I typically love a good dystopian fic and was actually pretty excited when I saw the description for Flawed by Ahern. And then I found out it was the pick in April’s OwlCrate book subscription box just a couple months after I cancelled my subscription and I was so mad at myself for my timing. And then I finally got around to reading the darn thing and I can honestly admit that I was behind glad that I checked it out of the library.
So, in the world of Flawed and the main character Celestine North, there is a type of person who is looked down upon and given all sorts of guidelines and restrictions. These people are called Flawed and, once sentenced, are literally branded with the letter F. You can become Flawed for any number of things including bad business decisions, lying, and, as we discover throughout the course of the book, you can also become Flawed for showing some basic human decency.
Now more about Celestine. Perfect, perfect Celestine with her beautiful family and beautiful wardrobe. Celestine was annoying right from the get go. Her worst trait? The fact that her entire being and her actions and everything about her are determined by first her boyfriend and then a handsome stranger she meets later on. She brings them up all the freaking time. “I can get through this because I know I can see him when it’s over” or “I have to stay strong because he’s watching.” Just yuck.
And the world made no sense. The whole Flawed system which, other than the branding, didn’t even sound that bad. Plain meals, a curfew, no alcohol, unable to leave the country. A little sucky sure but not life threatening. They made a point about the food but even that didn’t make sense. The plain, bland meal was salmon and pumpkin seeds and the awesome, non-Flawed meal was chicken and rice. I’m pretty sure chicken and rice is the most flavorless meal one can make.
And then we have the inconsistent rules. Someone can be jailed or deemed Flawed themselves if they help a Flawed but once Flawed your family can still make you meals and pass the salt and your doctor doesn’t have to be Flawed. Um, isn’t making food and offering medical treatment considered helping someone? So how does that make sense? It didn’t. Honestly, putting a few dozen kids in an arena and watching them fight to the death makes so much more sense than that.
So all in all I found Flawed to be flawed. Annoying characters and nonsensical world building just do not cut it for me.