Review: Flawed by Kate Avelynn

Title: Flawed
Author:Kate Avelynn
Release Date: November 2012
Publisher: Entangled Books
Genre:Young Adult
Rating: 4.5 Hoots
Buy From: Amazon / B&N

Sum It Up!This novel is a gritty tale, stripped of the pleasantries often used to describe real life, and may – should – be difficult to read.

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.
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 realize 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… (Author’s Web site)
Warning: Flawed is not a fairy tale or a variation of Romeo and Juliet. This is not a “feel-good” novel. Avelynn has written an “all-bets-are-off”, “no-holds-barred”, “down-and-dirty” story. So, readers, you are fairly warned: Flawed will make you think, wonder, contemplate and question.
The O’Brien’s live in a paper mill town in Oregon, where they are caught in a web of dysfunction each family member continually contributes to and perpetuates. They are able to weave and maintain the complex strands binding (sometimes strangling) them thanks to a societal glamour of status. Life is so much easier when one believes ugliness cannot possibly exist without exposure.
Written from Sarah’s point of view, the writing is authentically young adult. The abusive family dynamics allows for an “older-than-her-years” feel to Sarah’s language and cadence. This aged perspective allows Sarah to explain her need to be invisible and her mother’s near non-existence throughout the story, without understanding how the two are similar. Sarah’s words illustrate how her relationship with her brother mirrors her parents’ marriage; explains why she seeks to trade one protective relationship for another; and how she rationalizes lying. The more Sarah talks, the more the reader becomes privy to the realities of her, and therefore the family’s situation, yet must wait for Sarah to reach her own understanding and awareness.
Avelynn adeptly endows each of her characters with strengths, and more importantly, serious flaws. As each character develops, and is revealed trying to view them as a hero or a villain, is more difficult to determine. Is Sarah really a victim? Is James really a martyr? For the four members of the family, perceptions about what, and who each person is, changes as the story and plot progress. Even the qualities of James’ friends are not clearly positive or negative, as their personalities, needs and wants become clear. Since all of the characters’ actions are filtered through Sarah’s perspective, the uncertainty of how to emotionally invest in them adds to the dimensionality of the novel.
Flawed is a story of family relationships and human interactions. This novel is a gritty tale, stripped of the pleasantries often used to describe real life, and may – should – be difficult to read. Avelynn does not back away from graphically describing how physical violence, poverty, sexism, drugs and alcohol, and sexual violence tears at the fabric of anyone’s humanity. The story is strengthened by the advanced age of the teen characters. James and his friends are high school graduates, and Sarah is about to be a senior. Although this novel is listed as being young adult, the subject and action may be most appropriate for mature teens and adults.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on NRR!

~Media Coordinator/ Site Owner

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...