Flawed

Flawed - Kate Avelynn As young kids in a family with an abusive father and a weak mother, James and Sarah only have each other to depend on. James promises to protect Sarah from their violent father and she in turn promises to never leave him. As James puts himself between her and her father day after day over the years, she cannot but help feel affectionate towards him – a need to take care of James and to mother him becomes an instinctive part of her life until James breaks all the barriers by kissing her. On the other hand is Sam Donovan, a sweet-caring and loyal guy who has been James’s friend forever and Sarah has had a crush on him for exactly that long. As fate brings them closer together, things at Sarah’s home go from out of control to potentially dangerous. Will Sarah ever have a chance at a normal life?

I consider myself to be quite an open minded person yet, incest is something I have failed to understand and accept over the years. I know that love has no boundaries, but falling in love with your own brother/sister in a way that’s not platonic is something that is still beyond my grasp. And so, I picked up this book with equal amount of curiosity and trepidation.

The lead character Sarah makes me feel confused. At times I feel that she is too nice, other times that she is too much of a chicken to do the right thing. Ay times I felt so bad for her and at times I wanted to simply smack her till she came to her senses. The thin about Sarah is that her character and personality had developed in an abusive environment. So it was easy for her to just give up most of the times and I kept waiting for that one moment when she would simply snap out of it and show some strength of her own. James is another matter on the whole. As a kid he made me go ‘awww that’s so nice of him’. But with time as I realized the road his mind was taking him, he just made me sick. Somewhere down the line, I don’t really blame James for the way he turned out because he too had grown up in an unhealthy environment. His instinct slowly became an unhealthy obsession because there was no one to show him the difference between right and wrong. Sam Donovan was cuteness redefined and he was so perfect for Sarah. I just wish he was more firm with Sarah at times.

Ms.Avelynn has handled the subjects of incest, domestic violence, and drug use with a delicate hand. She has done an amazing job in depicting a broken home and the unhealthy situation in which Sarah and James had grown up. She really managed to draw me in and feel for the characters – even James! Really an emotional rollercoaster ride that had me smiling, crying and frustrated - all at the same time.