Grade: 3 stars out of 5
Sarah Burke is confident, but just not about her humongous nose. Everyone is always starring at it and she can feel the whispers behind her back. Luckily best friend Kristen is there to cheer her up. But when it comes to new transfer student Rock, Kristen is far from making Sarah happy: Kristen has her eyes set on Rock and is desperate for Sarah to help make her seem smarter in things art and literature. Too bad Sarah’s got a massive crush on Rock herself.Conceptually Flawless would be a magnificent coming of age, take life by its horn, and just be you type of novel. There are aspects of the novel, however, that stopped it from reaching its full potential. That being said many people enjoyed Flawless and found it pretty near flawless. It’s all in the matter of taste.
I found Flawless to be a frustrating book to read. Sarah’s thoughts and actions seem to never connect. I was rooting for Sarah from the start, but as time went on I grew increasing anxious as to why Sarah continued to pretend she was Kristen when facebook messaging Rock or when writing letters. Sarah started to dig her own grave. And when things finally exploded, it was just very much to the extreme.
Kristen and Sarah’s friendship tips back and forth. Sometimes there was a balance. Other times I wanted to punch Kristen in the face for pressuring Sarah into doing something she obviously did not want to do. And being vocal about it. But Sarah seems to justify Kristen’s actions because she’s her best friend and one of her only friends.
Flawless does a wonderful on drawing out emotions from readers. Everyone has something about themselves that they hate. Readers can be empathic to Sarah when giggles and whispers start as she passed or readers can cheer when Sarah takes a stand for herself against a couple of tween boys. Sarah understands her flaws and accepts them. She focuses on the positive of her features. But I do appreciate when Chapman writes the scene when Sarah considered surgery especially with the added pressure by her mom who had undergone surgery. With the trend in surgery as the fixer upper, this is a very real possibility many people turn to.
One thing that made a little confused was the incorporation of Sarah’s mom’s job. The rivalry of old generation versus new generation and underhandedness is the business world was well done. But it felt out of place with the whole Sarah-Kristen-Rock scheme. The climax of the side plot when the intern claimed Sarah’s mom was a lesbian and her mom’s reaction was awkward. I wasn’t sure if Chapman would take it from there as a sob story or a ridiculous claim from a desperate intern.
Oh and the dude who had a huge crush on Sarah seemed to appear and disappear into thin air. Taught a great lesson to Sarah how she pushed people away without really realizing it, but then poof. Too bad, I kind of liked him.
Flawless had a really great concept in a time when people are always comparing themselves to models, actresses, actors—the people on magazines. But the awkwardness and unclear direction of the main character took it from being amazing to being okay.
Source: ARC from Bloomsbury