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So this is a different sort of situation for me. The very awesome Heather Riccio (whom I’ve recently started
stalking following like a puppy on Twitter) asked for volunteers to read a review copy of Flawed by Kate Avelynn and review it. Who can say no to something totally, awesomely cool like THAT?
Usually, I take my time reading, cause I have other stuff going on. There’s work, there’s hanging with A, housework, whatever. I recognize that reading is a leisure activity that sometimes has to be put on hold for more grown-up things. Yeah. Not this time. A was understanding about my total neglect last night, even as he was gently pulling me away from my computer and making me get ready for bed so that I wouldn’t fall over today.
I got to work today, promptly picked up where I left off last night when the sleeps had to happen, and sat with my jaw on my chest until I finished. Then I sat for another ten minutes or so processing.
In short, I was stunned.
I don’t usually give a book my “Zomgz amazerful!” rating. Which is not to say that I don’t love most of the books I read. I do. Like snuggle and smooch them, love. But it’s rare that a book hits me as viscerally as this one did.
So. Let’s get on with the whys and wherefores!
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…
This is a GREAT blurb, btw. When Heather sent it to me asking if it was something I would be interested in, I was like OMG GIVE IT!! (
Stealing borrowing @Fizzygrrl‘s grabby hands gif.)
The writing is amazing. Like seriously, I want to be this awesome. Kate, like so many of the people I follow on Twitter, is just disgustingly talented and I WANT TO BE THAT GOOD.
Sarah is a brilliant character. She’s so real. She’s brave and strong in ways that no child should ever have to be. Every thought and feeling, all her insecurities and self-doubt. They are so spot on it’s scary. All of the characters are like this.
At several points, I just wanted to shake her and scream. Even though I totally understood why she did the things she did.
I couldn’t put it down. It was fast paced and brutal and didn’t let up the pressure for a second.
This part is subjective so I’m throwing it out for those who may take issue. The subject matter is rough. It’s painful. It’s scary as hell. It’s also a stark and tragic reality of life that too many people have to suffer through. It will wring you out emotionally.
I on the other hand, feel that it’s something everyone should be aware of and talk about a hell of a lot more. If I were an English teacher, I’d make this required reading.
I’m still reeling and I finished it about an hour ago. I’m probably going to read my copy again. I will buy it when it comes out.
While it’s tragic and heartbreaking, it’s all about hope. Hope and having the strength to overcome and rise above adversity.