This post continues digital advanced reading copies from NetGalley. I am under no obligation to post reviews and all opinions are my own.
Having never read Cecelia Ahern before, when I saw this and the fact it's a YA book I decided to give it a go. The world this is set in has Flawed people, people who have been found guilty not of crimes but other moral problems, like lying or stealing from society. Once they are found guilty by the Guild, they are branded in certain area that tells what their Flaw is (so if you had made a bad decision, you would be branded on the temple). Celestine is a 17 and lives a logical, perfect life. Great at school, perfect boyfriend and lives by the rules. She believes strongly in the Guild and what they stand for. So when an event on a bus changes her life, Celestine finds herself in a difficult position. Lie and pretend she is perfect or tell the truth and risk being found Flawed.
The book itself gave me mixed feelings. A lot of it felt very familiar, but then again, with the rise in popularity of dystopian YA books with female main characters that's not too surprising. And doesn't mean it can make the book any less enjoyable. I found myself annoyed at times by the idea of being found flawed by assisting a Flawed person. In Celestine's case, the reason she is brought before the Guild is because she tried to get a non-Flawed woman to move out of the Flawed seats on the bus (only two per bus) so this sick old Flawed man could sit down. When the woman doesn't move, Celestine helps him into a normal seat so he can stop coughing and catch his breathe. The idea that helping a sick man, even though he's Flawed, can find you in trouble but allowing him to be sick on the bus, to the point where he might collapse or even die and that not helping him isn't a problem in this world that has a strong moral superiority just baffled me a bit. But over time, while thinking this over, I could see how things like this actually could happen in a society. That groups of people could be given curfews or made wear armbands or be branded could happen and have actually happened before so.
I did like the world this is set in, while it's dystopian it's still quite modern, using phones and tablets (this is possibly the reason why I didn’t at first click with the whole Flawed idea, as most dystopians I’ve read felt really detatched from the world I live in). I also liked how media and celebrity obsession is still part of the Flawed world. How the media were so interested in Celestine and her all aspects of her life. The book was a quick read and I found myself reading fast as I wanted to see what happened. I like how we see why people are so interested in Celestine, why so many different people see her as a pawn and how she could alter the world by pushing their own agendas. I'm not sure how I feel about this potential love triangle (I don’t think it needed it), but there's always some mysterious figure in dystopian books! I think if you like dystopian YA books and don't mind exploring similar themes then you'll enjoy this.