Tag Archives: Library

Perfect. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Perfect Cecilia Ahern

Perfect by Cecilia Ahern

She was once thought of as Perfect. By her boyfriend, by her teachers, by her sister and by her classmates. Then she was branded as Flawed

One of the last things Celestine North’s mom told her to do was run. Run from Bosco Crevan Celestine ran and hiding at her grandfather’s farm put his life in jeopardy and sent him to Highland Castle. So Celestine is on the run again.

She desperately wants to find Carrick, but instead, he finds her. He takes her to a “safe” place, but they both know that being safe and hidden is not what they want. But leaving safety is a tough decision when your face is plastered on every newscast and billboard as a dangerous criminal and there are whistleblowers looking for you everywhere. 

Perfect. A Propensity to Discuss review.

And then there is the issue of trust. The only people she knows with absolute certainty that she can trust are her mom, dad, and sister and she can’t risk her life or theirs to be near them. She is basically on her own, with Carrick by her side, even when small doubts about him trickle in. She has become the face of a very quiet, very hopeful revolution and it is not something she takes lightly. But the thought that she has no one to trust terrifies her, almost as much as Mary May and Bosco Craven do.

Cecilia Ahern has created a Perfect sequel to the unputdownable Flawed (click here for my review of Flawed) I received this book last night and finished it this afternoon. It was also really unputdownable for me. It was so good that I may go back and read both of them again, and I very rarely, if ever, re-read books. There are just too many others to get out there waiting. But this series, to me, is that great!

Flawed and Perfect are absolutely my favorite dystopian story ever. And I love dystopian novels and have read more than my fair share of them. These are not-to-be-missed books!

5 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

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The Female of the Species. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Female of the Species

I have a confession. You have probably noticed, but here goes. When I find an author that I like, I read everything they have written and will write in the future.

That said, having read and loved A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis, I knew I would have to read her other books. So I just finished The Female of the Species and it did not disappoint.

It has been said that we all have our own demons to face and we can either fight or flee. For the main characters in this story, the demons seem to be close to winning. Close, but not quite victorious.

The Female of the Species. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Alex Craft’s demons rule her life. Her older sister, Anna had always been her protector. She protected Alex from the world and from their alcoholic mother. Alex’s mother saw only her absent father in Alex and poured on to her all the anger that she could not show to her AWOL husband. But Anna was murdered and Alex bears the burden of her death as an albatross around her neck. She talks to no one. She has no friends. She goes to school, comes home, eats, studies, reads, and sleeps and does it again the next day. She has a mere existence, not a life.

Jack’s demons lie in the poverty that his parents can not overcome. He loves them, knows they do everything they can to make life better, but there is just no getting ahead. So leaving this town by way of a college scholarship is the demon that dominates his need to be the best in athletics, in classes, in life. Branley, his best friend since childhood knows everything about him and even though other people come in and out of their lives, Branley is one of the constants in Jack’s life, even when he knows it isn’t for the best.

Peekay’s demons are in her nickname. She is a “PK” or Preacher’s Kid. Peekay has a strong faith but living up to being a PK in a very small town where everyone knows your business is extremely difficult. And when her long-time boyfriend Adam leaves her for Branley, she is back to just being Peekay, having lost the title of Adam’s girlfriend. Her biggest demon is that she doesn’t allow herself to be who she is, just who everyone else needs her to be.

The Female of the Species. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Dark and emotionally challenging with some brutality, but with a lesson in vengeance, forgiveness, and acceptance the story of Alex, Jack and Peekay’s battle against their demons is a book that everyone needs to read. Whatever your own demons, this book shows how cathartic it can be to rid yourself of your demons, even if the cost of doing so is beyond what you can imagine or think you can handle.

