24 January 2013

YA Book Review: Flawed by Kate Avelynn

Release Date: January 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy! Amazon

Goodreads description:
Sarah O’Brien is only alive because of the pact she and her brother made twelve years ago—James will protect her from their violent father if she promises never to 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’s 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…
What it's all about: Sarah and James have always been closer than most brother-sister duos.  Their shared past and present situation bonds them together in ways that no one will understand because they have chosen to hid that part of their lives away.  Sarah has never had anyone other than James to rely on to take care of her so when Sam becomes a part of her life, she struggles to learn how to make her own path without James.  The only problem is that James isn't ready to let Sarah go...

Who it's all about: Flawed centers on Sarah, a junior in high school who live at home with her not-really-there mother, abusive father, and overprotective older brother.  James has sheltered Sarah beyond what is necessarily smart or safe, as is evidenced in her reliance on him and seeming inability to make or follow-through with her own decisions.  While I felt like I understood Sarah, I also felt like I could never truly connect with her.  I wanted nothing more than to shake her a bit and convince her to let someone else in.  Sam and his mother were right there wanting to help her if she would just let them.  James was an interesting character but I have to admit that he made me uncomfortable almost from the beginning.  His intensity in his dealings with Sarah was really unnerving. I had a feeling the whole time that he was a time bomb just waiting to go off.  Sam...I really liked Sam and felt like he truly got the short end of the stick in everything.  He tries so hard to be there for Sarah...but she simply won't let him. (One of the many reasons I wanted to shake her a bit...)

The Bottom Line:  Flawed was a very highly anticipated read for me and I think that while I enjoyed it, I didn't quite have the reading experience that I was expecting.  The emotional roller coaster that this book took me on made it difficult to read and I found myself reading it in small chunks, wholly unprepared for the depth of feeling I experienced and the continued sense of impending doom.  The obvious comparison with this one is Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, which for me simply drew me into the characters and story more than Flawed did.  Flawed was a good read but it lacked a certain something that I can't quite pinpoint that would have made it great.  If you're interested, however, I definitely wouldn't dissuade anyone from giving this one a try.  It definitely is a dark, emotional read that is very well-written and will lodge itself securely in the hearts and minds of many readers.

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