Book Review: Flawless by Lara Chapman

Flawless is the debut novel by Lara Chapman. It was published by Bloomsbury on 3rd May and the book is 272 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

Sarah Burke is pretty close to being perfect. She’s gorgeous, a model student and has a great life with amazing friends but she has one problem. A big one. Her nose. Because of her best friend Kirsten though, Sarah doesn’t let it bother her too much and manages to get on with her life as a normal teenager…until new guy at school, Rock Conway, shows his face.

Rock is the closest to a perfect match that Sarah is ever going to see. He is everything that she has ever wanted in a guy: intelligent, into literature and extremely down to earth. Unfortunately, Kirsten also sees what a catch Rock is and decides she wants him for herself. Being the type of best friend she is, Sarah decides to help Kirsten get the guy of her own dreams but will she be able to hide her feelings from the one person who truly knows her?

What I thought
Until this book arrived on my doorstep, I hadn’t heard a thing about it. Upon first glances, this book immediately had me interested. The cover is white with a pair of striking blue eyes and soft pink lips along with the name of the book. You don’t see many YA books with a cover as simplistic as this so it made a nice change.

Sarah was a great character and one I found easy to relate to. Although I think her issue with herself could have been brought more up to date into a problem that more people can see themselves in, I liked that she wasn’t perfect. Her self doubt and issues with her appearance were justified and it wasn’t as though she kept going on about something which wasn’t a big issue at all. Another great thing about Sarah was the fact that she wasn’t ashamed of how smart she was. In books and films you sometimes hear of the smart kids being scared to show just how clever they are in fear of not being liked but this wasn’t the case for Sarah. It certainly wasn’t what she was scared of people not liking her for anyway. Sarah was so much funnier than I expected her to be but at the same time, she was strong and stood up for herself when she needed to. In short, Sarah was amazing and I loved her.

Due to Kirsten’s constant whining about Rock and what she was going to do, I didn’t love her but I guess that was the point really. That being said, she had many redeeming qualities and if it hadn’t have been for bugging Sarah to do certain things, I think I would have liked her a whole lot more. Kirsten is witty, quick and extremely funny even if she is a bit dim and slow in some senses. She really isn’t the brightest of girls but I think some of that is down to not believing in herself enough and this is where Sarah helps her out. Kirsten is also an amazing friend to Sarah and is always there for her and makes sure she sees how great she really is.

My only real problem with this book was Rock. Not him as a character but his name. I really, really hate stupid names in books and this is one of those cases unfortunately. Luckily though, his name didn’t make him instantly dislike him which I have had happen quite a few times before. I actually adored Rock. It is not very often that a YA book produces such a perfect package in the main male character for me. Rock is sweet and caring, which is something I don’t normally go for in books, but he manages to still have so much appeal at the same time. Rock is extremely intelligent and a big reader, so that was obviously a plus, and he is carefree and outspoken as well. Rock has so many amazing traits that I couldn’t have hated him if I tried. Rock was also unlike any other guy I have read about in a YA book so far. Although he is clearly into Kirsten, his whole life doesn’t revolve around their relationship. It was a lovely thing to see, especially as he made time for other people and other things.

The story is one that I think many teenage girls will be able to relate to and even teenage boys in a reversed situation. I know when I was at school, I had a massive thing for one of my friends’ boyfriends so I could definitely relate to what Sarah was feeling. Chapman wastes no time in getting right down to the point in this book and due to the introduction of Rock early on, it is quite fast paced. There was always something happening in one way or another. Also, not everything is about Sarah/ Rock/ Kirsten. There are many smaller things going on throughout which kept the book fresh and interesting. I think I would have gotten bored if it had been completely about the relationship and what was going to happen in the end, even though that part was fantastic.

One feature of Flawless which I really liked was the inclusion of things like Facebook. Although this will date the book on a whole, it does bring it bang up to date for right now and gives readers even more that they can relate to. Using popular aspects of real life like this makes it possible for readers to see themselves in the situations of the characters involved. Due to Sarah and Rock’s love for literature and poetry, this was something else which I loved about Flawless. It was lovely to read about other books within a book and see them so passionately spoken about. The fact that Sarah and Rock are so into this subject gave their characters so much more depth than the average teen character as they truly believed in their opinions regarding certain topics and texts and it was great to see them so enthusiastic.

Flawless is a retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac and although I haven’t read it, so cannot compare, I definitely want to read it now. Anyone who has read it though may probably get that little bit extra out of Flawless but still, it was a fantastic book and one that I enjoyed thoroughly. Highly recommended!

1 comment:

  1. I'm not a fan of silly names in books either and to me Rock sounds pretty silly too. But I quite like the sound of this one. I think for some stories it really works having a modern retelling.


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