When you consider the extreme contrast in setting, characters, and plot between this book and A Madness so Discreet, it is impossible to compare one to the other and to ensure that if you like one of them that you will like the other. However, McGinnis’ writing is quite mesmerizing. “Every day the sun rises and the wind bottle empties and his sits there wondering where his life went wrong until it sets again.” Her writing is beautiful, even when the subject isn’t. This is absolutely an author I will continue to read.

 

5 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

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Check out all the books I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

https://propensitytodiscuss.wordpress.com/book-reviews-list/

The Miniaturist. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Miniaturist

Yes, I am a librarian/media specialist. And yes, I buy books for the media center all the time (you can read about that process in this post). And yes, I LOVE to read but very rarely do I have the time to read at work. I am usually helping students with computer issues, teaching kids and adults how to use computers to do exactly what they want (sounds strange for high school students and teachers to need that help, but you’d be surprised), helping students find the right book to read and a myriad of other tasks.

So if I ever take out a book during the day and take the time to stop and read, it is a REALLY good book and it has bewitched me, body and soul as Mr. Darcy so eloquently put it.  The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton is one of those books. I could not get enough of it. I could not put it down. I read every spare minute. So what had my attention, you ask?

When Petronella “Nella” Oortman turns 18, her mother arranges for her to marry Johannes Brandt of Amsterdam, who is in his late 30s, to save their family after Nella’s father drank away most of their money and then died, leaving them nearly destitute. Nella met Johannes a couple of times before the marriage but basically knows very little about him.

The Miniaturist. A Propensity to Discuss review.

When she arrives in Amsterdam, she is met at the house by his sister Marin, who in most aspects is the head of the house, Otto, a former slave from Surinam who was freed by Johannes and Cornelia, the maid. The fact that Marin takes the lead of the house is damaging to Nella’s already low self-esteem. Add to this a husband who is rarely home and does not interact with his wife when he is there and Nella cannot figure our where she belongs in this new life she is supposed to forge.

When Johannes presents her with a miniature replica of their home as a wedding gift, she is not only confused by the gift that she sees as a toy but also angry that he would think so little of her as to believe she would be interested in such an expensive waste of time and money.

However, when Marin gives her the name of a miniaturist in Amsterdam and money of her own to pay for the items, she decides to hire out pieces for the house. When she receives the items that she ordered, she also receives pieces that she did not order and that seem to mock her life and her situation. Nella, furious, sends word to the miniaturist not to send anything else.

But as Nella’s life becomes more complicated, the miniatures keep coming and seem to not just mock her life, but to foretell it. While terrified of what the miniaturist will send next and yet terrified that no more will arrive, Nella sets out to get her life, her marriage, and her house in order, just as the walls seem to be falling down around her.

Detailed and intriguing, this novel deposits you smack in the middle of a macabre world of 1860s Amsterdam where the citizens are encouraged or maybe somewhat commanded by the Church to spy on their neighbors and to turn them in for anything that the Church deems impure, even the “idol worship” of gingerbread men and dolls, not to mention the “wickedness” of money, though no Priest would ever turn down a quickly palmed bribe.

This beautiful work is a rich tapestry of history, intrigue, love, hatred and family and exactly to what lengths people will go to protect those they love and seek vengeance against those believed to have inflicted harm or wrongdoing against them.

The Miniaturist. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Burton first saw the dollhouse owned by Petronella Oortman (above) which does actually exist in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and decided to tell a fictional story about its owner. And I am so very happy that she did.

5 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I whole-heartedly recommend these linked products!

Check out all the books I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

The audio version of The Miniaturist read by Davina Porter is also available. 

7 reasons I let my kids read any book they wanted. A Propensity to Discuss post.

7 reasons I let my kids read any book they wanted

If you read my post  One note that rocked my world…for the best, you know that I was allowed to read anything I wanted. As an adult, a teacher, and still a voracious reader, I have come to realize how important reading is to education, growth, and mental development. That being said, the reasons I let my kids read anything they wanted is that I came to realize why my parents did the same for me.

