Flawed by Cecilia Ahern

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Not being a fan of chick lit, I hadn’t read Cecilia Ahern until her publisher sent me a review copy of Flawed.

It arrived just days after I had watched Love, Rosie — the movie based on Ahern’s Where Rainbows End.  I’d also heard some discussion about Ahern on an Irish radio programme that suggested her books were worth reading. So, I was sufficiently interested to give Flawed a go. I also discovered that both my mother and my niece (85 and 25) are Ahern fans so perhaps I’ve been missing out up to now.

Young Adult

Flawed is a Young Adult novel about a teenager growing up in a judgmental society where people are expected to be perfect and breaking the rules incurs punishments that include branding and being shunned by society.

Celestine North, the teenager and heroine of this novel, is perfect until she breaks the rules and takes a stand against the judgemental wing of society.

The idea behind Flawed is interesting in light of the various public interest investigations that have taken place in Ireland. However, the characters lack depth — particularly in the earlier part of the novel — making it a somewhat frustrating read. Later, the pace picks up and there are hints of a love triangle that may add interest to the story.

Flawed comes to a somewhat  abrupt end with the story to be continued in a sequel called Perfect, due to be published in 2017.

Flawed by Cecilia Ahern is published by Harper Collins. [Disclosure: An advance review copy was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review].

We Were Liars — a young adult title with wide appeal

Cover Image Usually young adult fiction wouldn’t cross my radar however I stumbled upon E Lockhart’s haunting mystery We Were Liars in Time magazine’s Best Books of 2014 so far and because I love books set off the coast of Massachusetts, I decided to give it a go.

We Were Liars is a coming of age story about a group of wealthy children who holiday each year on their grandfather’s private island where they enjoy idyllic long summer days in beautiful houses close to the water.

The story is narrated by a troubled teenage heroine — Cadence Sinclair — whose memory was damaged during a trauma endured on a previous summer holiday in an incident that no one is willing to talk about.

Like all families, however, the Sinclairs have their secrets and jealousies albeit concealed behind an apparently perfect facade. There’s tension among the children’s mothers who are manipulated by their powerful and wealthy father and Lockhart underlines the age-old nature and universality of such tensions in a series of references to similar themes in folklore.

Place and atmosphere — mystery and myth — lies and truth — are more important than character in this short novel which runs to just 240 pages. The Kindle edition of We Were Liars was a steal at $1.68 when I purchased it a couple of days ago. I loved E Lockhart’s writing and while the story may fade over time, hers is a name that will remain on my radar from now on.