Author: Kate Avelynn
Genre: YA/New Adult
Sarah O’Brien is alive because of the pact she and her brother made twelve years ago — James will protect her from their violent father if she promises to never 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’ 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…
I consider myself as a reader with a spine of steel. I can read a book without shedding a tear and be proud of myself in the end. Yet with Flawed, my steel spine broke. I don’t think I have cried so much for characters of a book in this genre in a long time. This book strung me along with despair, sadness, and the hopes of goodness being able to emerge. With the final two chapters though, I was an emotional wreck.
Let us start with the characters. Sarah is the youngest in a family that has so many emotional and physical pain that I don’t think I could have survived if I were in her shoes. Her mother is practically locked in her own room so much that Sarah doesn’t even really know her. She is just a fleeting image in her mind. She has never been shown a mothers love and doesn’t even know what it is suppose to be like. James is Sarah’s older brother. He has always protected her as much as possible from their father. He always tried to take the beatings their father dished out so Sarah would not have to suffer through them. This is not to say that she escaped the physical abuse. Sarah has plenty of scars to show that she has suffered from it as well. Their father was a horrible man who use to be a boxer and is now working at the mill. He works, drinks, and then turns on his family every chance he gets with his boxing experience. When Sarah and James were younger, they promised to always be together and love each other.
Now lets discuss the writing. Author Kate Avelynn has an amazing voice and talent. She can bring out emotions in a reader with just a few words placed in the right context. The suspense was built perfectly and just at the right pace. The characters actually felt real to me and I can understand the reasons and events that shaped them into what they were.
The events that happen in this book are dark and depressing. While this might be a turn off for some readers, I actually encourage you to dive into the lack of fluff and happiness so you can understand how emotional and real this book is. While there are some sweet moments involving Sam and Sarah, it is by no means a fluffy and happy go lucky romance book. The ending will rip your heart out and stomp on it with high heeled shoes. Then just when you think your heart can’t possibly take much more, the author breaks it just a little more. I was hoping for a different out come in the story, but I realize it wouldn’t have had the impact it did if the author would have changed even just one paragraph.
Flawed has left such an emotional impact on my reading that I am having a hard time accepting that the story is over. I keep hoping if I reread it, I will find that it was just a dream and everything the characters went through didn’t happen. Definitely a book that will be remembered for days after you read it.