Why am I worried about this, you ask? Kids today don’t read! No, no! Not so fast with that assumption! A study of more than 6,000 Americans by the Pew Research Center proves that Millennials are reading more books than the over-30 crowd. (LaFrance) My worry is that so many parents are blocking kids from reading what they want and that not only terrifies me, but it drives me crazy! Here are my reasons why:

(1) Reading teaches more than any teacher ever will.

Put your claws up, I’m a teacher, too, so I am NOT taking away anything from teachers! Teachers are amazing! But reading, well, reading is so much more!

Think about it this way. A student picks up a fiction book and starts to read. Maybe the book is set in Australia. Does he learn anything about Australia? Yes, climate, culture, the people. A whole geography lesson…and no one forced him to learn it. Another student is reading a fictional account of a girl in North Korea and her eyes are opened to other places where freedom is not something to take for granted.

7 reasons I let my kids read any book they wanted. A Propensity to Discuss post.

There are only so many teacher lectures that will get through to students, and then they have to start seeing things for themselves and experiencing them in order to be able to really understand them. Short of traveling to Australia or North Korea (good luck with that one) reading leads them into that understanding. Even if it is fictional, it has to have a plausibility of truth and that truth is where learning lies.

(2) Reading encourages imagination.

Imagination is a good thing. Kids who have a good imagination are capable of entertaining themselves, and for tired parents, parents who need some adult conversations, or parents who don’t want children who are completely dependent on them for everything, that is a great skill to develop.

Kids who have great imaginations grow up to be adults who are capable of thinking outside the box, a skill that is highly sought after by employers.

(3) Reading helps develop better writing skills and strengthens critical thinking skills.

While thinking outside the box is a great skill, being able to write well and get those thoughts across is just as important when looking for a job. Not to mention getting through high school and college.

There are basically 6 actionable critical thinking skills for which employers look: Interpretation, analysis, inference, evaluation, explanation, and self-regulation. All of these can be fine-tuned through independent reading. Every single one. (Tilus)

(4) For readers, it is not the words, but the story.

“But some books have bad words! And what about ‘inappropriate’ content?” To this my answer has a few parts:

(a) No matter how protective you are, your child is going to hear/read/ and yes, even say those words eventually.

(b) Avid readers generally gloss over the actual words in a story and it is the content they concentrate on, not the individual words.

(c) Read the book at the same time and if there is content that makes you uncomfortable, talk with them openly and honestly about it. That is so much healthier than the head in the sand approach to sensitive topics.

Wouldn’t you rather your kids learn the truth from you rather than the generally uneducated gossiping and giggling in the school bathroom?

(5) Gives them more to talk about and encourages maturity and by the way, the world does not shield them.

Need something interesting to talk to your kids about during dinner that they won’t roll their eyes and tell you things like “I’m fine. School is fine. My friends are fine.”

7 reasons I let my kids read any book they wanted. A Propensity to Discuss post.

Remember I said you could read the same book?  Imagine the conversations from that. No eye rolling (unless you come out with a plot-spoiler).

When was the last time the public as a whole did everything in their power to shield a young child from the realities of the world? Have you seen the news? They show pretty much anything they want these days with a simple “This video may be hard for some viewers to watch” statement. Have you seen what is on TV? Oh. My. Goodness. I do not profess to be a prude by any means, but there are just some things I don’t want to see at 7:30 p.m.

Also, when was the last time you went to a sporting event? The language! So, if you don’t want your child to see and hear these things, are you going to be there with a blindfold and sound-masking headphones for your child every second of every day?

If not, then you need to teach them the good, bad and the ugly long before they reach kindergarten and keep on teaching it to them. Then trust that you have instilled in them a healthy dose of rational “this is good…that is bad…that is disgusting” ideology and let them out of that bubble!

(6) I would rather they know what they are reading is allowed and they can (had to) discuss it with me.

