Celestine North is the perfect student. She is the perfect daughter. She has the perfect boyfriend, Art Crevan. And the perfect family, who is connected by work and friendship (albeit somewhat strained) to one of the most powerful men in the country, Art’s father, Judge Bosco Crevan.
Cecilia Ahern‘s unlikely heroine in Flawed, her new YA novel, is Celestine. She is, as Celestine puts it, “a girl of definitions, of logic, of black and white.” She understands the rules and believes that no one should cross the moral line. She believes the rules are to be followed at all costs because that is what keeps society in check. She believes in the system. She believes in Bosco.
There was a tremendous economic collapse due to corrupt leaders. They had “destroyed families and homes and they were to suffer. They were the morally flawed people who had brought about our downfall.”
“Anybody who had made mistakes in the past couldn’t take leadership roles in the future…Any person who made any error in judgment was to be rooted out of society entirely.” The idea is a really good one. In theory.
“What the government eventually settled on was Crevan’s Guild and its Flawed brandings. No matter what you do in your life, your Flawed title can never be removed. You hold it till death. You suffer the consequences of your one mistake for the rest of your life. Your punishment serves as a reminder to others to think before they act. ”
It is Bosco Crevan’s Court, The Guild, that determines a person’s status of moral and ethical purity or flaw. If The Guild finds you guilty of committing, not a crime, but a moral or ethical infraction, you are branded with an F encircled by a ring in one of five places:
If you have told a lie, your tongue is branded. For showing bad judgment, it is the temple that is branded. Your right palm is branded for stealing and if you have “stepped away from society,” or walked with the Flawed, the sole of the right foot is branded. This is also referred to as aiding the flawed and you can go to prison for this. The fifth place a brand can be is on the chest, for showing any disloyalty to the Guild and society.
When their neighbor and friend is taken away by the Whistleblowers, Celestine is the one to help Art to realize that his father cannot show favoritism, for that in itself would be a Flaw. Celestine also worries about her sister, Juniper because of her tendency to vocalize arguments against the Flawed system.
So it comes as a complete shock when the perfect child, the one who thrives on following rules is the one taken away to face The Guild. But, knowing Art’s father as well as she does, she knows that he will save her. She will not be found Flawed. But as the saying goes “absolute power corrupts absolutely, and Judge Crevan’s Guild may have lapsed into that reality.
Celestine, who worked all her life to be average, will never again be average. She will be the poster child for a cause. But will she be for the Guild, or against it?
A dystopian society is one that is dehumanizing and as generally good for a select few, but horrific for the majority. North Korea, anyone? As dystopian novels go, I must say this is one of the leaders of the pack.
From the first page, the first paragraph, I was gripped by this work. The writing flows so beautifully and yet is so true to life. There is nothing pretentious, no feeling that the author is trying too hard. It is just, well…Perfect. Not Flawed at all!
Celestine’s thoughts delve into her life and head and allow her to be the best type of heroine – Just being herself and saying and doing what she knows to be right. The world would be a better place if we had a lot of people in it like Celestine North.
Whether or not you are a fan of Young Adult (YA) fiction, and whether or not you are a fan of dystopian novels, this is a MUST READ book. As a matter of fact, I have 2 copies on pre-order already, just waiting for the April 5th release!