by Kate Avelynn
Genre: Young AdultPublisher: Entangled Teen
Length: 336 pages
November 23rd, 2012 (ebook)
January 22nd, 2013 (print)
Description: 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 .
My Thoughts: I don't know where to begin. This book consumed me. It broke my heart, wrenched my guts out, made me cry, and I would not have missed it for the world. I was unprepared for what I found in the pages of this book. It is absolutely beautiful and tragically devastating at the same time. It has been days since I read it and it is still fresh on my mind and on my heart. It is one of those books I don't think I will ever forget.
I loved Sarah O'Brien. My heart broke for her, loved with her, hoped with her, and feared for her. Sarah is one of the most well-developed and intricate characters that I have ever read about, and the level of connection I felt with her and her story was mind-boggling. That in itself told me what an outstanding writer Kate Avelynn really is. I cannot fathom how she was able to put this book together, but I am so glad she did. Sarah possesses an inner strength that is astonishing. The abuse she has endured her whole life has left her very flawed.....emotionally, mentally, and physically, yet she perseveres and does not give up.
James O'Brien is Sarah's older brother. He is a very complex character. He is fiercely protective of Sarah, as he has had to be his entire life because of their alcoholic and abusive father. This fierceness, while admirable in a sense, also crosses the line into unhealthy and dysfunctional. James is so very broken from the years of abuse and assuming responsibility for his sister and his mother, which were more than any child should bear, and it has left him mentally and emotionally unstable. So much so in fact, that the lines between what is appropriate and inappropriate in his relationship with his sister have become blurred and extremely dysfunctional. He is a fighter, as his father was, and does it for money. James also possess some of his father's flawed character traits, though both he and Sarah would like to deny it. Unfortunately, no one, including Sarah, realizes just how messed up James really is.
Sam Donavan is the love interest in this book and he is also a hero. He is James' best friend, and after years of him and Sarah being silently attracted to each other, becomes Sarah's boyfriend. Sarah insists that they keep their relationship a secret because of James' temper, even though Sam does not want to. Sarah shares a part of herself with Sam that she thought she would never be able to let anyone see......her scarred body, as well as her scarred heart. Sam is strong, loves Sarah intensely, and is determined to save her and protect her, while making her face the fact that she cannot fix her brother. His level of sacrifice in what he is willing to do for Sarah is unfathomable. I absolutely loved Sam. The romance that developed between Sam and Sarah was intense, exciting, moving, and heartbreaking.
In summary, my heart hurts after reading this novel on an epic level, as it should. In my opinion, Flawed is so much more than just a book.....it is an experience. Flawed is emotionally raw, heart-shattering, disturbingly real, and beautifully written, This is one experience that I will not soon forget, and yes, it was so worth every emotion I experienced and endured while reading it. I encourage everyone who will to open their heart and mind and experience Flawed for yourself.
“Two babies in little more than a year and a half. Knockout Jimmy was forced to give up boxing and take a job in the paper mill. It broke him, and in turn, he broke us all.”
“This is my first real memory of James. In every memory before that, he’s just a flash of color, a warm body with a blurred face, a comforting voice begging me not to die. When he planted himself between our father and me that day, an eight-year-old with small fists clenched at his sides, I think I fell in love with my brother.”
“James is why I never left. I should have left.”
"James is an adult. He needs to figure things out for himself." I shake my head and start to protest, but he stops me. "Yes," he says. "That's your whole problem - you and James don't know where he ends and you begin. You're too dependent on each other. Neither of you can make your own decisions because neither of you knows who you are."
“He stabs his fingers through his drying hair and resumes his pacing. “You think I don’t know this went really fast? I didn’t plan for this to happen. Hell, I didn’t even know if you’d let me talk to you, much less be with you. But then you did and we did and…” He stops in the center of the room and stares at me, his shoulders sagging. “I figured out pretty quick that this is a forever thing for me. I think it has been from the very beginning.”
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About the Author:
Kate Avelynn lives in Central Oregon with her husband, whom she fell in love with at eighteen after realizing he shared her obsession with music, sports, and psychoanalysis. When not devouring Stephanie Perkins and Jennifer Echols novels, holding down her editing gig, or attempting to coax life out of the weed patch she calls a “garden,” Kate writes dark, young adult romance that blends first love, betrayal, and danger. FLAWED is her debut novel.