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The beginning of this book is entertaining, but since I've read a large majority of the dystopian YA novels out there, it seemed run of the mill. Cecelia is a reasonable heroine, and I liked seeing the discrepancies between her and her twin sister. Art, her boyfriend, is a compelling character that I hope to see greater developed throughout what I believe will be a trilogy. I wasn't sure I believed Cecelia's transformation because how could it be that she has never seen a case of injustice happen in her life in this type of world? I thought this could have been developed more naturally or have given us hints more towards how Cecelia may have had doubts previously, but because she believed in the system, she never strayed. That said, something changes for me about 25-30% in, when something horrific happens to Cecelia. Suddenly, this book, which seemed so standard for the genre, becomes something different. There are some really nice twists that I wasn't expecting, and Cecelia becomes a more sympathetic heroine very quickly. [MINOR SPOILER ALERT: While her fascination with Carrick was a bit jarring for me, Ahern prevents this from being instalove by not having them truly interact for most of the book. In fact, this makes Carrick infinitely more sexy and appealing, as you sense him lurking in the corners of every page, but we still don't really know who he is. Neither does Cecelia.] What this initial book really is, is a journey of self discovery for Cecelia, where she discovers that what defines a hero is what he/she does in the face of an impossible situation. There are other wonderful side characters who will undoubtedly play an even larger role in the books to come.
Overall, while it took me a little bit to get into the story, it was well worth the ride because it smoulders and lights afire by the last few pages. I highly recommend this book to people who love dystopian novels as it earns a place among them.
I could have read this book in 1 day if I could have kept my eyes open last night to finish it. It was deeply moving to me and showed me what bullying is like when taken to the extreme in a society, to the point where some people in society are seen a less-than-human and have their rights taken away and their lives severely restricted over lapse of judgment or thought different from the accepted norm. I felt the anger and the frustration of the Flawed and those who questioned the morality of the society but were afraid to speak up in fear of being declared "Flawed." A great dystopian novel that O would highly recommend to all especially young adults and dystopian readers.
I gave this a 4 out of 5 on Goodreads.