t be available until April 2017, but time flies when you’re reading lots of amazing books!


54 thoughts on “Flawed – Cecelia Ahern (Review)

    1. I do hope you end up liking it if you give it a try…this one is very powerful, but I didn’t want to give away all the good stuff, lmao
      It’s really an amazing book, and I am too excited to wait for book two!! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I wrote this review as I kept falling asleep…I would be almost finished and then fall asleep and realize I had erased two paragraphs…it happened over and over!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
      It’s a good book. Celestine, though her name is overused lately, is a great character. The shit she went through was truly intense. Made me pretty pissed off. I think if you like a good underdog story and some definite feels, this is a good one. Totes recommend!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Me too…I think it was brilliant until I kept wiping out paragraphs and had to write them over and over again! Never writing a review when I’m that tired again, but it had been two days since I read it, and the longer I waited, the less fresh it was in my mind! I should’ve written it right away, and I’m going to do that from now on!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m like that as well, have to get the review down asap after finishing a book or my mind moves on to other reading material and all becomes garbled mess…. Which is strange because a year ago I could read a number of books at the same time and still make sense of everything, now I can’t…

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Me too…I used to be able to switch books and still keep track of what was going on and now I’m having a harder time…I figured my prob was due to my age, but I don’t think you’re as old as me…so maybe it just happens with our attention-spans? Maybe after reading so many long books intently, our attention span is focused more and now we can’t move around to diff books like we used to? Because our brain is heavily trained to stay on one topic without getting bored?
      They say the brain is like a muscle and needs to be worked out…maybe our brains have become like bodybuilders…but in brain form!


  1. I’m really glad you enjoyed this book Stephanie, it’s making me want to pick it up even more now. Flawed has been on my to-read list for a while, I got a copy in an Owl Crate box a few months ago, but it’s been sat on my bookshelf since then gathering dust. I haven’t read any dystopian books in a while, mainly because of all the tropes in them which seemed too same-y and overused. But your review makes Flawed seem kind of unique, even though it has the same tropes it’s a powerful read.
    Great review! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I won’t deny that the dystopian books tend to have a trope, because there’s literally a guide now on how dystopian literature should be written. But Ahern took the trope, explored it, and then made it her bitch! I think you’d like it. I certainly hope you do: just get past the first couple chapters and you’ll be sucked in so deep!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess with tropes if they work then they work but, and it’s the same with a lot of things, after a while it just gets too same-y. Glad to see Ahern took a different path to exploring these tropes.
        I need to start it soon in that case, maybe I should add it to my to-read list for next month! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Yay! Awesome! I eagerly await your review!
      I’ll be posting for Friday’s theme because I got some sudden free time, and I want to put up the books I have from the library that still need to be read…what’s Friday’s Meme theme, if you don’t mind me asking? I want to start doing some if I can…I figured you would know. (Just lost my job so more time to read and blog, lol!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well here’s hoping I love the book as much as you have!
        Not sure what you mean by Friday’s theme, I don’t take part in any Friday meme’s. I only do TTT and WoW. Oh that sucks about your job, I’m s sorry Stephanie, but yeah I guess more time to read and blog will be nice. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Oh, I thought there was a Friday meme that everyone did. But it’s all good: I’ve been trying to get this ARC read that my calendar reminded to me start because it’s due by Nov 1…it’s kind of weird so far…I got it on ebooksforreview.com way back when I wasn’t in school yet (they give you 90 days to review their books, so it’s a long time!). I know now not to request anymore books from sites until my list goes down,
      I did return a couple books to the library that had been renewed multiple times and I wasn’t reading (smaller titles), and the new books had just came in! I put a hold on A Shadow Bright and Burning, The Shadow Queen, and Three Dark Crowns! I also found And I Darken sitting on the shelf! So I have some amazing titles.lli think maybe it’s Tuesday where you share what you’re currently reading? I don’t know because I haven’t done a weekly meme yet, but I want to try.
      Yeah, the job was bogus. The firing was mainly because the boss didn’t like that I was a manager and put school first. She wrote me up for EVERYTHING. Didn’t ask for the right donation, got written up. Told a girl she could get Arby’s, got written up. Bought two pairs of leggings, got fired. ::shrugs::
      I just really liked the clothes, but she wanted me to put work first, and school comes first for me. I was not planning on working retail forever. It just sucks because I still have one last school payment to make: I better get on GoFundMe!
      Thanks for listening…sorry about the long answer!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure there is a Friday meme that people take part in but I stick to the memes on Tuesday and Wednesday, I don’t really want to do too many because I still need days to post reviews and tags and awards and all those other things.
        Yeah that’s what I’m doing, I need to get through the books/ARCs I have at the moment before I can request any more books. I’m still buying a fair few but at least with those I can read them at any time, with ARCs there is always a due date I need to try and get the review posted before.
        Wow those are amazing titles, I hope you enjoy them all, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting your review for Three Dark Crowns and A Shadow Bright and Burning because I still need to get around to those books myself. There’s a Wednesday meme, WWW Wednesday where you discuss what you’ve read what you’re currently reading and what is next on your to-read list. That’s one that a fair few people seem to take part in.
        Oh that always sucks when it’s a reason like that, still I guess you want to find a job that understands when you put school first. If this wasn’t it then maybe it’s better for this way. If you’re not going to work in retail forever obviously school is going to be more important for you. Well I hope everything works out for you in the near future. Are you going to look for another job or focus on school for the moment?
        That’s all right, I’m here any time you need to rant! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

