Saturday, July 2, 2011

Review: Flawless

Title: Flawless
Author: Lara Chapman
Published: 2011 by Bloomsbury
Obtained: Library
Sarah Burke is just about perfect. She's got stunning blue eyes, gorgeous blond hair, and impeccable grades. There's just one tiny – all right, enormous – flaw. Her nose. But even comparisons to a beak don’t bother her much. Sarah's got the best best friend and big plans to make a name for herself as a journalist.
Then, on the first day of senior year, Rock Conway walks into Sarah’s journalism class and, well, rocks her world. Problem is, her best friend, Kristen, falls for him, too. And together, Rock and Kristen look like Barbie and Ken come to life. So when Kristen begs Sarah to help her nab Rock, Sarah does the only thing a best friend can do: she agrees. For someone so smart, what was she thinking?
Filled with hilariously misguided matchmaking, sweet romance, and a gentle reminder that we should all embrace our imperfections, this contemporary retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac is a delight!

First Sentence:”I love the first day of school.”

I believe this is the first book by Lara Chapman, and I think she’s going to do okay. While this book is predictable and rather clich├ęd, I also think that she executed it in a way that made you forget you knew exactly what was going to happen.

Sarah learns a lot through the book. She learns to stand up for herself and not to lean and depend on her friend so much. While her friendship with Kristen is solid, she’s a push-over which causes her to agree to stupid things. Her transformation through the story is very fascinating. She’s let herself deny that she still hides behind her imperfection, so when her friends and mother gently tell her she’s still insecure, it comes as a shock. I really like this aspect of the old “gaining self-esteem” story because many times we tell ourselves that we’ve gotten over something or that we’ve accepted something when we really haven’t. It is nice in those situations to have friends who’ll just tell you that you’re in denial.

However, I never could picture her nose! Many times it was described as “a beak” or just simply as really big. I had a really hard time seeing this in my mind. Maybe people really do have noses like that and I just don’t pay attention to people’s noses?

Sarah and Kristen’s friendship was interesting. While I could understand the friendship, I was also mystified by it. Their personalities didn’t seem very compatible and yet they had been best friends forever. Kristen simultaneously annoyed me and caused me to feel sorry for her. Her attempts to be “better” than she was were funny and yet pitifully sad.

Rock was an interesting character. He was smart, loved literature/poetry, cute, and friendly. Pretty much the perfect guy to any literature-loving girl (not necessarily me…). The depth he conveyed through his words and actions proved him to not be just any old cute guy in a YA novel. He was rather oblivious to many things… but many guys are, so I’ll let him off the hook on that.

This theme of liking your best friends boyfriend seems to be very prevalent in YA books. It’s a hard quandary. Do you tell them that you like their man or do you wait and see what’ll happen? Sarah originally reluctantly helps Kristen get Rock, but then she realizes that: a) Kristen is miserable pretending to be intelligent for Rock and b) She needs to stop only caring about her friends, she needs to think of herself too (that doesn’t mean that she’s going to hurt Kristen to get what she wants, just that she doesn’t think about herself AT ALL, and needs to). So anyways, she uses poetry like any English-loving person. :)

I hope you understood through this desultory review, that I did enjoy the themes explored in this novel, although it was rather cheesy.

Rating: Capture878

Content Warnings: Language


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