Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Flawless by Lara Chapman


Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (May 10, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1599905965
ISBN-13: 978-1599905969

Sarah Burke is just about perfect. She's got killer blue eyes, gorgeous blond hair, and impeccable grades. There's just one tiny-all right, enormous-flaw: her nose. But even that's not so bad. Sarah's got the best best friend and big goals for print journalism fame.

On the first day of senior year, Rock Conway walks into her journalism class and, well, rocks her world. Problem is, her best friend, Kristen, falls for him too. And when Rock and Kristen stand together, it's like Barbie and Ken come to life. So when Kristen begs Sarah to help her nab Rock, Sarah does the only thing a best friend can do-she agrees. For someone so smart, what was she thinking?

This hip retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac is filled with hilariously misguided matchmaking, sweet romance, and a gentle reminder that we should all embrace our flaws.

Review:

A masterpiece that was indeed flawless.

With an attitude that takes no prisoners, you won't be prepared for the onslaught that Sarah Burke isn't afraid to dish out. Beautiful writer, studious student, killer looks are what frames Sarah's character but she can't get over the fact that what's in the center--of her face--is what grabs people's attention first. She can take the ridicule and even pay it back in kind but each time leaves an unavoidable scar that has constructed the wall Sarah keeps herself behind, in order to not get hurt.

However, because of her best friend in the world, she can withstand it with Kristen by her side. When a new boy comes to town, all the girls are crazy about his good looks but Sarah is interested in his fresh, intellectual presence as well. When Kristen decides she'd like to him hers, being the loyal friend and repaying her debt to her friend unwavering kindness, how can she say no when she asks for help in making her sound intellectual, too?

Opening with a thriving beginning, Flawless had no flaws that I can air out in this review. Honestly, not only was Sarah's writing something to behold but Chapman did an amazing job at creating each character's voice uniquely. Once you've started reading, you find yourself interested in how exactly Sarah is affected when she has a gorgeous mother that wants her to get a nose job--because she knows Sarah's pain--and a best friend she knows she can't compete with--and doesn't wish to--in the looks department. Her self-respect is admirable but as you continue reading, you ask yourself if it was all just words and rationalization in order to do what her best friend pleaded for. Reading through Kristen's constant nagging, of course she wasn't my favorite character--and I did ask myself how could she not see how Sarah felt--but she had a wholesome personality that was well thought-out and had a basis to stand on; in other words, there was more to her than her looks.

Rock was an interesting character to observe throughout the duration of the book. It was delightful to see his carefree mannerisms and free-spirit temperament when Sarah was going through so much turmoil. Chapman's rendition of Cyrano de Bergerac was beautifully written and tearfully read. Yes, I'm a mush when it comes to these things but only the skillful can squeeze some droplets of salt water out of me.

I highly recommend Flawless to those looking for a quick read that will spear your heart but have you sympathizing and hopeful along the way.

Grade: A-

This ARC was provided by the publisher for my uninfluenced review.

LiLi