Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Flawed by Cecilia Ahern

Kindle Edition, 334 pages
Published March 24th 2016 by HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks
My thanks to Net Galley and Harper Collins for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.


"Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation in which she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found FLAWED.

In this stunning novel, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society in which perfection is paramount and mistakes are punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything."

My Review

This is the Young Adult debut by bestselling author Cecilia Ahern and I thought it was a great leap into the world of dystopian fiction.

I found the concept of the book to be really intriguing in that anyone who does not behave perfectly is deemed to be flawed and is branded for the rest of their lives and treated as second class citizens. I did find it strange that there was a different system for criminals in that they would not be branded and once released from prison could continue their lives as normal, whereas a flawed person - whose crime was maybe bring dishonest or making a mistake at work - would be restricted in every way, from what they could eat to having a curfew and not being allowed to be helped by a "normal" citizen.

Celestine has grown up with this system and is determined to be perfect and to fly under the radar without questioning anything until an incident close to home makes her begin to question everything that she assumed was right before. I really felt for her when she made a split decision which could lead to her being branded as flawed. Her thoughts are sometimes quite selfish, but I imagine that living in a society like that you would need to protect yourself in that way.

This book was fast-paced and I enjoyed the questions that the book raised about morality and courage. I can't wait to read the next book in the series! I would give this book 5 out of 5.

About the Author

Cecelia Ahern wrote her first novel, PS. I Love You when she was twenty-one. It was published in 2004, the number 1 bestseller in Ireland for 19 weeks and sold in over forty countries. The book was adapted as a motion picture directed by Richard LaGravenese and starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler and released in 2007 in the United States.

Her second book, Where Rainbows End (US title: Love, Rosie or Rosie Dunne) won the German CORINE Award in 2005. She contributed with short stories to charity books and is also the co-creator and producer of the ABC comedy Samantha Who?.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

Published April 7th 2016 by MIRA (first published January 29th 2016)
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Midas PR for sending it to me.


"When Arthur Pepper discovers a mysterious charm bracelet in his late wife’s wardrobe, he sets off on a journey to discover, charm by charm, her secret life before they met.

Having been married for over 40 years, 69-year-old Arthur Pepper is mourning the loss of his wife. On the anniversary of her death, he finally musters the courage to go through her possessions, and happens upon a charm bracelet that he has never seen before.

What follows is a surprising adventure that takes Arthur from London to Paris and India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife’s secret life before they met, a journey that leads him to find healing, self-discovery, and love in the most unexpected of places."

My Review

This is a really sweet, charming book, with many funny and poignant moments.

Arthur is a lovely character and I really felt for him as he went on his journey to find out more about the life his wife led before they met. The story behind each of the charms was really interesting and I liked how each one gave clues to lead to the next charm.

I also enjoyed finding out more about his relationship with his children and the way this developed over the course of the book.

Additionally, I liked how Arthur's friendship with his neighbour and her son developed, and how they helped him to see his own worth.

This is a gentle, enjoyable book which I highly recommend. I would give this 4 out of 5.

About the Author

Phaedra Patrick studied art and marketing and has worked as a stained glass artist, film festival organiser and communications manager. She was inspired to write Arthur Pepper’s story by the memories of her own charm bracelet. She lives near Manchester with her husband and son.