The stunning YA debut from internationally bestselling author Cecelia Ahern.
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 in which 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 this stunning novel, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society in which perfection is paramount and mistakes are punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.
I received an eARC of the novel from HarperCollins UK via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book had an awfully long start, those who surrounded me whilst I read it will definitely know that I felt the need to close my Kindle a few times to take some deep breaths and count to ten, to be able to start reading again…
However, after the initial slow incline it wasn’t too bad of a read…. I guess? I mean, have you ever just finished a book and thought: well that wasn’t bad… but something wasn’t quite right, and the more you think about it, the more flaws (isn’t this a great coincidence) you find?
So why don’t we start off with the good bits:
Celestine’s family was definitely something that saved this book for me, her mother’s development was HUGE, I mean, maybe not totally groundbreaking – but for a “perfect” supermodel… that was some cray stuff, but VERY commendable considering the circumstances.
Speaking of perfect, this book made me think quite a bit about the meaning of that word, and its impact. I mean, some of the characters seemed to have been labeled as flawed for petty (and sometimes even mundane) things… which I’m pretty sure a lot of people are also ‘guilty’ of having done at one point or another, or would choose to do the same in the characters’ situations. And I mean, surely we aren’t flawed for being human? But of course, that isn’t to say that we are perfect either, because perfection doesn’t exist, and whilst it is something to strive for (hopefully in order to improve yourself and nothing else) it DEFINITELY cannot be achieved. And that isn’t really an easy concept to come to terms with, but it’s the truth. The images of “perfect” people aren’t true… yes, there are some attractive people out there but the media still feel the need to apply a brick wall of photoshop onto them – which of course isn’t right, but it’s how our society has worked for a couple decades now, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be changing anytime soon despite efforts.
Okay, little monologue over and done with, this book gave me feels at a moment I thought wouldn’t come… I thought Celestine – better not carry on with that really, but let’s just say that Ahern threw me off my tracks for a while. I also really enjoyed the protagonist’s relationship with her sister at the end of the book – that also hit a few feels and I may have even teared up slightly.
But a few things also bugged me:
The protagonist fell a bit flat… at least at first, there wasn’t much to her other than her rather narcissistic views, and of course her slight obsession with her ONE AND ONLY… I mean the guy himself wasn’t too bad (if you don’t take into account his bland personality)… but I do prefer her second interest in the love triangle which of course just HAD to be part of the story, because a dystopia isn’t complete without it in most cases… and of course the love triangle had to be completed by INSTA-LOVE
Although Celestine got a bit of character development throughout the novel and actually delivered some very well constructed speeches, it all happened too quickly for me personally, it felt rushed and unfinished and I just wished that it wasn’t the case as she did have some potential, even as her ‘old’ self…
I have quite mixed feelings about the ending. On one hand I’m overly anticipating the release of Perfect next year, but I don’t think that would have been the case had it not been for the huge cliff-hanger, because just when everything started to come together the story was cut short… Also, am I the only reader who thought that the snow globe had a VERY important role at the end? Am I wrong… am I right? I guess I will have to wait and see.
I would recommend this book to fans of dystopia, and Ahern and her impressive writing style (although of course this is very different from her usual works) who are open to experiencing society in a way that hasn’t really been seen before.
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
“I am a girl of definitions, of logic, of black and white. Remember this.”