I have a student (I’ll refer to her as Suzy) who loves to read and loves to discuss books with me. One day one of her parents called to tell me that Suzy was far too young to have checked out a certain book and could not believe that it was even an option in the school library.

Parent: That book is full of sex scenes and profanity and people having affairs. I am appalled that you have the nerve to even own that book!

Me: So, you’ve read it, then?

Parent: No, my spouse read part of it and it was so terrible, it was not even finished.

Me: I was wondering, because I have read it and I don’t remember any sex, there were no extra-marital affairs and very little profanity, that I remember.

I then explained the “Not the words, but the story” theory. The parent stated that this 11th-grade student was not mature/smart enough to understand that “real people don’t act like that.”

In the end, Suzy was not allowed to have the book checked out, even though her prior conversations with me about the book allowed me to know that she did, in fact, know that it was a work of fiction, that what they were doing was morally wrong and that, yes, in fact, some people do act like that.

One of my initial reactions is to think “Wow, you don’t have any faith in your own parenting skills, do you?”

Trust your child. Talk to them about the book. Explain why you have reservations, and allow them to make their own decisions. I mean, surely no one reads a book about a fictional bank robbery to learn to become a bank robber. Do they?

7 reasons I let my kids read any book they wanted. A Propensity to Discuss post.

(7) Reading fiction promotes empathy.

A study by P. Matthijs Bal and Martijn Veltkamp entitled How Does Fiction Reading Influence Empathy? finds that reading fiction allows us the ability to empathize with others, which improves our social interactions.

This, my friends, is a total parenting WIN-WIN-WIN situation! Are you wondering how this could be? Follow me here.

First, teenagers are still working on the whole empathy thing. They don’t really have their full-tilt, completely functioning, everything works as it will in a few years brain yet. So, eye-rolling is going to happen, but with empathy, perhaps they can start to see your side of the argument about things like curfew, as well.

Second, the more empathy they learn, the more likely they are to consider the feelings of others. Not just other students, but their teachers, their siblings, their parents…see where this is headed?

Third (and there are probably more), they begin to see how their actions affect those around them. How many of you see a piece of paper on the floor at work and leave it there? How many teenagers leave it? Most of them do. But people who empathize with others may look at that and think, there is no reason why I can’t pick that up. There is one company that leaves a piece of trash on the floor as a test. If the applicant doesn’t pick it up, they don’t get the job. This shows both the level of empathy and work ethic of the applicant. In other words “It is my job to help everyone else around here.”

Whew…that’s a lot of reasoning! So, yes, I was allowed to read anything I wanted to read. Yes, my kids were allowed to read anything they wanted to read. Yes, they had to read…even during the summer. But I also read with them and to them and I read my own books while they were reading. We have even had great road trips with audio books for company. Also, they had to discuss their reading with me as they read. This encouraged conversations with them then and now about anything and everything.

So I hope that you will keep on reading, and I hope that you will encourage your kids to read anything they like. Because if they like it, they will read it. Then they will keep going back for more. The more you/they read, the more you/they benefit.

Happy reading!

Let me know what you think!  Do/did your kids read anything and everything? And what about when you were growing up?

 

Citations:

3 Simple Steps to A Well-Read Life. (2016, August 11). Retrieved September 05, 2016, from https://www.bookofthemonth.com/magazine/post/159

Bal, P. M., & Veltkamp, M. (2013, January 30). How Does Fiction Reading Influence Empathy? An Experimental Investigation on the Role of Emotional Transportation. Retrieved September 06, 2016, from http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0055341

LaFrance, A. (2014, September 10). Millennials Are Out-Reading Older Generations. Retrieved September 07, 2016, from http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/09/millennials-are-out-reading-older-generations/379934/

Tilus, G. (2012, November 12). 6 Critical Thinking Skills You Need to Master Now. Retrieved September 07, 2016, from http://www.rasmussen.edu/student-life/blogs/main/critical-thinking-skills-you-need-to-master-now/

One note that rocked my world…for the best.

