Format: eBook (Kindle)
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Mature YA, Contemporary
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 love a book with a happy ending. Life is scary and some really scary shit can happen throughout our whole lives and I just need the affirmation that the characters I've invested my time on end up on a path that leads me to believe that all things will be all right and they end up happy. FLAWED by Kate Avelynn is NOT one of those books that end with a happy ending. Honestly, I am still a little torn up about the ending but that did not deter me from absolutely loving this beautiful, tragic, and utterly heart & soul-shattering story.
Now when you first read the synopsis for FLAWED you might think that this story is about incest. I can tell you right now that it’s not. FLAWED is about two broken teens that have the unfortunate fate of being brought up in a house that’s filled with nothing but pain, heartache, loneliness, and devastation. Kate Avelynn sets the dark tone of this romantic fiction right from the very beginning. Sarah O'Brien has grown up in a household that has been filled with nothing but pain, heartache, and disappointment. As the youngest child in her family, Sarah has pretty much grown up with a father that is a drunk and violent/abusive man and a chain smoking, pill popping mother that has totally given up on trying caring and protecting her children.
“James, the savior. That’s the image of my brother I clung to. Still cling to.”
Sarah's only beacon of light in her broken home is her older brother James. Her relationship with James is not normal compared to other brother and sister relationships but in their circumstance it’s absolutely expected and understandable. James has always stood up for Sarah and has taken the brunt of their father’s fists for her, so the deep love, trust, and closeness she shares with James is something no one else can comprehend except for the people who grow up in a house like theirs. But James and Sarah’s close relationship starts to shift when James best friend Sam Donovan finally shows interest in Sarah. After years of pining for Sam, Sarah starts seeking comfort and escape with him which upsets James and makes him possessive over his sister.
“I don’t know who I am without you. I don’t want to. I need you more than Sam does, but you don’t need me. God it hurts.”
Sarah is such a strong and resilient protagonist. While she isn’t physically strong, mentally she’s been strong enough to endure the years of abuse from her father. A lot of her strength does come from the will to be strong for her brother but deep down Sarah is a fighter. James was a very complex character that I loved and ultimately felt even sorrier for than I did for Sarah. Growing up in a loveless home, James was desperate to hold on to his sister’s love. The idea of being abandoned by the only person he’s ever loved is what drives him to do the things he does. He wasn’t a bad person; it’s just that his situation lead him to do things that were ultimately unforgiveable at the end. Also the burden of keeping himself and Sarah protected for so many years has completely broken him and I don’t think anything could have been done without medical and psychological help. As for Sam, gawd I just loved the kid. The strength he portrayed was totally opposite from James. While James was quick to use his fists to defend Sarah, Sam was able to provide the comfort and escape that James couldn’t. Sam was the ray of sunshine that Sarah desperately needed in her dark and gloomy life. He, along with his mother, represented hope for Sarah to have a life that isn’t filled with love, happiness, and safety rather than pain, heartache and desolation. The romance between Sam and Sarah was utterly sweet and the bond the two share towards the end was unbelievable. The lengths Sam took to protect Sarah absolutely broke my heart and left me in a mess of tears.
FLAWED is one of those books that will have you emotionally invested with the story and all the characters. Although you might feel overwhelmed with all the pain and sadness in Sarah's life, Avelynn has a way of letting you see the light at the end of Sarah's very dark tunnel. Like I said earlier, FLAWED is not the kind of book that end’s in a happy ending but the emotions you go through while following the dark and grey areas of her life is worth the experience.
“You told me once dear, you really loved me and no one else could come between. But now you’ve left me and love another; you have shattered all my dreams.”
While FLAWED might not be an easy read, it's definitely one that you do not want to miss. I was absolutely floored with Kate Avelynn's brilliant writing of this dark tale and want to thank her for bringing me along in this emotional whirlwind. I absolutely fell in love with her brand of dark romance and she's definitely one author I will keep my eye out for. Avelynn has an exceptional voice and her unforgettable story will stay in my heart for quite some time. If you’re a fan of emotionally charged reads like Slammed, Hopeless, Pushing the Limits, or The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden, then you will definitely want to read FLAWED by Kate Avelynn.
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