I’m an avid reader, but the amount of time I set aside for reading comes in waves. As soon as the sun comes out, that tends to get the motivation and time for reading back out. Is there anything better than sunbathing and reading a book?
The most recent books that I have read are: Flawed & Perfect by Cecelia Ahern. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I started reading but it’s a page turner! The reason why these books are so captivating is how the core element of the story questions judgement in society. Without giving any spoilers away, Flawed finishes on a cliffhanger & if you’re engrossed in the story, you’ll want to start reading Perfect straight away. Perfect picks up right from where the story in Flawed finishes, so in total, you’ve got 829 pages to dive into.
So let’s talk Cecelia Ahern. Ahern has written numerous novels since 2004 and I first came across her after watching the film PS. I Love You. 16 years later and Cecelia has written one book a YEAR – pretty impressive if you ask me. Flawed was published in 2016, with the sequel Perfect being published in 2017.
“We see Flawed as a strength, Celestine. If you make a mistake, you learn from it.”
‘Flawed’ begins by focusing on Celestine North and the society that she lives in. It is rooted in ensuring only perfection exists, branding individuals as ‘flawed’ for mistakes made. The ‘flawed’ brand then lives with the individual, giving restrictions to their life as punishment and ensuring that the world knows that you have done wrong. The story follows Celestine; she was deemed perfection, yet acting morally towards a ‘flawed’ individual, society brands herself as ‘flawed’.
The most interesting element of the story is the underlying context, a judgemental society where perfect is paramount. A society where no second chances are offered, yet Celestine stands by her actions whilst societal rules say that it is wrong to aid a ‘flawed’. As a character, Celestine is admirable in some sense for her actions in the first place, but for admitting her actions. Throughout the books, I grew to like Celestine, her qualities were a mixture between strong and weak, a leader and easily led and as you turn each page, you’re rooting for her to be honest. As the story unravels, it shows just as much of how a change was needed in their society, but also shows a woman’s self-discovery – her bravery and self-development. Her ‘perfect’ boyfriend fades as she is branded ‘flawed’, her family are hugely supportive and Carrick, her prison mate, slowly intertwines into her life – of which I can’t tell you about because it would be a spoiler.
Overall, Ahern reiterates that we do not need to strive, nor be obsessed with perfection. It’s a simple message told with a captivating story – it’s a message that we can all reflect upon.
Have you read it? Let me know your thoughts!