"When we embrace all our flaws, that's when we can finally become perfect."
If any of you happened to read my review of the prequal to this book then you'll know that I could not put it down. I read it from start to finish in about 2 days and I loved the majority of it - considering I really don't share much love with dystopian novels anyhow. However, I have currently been staring at this page for the better half of 10 minutes and I have no idea where to begin.
Almost exactly a year after reading Flawed I finally manged to jump into Perfect, and I was excited. My best friend had lent me her copy and I couldn't wait to get stuck in. I said as much as we sat outside in the last disappearing rays of the Saturday afternoon sun discussing the pile of books she'd just given me to borrow. She took a drag of her smoke, and upon exhale with a grimace she said all in one breath something along the lines of, "I kinda didn't like it, but that's just my opinion". I'm not the type of person to let others sway my opinion so I didn't take it heart, she is my best friend but she is the chalk to my cheese - we can't be expected to agree on everything.
So finally, after finishing Carry On I picked up Perfect. I was excited to be back with Celestine as she hid out at her Grandfathers; After managing to evade her Whistleblower - Mary May. I was excited to finally find out what happened to the Mysterious Hottie, Carrick, who said he'd "find her". I wanted to see what her plan would be for Crevan and the entire Guild that put her in this situation in the first place and I wanted to find out if Celestine had finally figured out the footage of her sixth branding was in the bloody snow globe all along (something I figured out the moment Tina, the guard from Highland Castle, had given it to her in the first book). I was about 7 chapters in when my heart sunk. I hadn't felt this since I picked up The Hunger Games for the first time and I realised, Perfect was going to be struggle.
Ahern is a wonderful writer when it comes to romance and I give her mad props for trying, but in my opinion she falls short on teen dystopian.
Events unfolded out of nowhere; almost as if she thought of them as she was writing and went "that's a good idea! I'll put it in now and then just come up with an explainer chapter after". Nothing made sense, there was no build up and when there was a chapter explaining how Celestine and her comrades had gotten to that particular situation the explaination had no depth, no grasp, nothing to make me believe something like that could really happen. I rolled my eyes more times than I could count at the things Celestine said or did. She infurated me so much that sometimes I found myself just wanting to close the book and never pick it up again because how could someone be so stupid and naive, how does one change their decision so quickly on a whim. And maybe that was the point, maybe that was her being true to her character, a naive, scared teenage girl but none of it felt believable enough for me.
Even Celestine's love for Carrick and his supposed feelings towards her didn't feel believable. Their first kiss and 'love' scene glossed over so quickly I'm not even sure it happened. There was far too much emphasis placed on describing setting and unnecessary surface features without any further explaination into it rather than focusing on the characters and their development in the story.
Part Four of the novel was were all the action happened and was the only time I found myself wanting to turn the next page to find out "what will happen next". But again I found myself rolling my eyes because the events that unfolded just didn't seem real. The characters decisions didn't make sense; they rose to leadership too easily or crumbled under authority too easily. There were far too many extra characters that didn't need to be in the spotlight as much as they were and I think that's why the central characters' developments were so lacking.
The last few chapters felt rushed, almost as if Ahern had lost interest in the book herself and needed the fastest way to just get on with it. The idea of the story is actually really good and holds so much potential to be so much more but I was just left feeling disappoint and unfulfilled. 4/10.