Flawed & Perfect by Cecelia Ahern
I have to share the description for these:
FLAWED: Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.
But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found flawed.
In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.
PERFECT: Celestine North is Flawed.
Ever since Judge Crevan declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with Carrick, the only person she can trust.
But Celestine has a secret—one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground. A secret that has already caused countless people to go missing.
Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save just herself or risk her life to save all Flawed people.
For me Ahern's books are hit and miss. Sometimes I love them and sometimes I can't read them. I was a little skeptical going into this story but once I started there was no stopping me. I couldn't put the book down.
Celestine is our heroine and a very unwitting one at that. This world that Ahern created feels all too real. One minute life is normal for Celestine and the next the entire country hates her for helping an old man on a bus. Why? Because he is flawed. And not just a flawed human being (as we all are) but branded physically flawed. To me this called back to WWII with the knowledge of what was done to Jews. It called back further to my own great grandparents and what they went through in WWI in Armenia. Go further back to the idea behind slavery. People deciding others are less than human. It made me sick but I wanted to route for this girl who could only tell the truth about why she stood up on a bus and tried to help someone who society told her wasn't worthy of her effort. Because they are a human being.
The worst part is that Celestine is branded flawed for helping a flawed person. See if you are flawed you can help another flawed. A flawed person can help a unflawed but not the reverse. It is not illegal because the "Guild" is a morality court not a legal one. And yet this country lives in fear of being brought before them.
And then they tell you about the red armband you must where because some people were branded in places clothing would cover. And to top that off you are stripped of privileges like eating delicious food? And you are monitored in everything you do.
This isn't a criminal being asked to go to a parole officer. This is them reading your diary, testing your blood to see if you've had any alcohol or too many sweets. This is them telling you that you aren't worthy of going to school with everyone else, not worthy of having a good job. And then unflawed can abuse you without much in the way of consequences. And the bus! There are two assigned sets on a bus for flawed... which you learn all about in the first chapters. Can anyone say segregation?
Honestly, it is sick and it sounds a lot like the way our world is heading. People deciding just because they think something you do isn't perfect that they have the right to harass and abuse you over it. I don't believe there should be laws telling you what you can and can not believe, say, or feel. You should be free to believe, free to help others and free not to like someone. That is the nature of freedom. You have the right to be an asshole just as I have the right to dislike you for that reason. But as a human being no matter who you are I would help you if I could because it is the right thing.
And there is the rub. Celestine tells the world she believed in helping this man not because he was flawed but because he was a human being worthy of compassion and it is then only logical to help him. Compassion and logic.
I have to say that I read it very quickly and then picked up the second book. I'm just floored. I needed more. And I wanted a shirt with a huge F on it. I am flawed but I'm perfectly flawed. I know I'm not perfect but who is? Own it.
So I have to say that while I really loved the first book this one felt a little more like Hunger Games in the sense that now Celestine is this symbol for the rebellion against the Guild. But it didn't bother me too much because I rated this book a 5. Why? Because the idea is that this whole Morality Court which punishes you not for doing something morally wrong (which in some cases could be punished marginally I suppose) but instead perceived moral issues. I do believe it is morally wrong to cheat on your spouse but I would say your punishment is to lose in the divorce. In this world, they would brand you for life. It is crazy. None of us are perfect. And you come to realize really the problem is human. It is the idea that we have the right to have a court to police someone who made the wrong business decision (we are not talking criminally). In this world if you investing in the wrong company and lost your money... you are flawed.
Crevan, the head judge, is abusing the system but marking people flawed because they angered him. I think Celestine's trial has the most injustice to it but when you learn more it is frightening. These people in a position of power use the power to inflict harm. Crevan branded the doctor who couldn't save his wife from cancer as flawed. There is something inherently evil I think about that. Feel angry. Feel hurt but to say a doctor is flawed because he couldn't save your wife? Or misdiagnoised something?
There is so much for Celestine and her new friends to fight for and I can't help but route for them because another human doesn't have the right to dictate what is moral (but then I believe in God who I do believe has that right). Even human laws are flawed and yet we have them to try to help people but in this it is designed to harm under the guise of trying to protect the unflawed from those who make a mistake???? Mistakes are part of life and you can't learn if you don't make them.
This book makes your mind work. My favorite part is that Celestine wants to fight but doesn't want to do something violent to prove her point. That makes her point more sympathetic and makes me take noticed. Violence is only the answer when you are being physically attacked and you have no choice.
Yes, this is a dystopian novel but the novelty of this is it seems set in our world. It seems like it could be happening in a country in our world right now because this isn't a world system. It is in one country and other countries are considering adopting the system. This is a major difference in most dystopian novels. Usually the whole world seems to have fallen into one government which always makes the most awful laws imaginable. This isn't the case here. This isn't really the govenment though they've done nothing to stop it. And it isn't world wide. It is one country which causes all these damage to the lives of others which is again what made me think of the Holocaust.
This is something of a delicate subject in our world. What is wrong to one person isn't necessarily to another. But guess what? We have the right to think someone's actions are wrong. They cheated. They lied. They sneaked out after dark. They let their mother go to another country for assisted suicide. They protested someone in power. Maybe these people are wrong. Maybe they are right. Unless they are breaking a real law that the people can get behind then who are you to tell them they are scum and deserve to be removed from society? Again we aren't talking about true criminal actions like rape and murder. In those instances they are very wrong and should be in prison. But this isn't what this story is about. It is about a person messing up and getting removed from society because they aren't the believed perfection.
So what happens if you brother, sister, mother or father is flawed? Can you speak to them? Love them? This system puts that all in serious doubt. No one wants to even talk to a "flawed" person because they believe it is what, catching?
I see things through my religion. To God we are not perfect but God thinks we are all beautiful. We all make mistakes whether we believe they are mistakes or not. No one is perfect. And in that we are.
I really think everyone should read these. And I want a shirt with the Flawed symbol on it.