I went to a very small school from 1st through 12th grade. We had somewhere around 400 students in all the grades combined. We also had a shared library. The books were in an L shape and the elementary and middle school students had an area, and the high school students had an area. And as Kipling said, “never the twain shall meet.”

As a 7th grader, I was NOT allowed on the high school side. And I certainly could not check out a book from that area. So when I pulled one that had caught my eye several times and confidently took it to the circulation desk, I knew, really, that I wouldn’t get away with it. However, I was told that if I had a parent note, I could check out that book.

HA! At home that night, I just mentioned that there was a book that I wanted to check out and I couldn’t. Sympathy at home? Nah…something more resembling a quiet fury. If they had been looking at me, they probably would have seen a small, sneaky smile. Note in hand, the next day I got my prize: John Steinbeck‘s East of EdenThe librarian had held it for me, knowing I’d get the note. That magical piece of paper, written and signed by my dad, said I could read anything I wanted to check out. Handing it over, she told me that I was going to love that book. And I did. I still do.

East of Eden. One note that rocked my world...for the best. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

John Steinbeck is still one of my favorite authors, even when so many high school students find his books boring…I was allowed to choose it. It was some forbidden fruit and I could have it. Yum!

My love of reading had obviously developed long before then, but that led me to more than a love of Steinbeck and literature. It led me to a realization that my parents trusted me to make good decisions. They trusted my judgment. They allowed me to choose for myself. And they never once went back on that. They never once questioned any book I read. Ever. Did I read things I was too young to understand? Probably. Did I read things that many found inappropriate? Absolutely. Was I warped from this? Not one bit.Was my brain corrupted? No. Did I turn into an immoral, unethical, spiritually damaged adult? Certainly not. Did I go to college extremely well-read? Yes. I did. Did it help me? No doubt!

Avid readers read for the story and the nuances, not for foul language or erotic scenes. Honestly, I generally gloss over all of that. Only if the foul language is in every other sentence do I notice. And I tend to agree with John Grisham on that…If that is the case, the writer doesn’t have a great grasp on language.

I just think that if you like to read, you should read. Anything. Everything. If you don’t like to read, it’s because you are reading the wrong things. And yes, reading the newspaper is reading. Reading blogs is reading. Reading comic books/graphic novels is reading. Just find what interests you and read about it.

As for the note that my parents sent to school, not only did they trust me, but they also saw the value in reading and how much a person can learn from reading. Never once did they ever imply that a book was inappropriate for me or anyone else, for that matter. Challenge a book? Never! Just because it isn’t right for one or two people, doesn’t mean that it isn’t right for anyone.

I have since thanked my parents for that note and for allowing me to read whatever I liked. There is no real way to tell them just how thankful I am and how much it means to me now.

As an adult, when Harry Potter first came out, I wanted to know what all the fuss and fury was about. Ten pages in I was hooked. I started reading it because it was a little more of that “forbidden fruit.” Yum again. Personally, I think some of the fire around that book was fanned by the publishers for this very reason. Call me cynical.

I do not think that all books on the Banned/Challenged list are put there by overzealous publishers looking for hype. However, if you have a little publicity going your way and you know you have something that bad publicity will not destroy, you should probably use it to your advantage. After all, bad publicity certainly worked for HP!

All of this being said, I was shocked to find out later in life that there are people who seem to get their life’s thrills from working to ban books from everyone just because they do not approve. Go figure! Why don’t we just burn them all and be done with it. Let’s just be a completely uncultured, uneducated society. Heck, let’s go live with the wolves after that!

You may be surprised to see some of the books on the Banned/Challenged lists. The list below is the Top 50 Banned/Challenged Books from 2000-2009: (The full list is 100, click the link to see the rest.)

