This is a dystopian novel, a genre I haven’t really delved into for years since all dystopias were turning into the same overused tropes/archetypes/cliches. And the summary for Flawed seems to be following the same mold I’ve seen people use so many times before: a “perfect” society where anyone imperfect is exiled. Only it’s not exactly exile in this book–it’s markings that separate you from society and subject you to public humiliation, among a lot of other horrid things.
I had high hopes (mainly because of that cover, I admit), but I felt the beginning falling into stereotype territory. Art Crevan has a lot of potential to be an interesting, nuanced character, but his role is mostly tied to his relationship with the main character, Celestine. Some development of his personality is there, but it isn’t carried out completely, so I hope to see him reach his potential in the next book.
Carrick, also, falls into some cliches with his seemingly dark + brooding personality. Fortunately, other sides of him are also shown, and there are some really bittersweet moments with or about him, which I did enjoy.
Celestine herself is done quite well; her arc is about losing a black-and-white perception of the world, which I’ve said before is a concept I absolutely love and is also a concept I wrote a paper on in school. She has some really clever lines and insightful thoughts at times, and other times–when she’s desperately trying to go back to how she used to see things–she can seem ignorant and oblivious. Overall, she’s very well-written, grows realistically, and honestly just needs a hug.
So there’s a lot of secrecy and personal gain involved in the plot. There are also some horrible things that happen to Celestine, which all leads to it becoming a story about justice, defeating the odds, and making choices. It’s also about authority figures abusing their power, and that part is the most terrifying of all–which is great. It needs to be terrifying. It has to stick with us.
I enjoyed seeing the people around Celestine start to change with her as well as seeing the stakes grow. The further I read, the more engrossed I was in the story, and in the end it met all my expectations. So while the beginning could have been better, I very much recommend this book if you’re looking to give dystopia a chance.