Series: Stand alone
Genre: Contemporary YA
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: 12/11/12
Source: Received from publisher for review.
Sarah O’Brien is alive because of the pact she and her brother made twelve years ago — James will protect her from their violent father if she promises to never leave him. For years, she’s watched James destroy his life to save hers. If all he asks for in return is her affection, she’ll give it freely.Flawed is a brutal, unflinchingly painful, yet beautifully told story of broken psyches and broken hearts.
Until, with a tiny kiss and a broken mind, he asks for more than she can give.
Sam Donavon has been James’ best friend — and the boy Sarah’s had a crush on — for as long as she can remember. As their forbidden relationship deepens, Sarah knows she’s in trouble. Quiet, serious Sam has decided he’s going to save her. Neither of them realizes James is far more unstable than her father ever was, or that he’s not about to let Sarah forget her half of the pact . . .
This is a really, really difficult review to write. Maybe that's fitting because Flawed was a difficult story to read. I can only imagine how painful it must have been to bring to life. I want to start by commending author Kate Avelynn for her talent and courage in writing such a unique book.
I think, by reading the synopsis, the basics of the story are clear. Sarah O'Brien is the victim of a horrific home life. Her brother James is her savior, taking her pain at one price, her love. All of her love. When James' friend Sam makes a long-awaited connection with Sarah, a chain of horrific events is set off that will leave lives destroyed. Amid the insanity, there is a beautiful love story. The moments of peace, acceptance and love between Sam and Sarah were my favorites in Flawed.
Almost every other moment, though beautifully written, was painful to read. And you know, that's okay. I absolutely believe that Flawed is a story that is meant to make you uncomfortable...how could it not? I wanted to put the book away in the times of extreme brutality. It was almost too much to take. There were so many wrong decisions made by the characters. But who can judge two children who have lived such a brutal existence? As hard as it is to believe, there are people in the world, far too many, who actually live the life of Sarah, and James. So to say that I can't stand to bear witness to a story like this is a cop out. If someone can endure it, at the very least, I can read it. And I think it says I lot that I've just sat here and written an entire paragraph, treating Flawed as a work of non-fiction and the characters as real beings. This goes to shows what a remarkable job Avelynn did in pulling me so deeply into her story.
At the end, I'm still at a loss with this review. Did I enjoy Flawed? Yes, I enjoyed the writing, and definitely the lovely moments between Sam and Sarah. But no, I didn't enjoy much of the story. I wasn't meant to. I felt deeply, thought hard, and ended with a broken heart. But I promise one thing. I won't forget Flawed.
"The more I'm around you, the more I realize just how much James didn't tell me," he says. "How much I don't know."
He closes his eyes. When he opens them, they're the dark, thunderstorm gray I love best. "If I had any idea, I never would've waited this long." (34%)
You can purchase Flawed at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
I know Amy loved this and I'm glad you liked it, but it does sound incredibly intense. I will definitely read it at some point. I've been reading a lot of tough books lately though, so I may have to wait on this one. Nice review.ReplyDelete
Andrea this was one of the toughest reviews I had to write too. But I think you did a great job capturing what this book was about. It was so achy and raw and I would have loved it if things had ended differently, but yes this book will definitely remain with you days or maybe weeks afterwards!ReplyDelete
This does sound a little to intense for me. Being a past lover of reality written books, and non-fiction, I think I would of jumped at the chance to read this, but over the years my tastes have changed, and I find I enjoy being whisked away, and having a plot that is much more pleasant, but I enjoyed your review, and your honesty.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful and moving review. I have this for book for review also. I am almost afraid to read it, because I can get so emotionally vested in a book, yet I am so intrigued by your review, I also can't wait.ReplyDelete
This is an amazing review! Its no secret I stalk... I mean read your blog and I really think this is one of your best reviews. I got this off of NetGalley so I think I'll be getting to this soon and I am so nervous about this book, but I have also heard how great a book it is. Again, great review!ReplyDelete
I have this, and I'm having trouble making myself read it for the reasons you described...that it's going to be a tough, emotional book and I'm not really going to enjoy what's happening in the story. I think I'll wait till I've got the "Christmas is over" blues and THEN tackle it. I should be in the right frame of mind right about then. :) Thanks for the thoughtful review, Andrea!ReplyDelete
This sounds sad but great!!ReplyDelete
Whoa, this sounds like a brutal but amazing read. I hadn't even heard of this one, but I think I have to try it after reading your amazing review. Thanks Andrea.ReplyDelete
Wendy @ The Midnight Garden
I just know I'm going to be a mess after reading this book, but I've known this one was going to be very intense. I've had this book pre-ordered for months. I'm just waiting for the PB version to be released. Wonderful review Andrea :-)ReplyDelete
Fantastic review Andrea! I am in tears just thinking about the book again. My review for this book was probably the hardest review I have written to date. This was a brutal book, but I can't help but love it. Not the situations, but the realness and beauty in the writing.ReplyDelete
Sounds really powerful, I love a story that can make me feel and think.ReplyDelete
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog
Does sound good but I'm not sure I could get through it. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
This one sounds so emotionally intense and a mix between Forbidden and Hushed by Kelley York. Not sure if it's for me but I LOVED your review!ReplyDelete
I like books that blow me away with the voice of the narrator and the style of writing but weren't meant to be "enjoyed" per se. There are so many HEA books that when a great book comes out that isn't like this, I appreciate the author for having the guts to be different and pull it off so well.ReplyDelete
This happens to be the kind of books I'm strangely attracted to. I like the books that push you to a new level and push your comfort zone, but I know it won't be an easy read. Great review, Andrea!ReplyDelete
I have to space out books like this, but I think they are important. If someone has to live that life then we should read about it, to try to understand it. It's hard, but I really like how you said things.ReplyDelete
I remember seeing a negative review on this one and I think that person was just too uncomfortable with it. Sometimes being uncomfortable is okay, but sometimes people just can't handle it.
I think one day I'll have to give this one a read and see how I feel about it.
I SAW PAINFUL TO READ UP THERE! Gah! I only skimmed your review because I am anxiously awaiting this books arrival from TBD and I don't want an expectations going into it. I can't freaking wait for this!!!!!ReplyDelete
This sounds really good. love the simple cover and the synopsis is intriguing. I love these kind of books. The ones that make you cry and promise never to let you forget them. They are so powerful and emotional!ReplyDelete
LOVED Your review, Andrea!
Well I'm a cop out cause as you can probably guess I am definitely not reading this one. Already looked at the ending and NO WAY! I do commend the author and all the readers for something so raw though. It sounds like an extremely emotional ride.ReplyDelete
I've got chills just reading your review! You're right, this is an incredibly powerful story, one that we aren't meant to love. I had to put Flawed down here and there, collect myself and then jump back in. The emotions were just too strong for one sitting. Beautiful review, like myself and others, I can tell that this book profoundly affected you.ReplyDelete
I just don't know about this one. Sounds very heartbreaking but I'm not sure I'm in the mood for these type of stories anymore. There have been a few hyped up ones lately and I just guess I don't want to buy into the hype.ReplyDelete
Maybe one day I'll give this a shot.
Thanks for the great review!