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling

2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier

4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell

5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz

8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman

9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle

10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers

12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris

13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey

14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

16. Forever, by Judy Blume

17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous

19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

20. King and King, by Linda de Haan

21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar

23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry

24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak

25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan

26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison

27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier

28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson

29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney

30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier

31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones

32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya

33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson

34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler

35. Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison

36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris

38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles

39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane

40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank

41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher

42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi

43. Blubber, by Judy Blume

44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher

45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly

46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey

48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez

49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey

50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

Are there any books on this list that surprises you? Which ones?  Do you read anything and everything? Have you ever wanted to challenge a book? If so, which one and why? I’d love to know.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Four Reasons To Read This Book. A Propensity to Discuss Review. The real doctor will see you shortly.

Four Reasons To Read This Book.

There are quite a few reasons to read “The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician’s First Year by Matt McCarthy. This true story, names changed to protect the innocent, or at least the HIPPA laws, is at first woefully scary. But as it continues, the fear that while Harvard book educated, this doctor is somewhat incompetent in the hands-on world of a hospital.

As you continue reading, his abilities get better and better, but it is so much more than that and those are the 4 reasons to read this book.

Four Reasons To Read This Book. A Propensity to Discuss Review. The real doctor will see you shortly.

(1) To know the value of Hands-On Learning

When Dr. Matthew McCarthy graduated from medical school, he was an extremely well-educated man. He had all of the book-knowledge of medicine that could be crammed into 4 years. He did not, however, know how to make a diagnosis or treat patients. And let’s face it, you can’t really refer to a book when someone shows up at the Emergency Room having a heart attack.

Hands-on learning is vital to learning. An absolute necessity. And why in the world Americans still think that learning from a book is supreme, I’ll never know. But, trust me, if you read this book you will become a true believer.

(2) To grasp Sympathy

A few trips out on the streets with a highly respected physician to search for, find and treat homeless patients and McCarthy came to realize that sympathy for those he treated was paramount. Not only to show sympathy to those who were dressed well, smelled clean and had all their wits about them, but to never judge a person by his or her status in the world.

How much better would this world be if we all took a lesson like this to heart?

(3) To understand Empathy

It was only after a chance encounter that McCarthy came to understand completely why HIV patients many times stop taking their medications, even though they know that the disease will quickly begin to destroy their bodies and their lives. It is something he cannot fully explain to others, but his understanding led him to be a much more effective and much better physician because he could empathize with those he served.

This was not the only event that led him down that path, there is also another patient who spends McCarthy’s entire intern year in the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) waiting for a heart. This man teaches McCarthy more about being a caregiver than any class he ever took.

(4) It is a really good book.

When I began this book I kept reading because I was so amazed at how little McCarthy knew about taking care of patients and I was actually appalled at his lack of ability. The more I read, the more I became invested not only in McCarthy but in the patients in his care, especially the ones who were constant and/or recurrent. I found myself worrying over them, scared for them and willing them to be better.

I also found myself really pulling for McCarthy. Perhaps it is because my father is a doctor and I saw him in the lead worrying about patients, trying to learn all of the ins and outs and how to be a good doctor, but most importantly a great caregiver.

There are stories of survival and stories of loss. There are stories of hope and stories of devastation. But most importantly, they are all stories of compassion.  And that is something we all need. This really is a good book and I highly recommend you read it.

Blogging for Books Disclosure

Blogging for Books Disclosure

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Unassuming. Untrained. Underestimated. A Propensity to Discuss Review. Flawed

Unassuming. Untrained. Underestimated. Flawed.

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.

Unassuming. Untrained. Underestimated. A Propensity to Discuss Review. Flawed

The Past. 

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. ”

The Present.

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:

Unassuming. Untrained. Underestimated. A Propensity to Discuss Review. Flawed

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.

The Future.

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?

Unassuming. Untrained. Underestimated. A Propensity to Discuss Review. Flawed

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!

5 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

NetGalley Disclosure. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

NetGalley Disclosure

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure. A Propensity to Discuss Review.