I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
You will be punished…
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.
This had one of the most brutal dystopian settings I have ever read. Can you imagine a world where you are punished for making the first ever mistake? And not just for a duration, but your entire life. This Celestine North’s life. Being perfect and flawless..This is what she has become. Obviously we know this can’t last long, she ends up making a mistake in public for all the world to witness and the consequences are fast and fierce. But other plans are forced into play and she ends up being set as an example. Will she be able to overcome these challenges or will it ultimately kill her?
I thought this world that Ceceila Ahern created was very interesting. Can you imagine a more perfect society? It didn’t last long, and boy did our main character fall from grace rather quickly. I also had trouble understanding why people were punished. I just thought all of their rules were too open and it didn’t seem like something that fit in with what she ended up doing. I know it’s not our society that Ahern has created but what about religion? What about all the other countries? What happened in this country that made it like this? I didn’t get a valid explanation. Only a paragraphs about how some people made terrible decisions? Huh? Who gets to dictate what others do? For example a couple who wanted to get treatment for their child became Flawed for going to another country to get said treatment. How is this a bad decision? If these parents are helping their child get better than wouldn’t society be also healthier instead of having a sick child that is spreading a virus around?? Apparently this society does because humans are supposed to be perfect. It didn’t make any sense and I was constantly wondering!
There are also some pretty intense gory scenes that I wasn’t happy reading into. I mean it was described in detail and I almost threw up a little, gah. It also became a bit predictable and then there was a love triangle and what I’m guessing was instant love. She barely knew anything about this guy and immediately became obsessed. I had no idea why either. There was a brutal bullying scene that had me screeching in my head. It was a little too intense for me.
I enjoyed how strong Celestine fought back against the Guild but she also had a ton of support from her parents which was nice to see. I was just sick of hearing how perfect she was. Yep we get it..She is flawless until she’s not.. Her boyfriend Art is superficial and shallow and I had no information about the third boy because they didn’t even talk to one another…Bonus points for featuring an African American character and model though!
The ending made up for most of the book but I also felt the story kind of went nowhere. I’m unsure as to where or not I will continue.