    4. I’m trying to look for another job, but I never have time to apply. The seasonal hiring might help me right now!
      I can’t wait to read all the books…I’m reading Vassa in the Night (it’s weird so far), and I finished The Scorpion Rules. That was a cool one. Going to review it tomorrow. Once again, thanks for always listening to my rants and patiently waiting for me to reply! 😘

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I always feel the same when I need to apply for jobs. It takes up so much time but hopefully the seasonal hiring will help you! πŸ™‚
        I can’t wait to see what you think of Vassa in the Night (good weird or bad weird at the moment) and obviously I’m looking forwards to seeing your review for The Scorpion Rules.
        That’s all right, literally anytime you need to rant I’m here for you. ❀

        Liked by 3 people

    1. I think you’ll dig it, too! You and I both love the same genre! And I will tell you, since I can’t give up any spoilers, that there are moments in this book where you practically hold your breath! Intense, but you just have to get through the first couple of chapters that are a little clichΓ©d…then it’s all good from there.
      I was pleasantly surprised that she didn’t get stuck in the whole typical dystopian paradigm!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Megan @ bookslayerReads

        Sounds good! I think I can get through a few cliched chapters lol. I just read Six of Crows and honestly wanted to put it down for the first half of the book, but I didn’t and I was so glad! Because it ended up being so great.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. That’s kind of what I’m saying: it was typical dystopian setup in the beginning: girl tries to be perfect, girl makes mistake, girl realizes society is insidious and not perfect. But the WAY Ahern did this makes the book enjoyable. I felt so much for Celestine. It was painful and frightening. I really really liked it and can’t wait for Perfekt and hope there’s an ARC of it before it comes out!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I saw when I was done with my mobi book all the other books she’s written…you’re right: she’s jumped onto the dystopian wagon. But when I first started it, i almost rolled my eyes…then I read more and started to doubt my first impressions. I did like it, and I was surprised! I hope her books continue with the character focus because her writing style is quite good, I must admit! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I saw pics of that Owlcrate box! It would’ve been awesome! I don’t think everyone is going to love this book, but Celestine’s treatment makes your heart break. I really got a lot of feels from this book. Though trope-ish, I didn’t mind because I really liked the protagonist. And the story world. I hope you give it a read and let me know what you think!


    1. It’s a good dystopian: it may follow the “dystopian” formula, but it really becomes a lot more once the book gets going. I think you will enjoy it. It’s heart-wrenching what she goes through. Some definite feels. 😒

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I do hope you enjoy it: I tire of tropes as well, but Ahern breaks the rules and makes it stand on its own. So I’m glad you’ll give this one a chance! I felt so bad for Celestine…it’s a powerful thing to be shunned.
      I hope you love it as much as I did! Crossing my fingers!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t be ashamed! I own a TON of books that I haven read yet: I tend to read the books with due dates first, and my ARCs from authors and NetGalley. This was an Overdrive book that was due back. As I said, I tend to put off the books I own because I can read them anytime. Once I get my library books down in amount, I’ll be reading some of my own books!
      I do hope you read it and like it…thanks for checking out my review and thank you for the kind words! Always looking for blogger buddies!! 😊


    1. No, the beginning was a nice pace. At first I thought you were talking about the other book I reviewed and got confused. This one was just a little typical for dystopian lit: society that thinks it’s perfect, a main character that doesn’t question society…but after I got through the first two chapters it got extremely good and I couldn’t put it down.
      I really am glad I stuck through it…it’s definitely not slow at first, but the beginning just feels like any other book you would read in the genre. Then it changes and you’re like: boom! And you don’t know what’s going to happen next!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This book is has been lying on my bookshelves (in hard copy format) for months now. It was in one of the Owlcrate boxes but didn’t look super appealing to me for some reason. Branding someone’s tongue for speaking lies, though…when can I start reading this?! πŸ˜‰ (owyeah, when I’m done with the 30 other that I need to finish first…). Awesome review, making me all interested in a book I already had. Damn you! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! Curses! Foiled again, eh?
      Hahahahahahaha! Mwhoohaha! ::tents fingers like Mr. Burns:: Excellent.
      Seriously though…you’ll love the branding scenes…I’m sure you’ll get your cattle prod all warmed up. πŸ˜‰ How could you let this li’l ol’ book sit on the shelves? Smh.
      Now I’ve got you hooked…😏

      Liked by 1 person

    2. And for cursing, right? πŸ˜‰
      All right, we’ll skip the tongue…we’ll just stick with the temple, foot, chest, and hand! (And right butt cheek…can’t forget that!)

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yeah, screw dinner. As long as I can say things like screw! That’s a whole lotta branding you’ve got planned out!! But I agree on the butt cheek. Discrete, yet effective! >:D

        Liked by 3 people

      2. That’s me in a nutshell: discrete yet effective!! That’s my new tag line for shameless self-promotion!
        “There’s Stephanie…I’ve heard she’s discrete, yet effective.”
        I can imagine it now…πŸ€”πŸ’­

        Liked by 3 people

    3. I think of Home Run in terms of bases…
      First base is kissing, second base is hands, third base is…well, I’m sure YOU KNOW all about bases. Home Run…I’ll call you “Home Run Anne.” πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 3 people

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