Review: Perfect by Cecelia Ahern
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Flawed, the first novel in Cecelia Ahern’s young adult duology. I’ll be honest, I hadn’t exactly planned to carry on with the series, but I love closure so I couldn’t resist borrowing it when I spotted it on the library eBook list.
It’s been two years since I started this duology, so I’m sure you’re not surprised to know that I’d forgotten a LOT about what went down. We join Celestine hiding out at her grandfather’s farm, evading the Whistleblowers employed to monitor her since she was branded Flawed – a member of society treated as an outcast for a mistake that they made.
Celestine’s mistake? Trying to save the life of a Flawed man.
It took me a little while to get back into the story. Celestine is not at her grandfather’s farm for long, with the majority of the novel stuffed with almost captures which are slyly evaded or actual captures which are quickly escaped. The problem with this is that it gets repetitive quickly, and when you look back from the end of the novel you realise that nothing of note happens.
In fact, there was no need for a sequel. In the first installment, Judge Crevan brands Celestine on her spine. This is filmed by her lawyer, and the footage promises to take down Judge Crevan and the Guild that he represents. One of the biggest problems I had with the first book was that it felt too long and needed cutting down, and I have exactly the same issue with this installment. The events of the Flawed duology could have easily fitted into a standalone, and I can’t really understand why it was split (apart from the obvious reason of making more money). The plot that begins in book one is successfully wrapped up in book two, but other than some hurdles which are easily overcome nothing else gets in Celestine’s way. There isn’t even much in the way of subplot (apart from an almost love triangle, which doesn’t go anywhere).
I was aggravated when Ahern implied that anti-vaxxers being branded Flawed was inappropriate, as I think that’s a naive viewpoint and an inappropriate one to nurture in young readers, but it was only a very brief mention and didn’t impact the greater plot. I also thought it was irritating when Carrick and Celestine slept together and the scene faded to black – not the most responsible way of portraying a young girl losing her virginity. It would have been the perfect place to squeeze in a brief discussion of contraception and the nature of being completely ready, but instead it was brushed over and dealt with in an immature way.
I gave Flawed a two star rating because it annoyed the bejeebus out of me, but I couldn’t justify rating Perfect higher or lower than three stars. It’s completely bland, failing to provoke an extreme reaction of love or hate. Yes, those two aspects annoyed me (and, now I’m dwelling on them, I’m wondering whether I should have dropped my rating down to two stars) but the majority of the novel is so uneventful that it’s difficult to find the energy to care about it.
I’m yet to read any of Cecelia Ahern’s adult novels, but this hasn’t made me feel inclined to do so.
If you’re interested in learning more about Perfect, check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!
Have you read the Flawed duology? If so, what did you think of it?