Today’s Bookanista recommendation: Flawed by Kate Avelynn
From Goodreads: Sarah O’Brien is only 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’s 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 realize 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’m so excited to share my love for Kate Avelynn’s debut novel, Flawed. I had the privilege of reading this story in its earliest days, and then again as it was revised and refined into the novel it’s become today. Flawed is a stunning contemporary. It broke my heart, and continues to do so every time I read it.
As you might recall, I am not a crier. I didn’t cry while reading The Scorpio Races or The Book Thief or even The Fault in Our Stars. But Flawed *almost* got me. It’s a serious book, a dark book, but an important one. It’s beautifully written and skillfully plotted and packs a crazy emotional punch.
Sarah O’Brien’s home life is so incredibly heartbreaking, and her love for Sam so perfectly genuine, I couldn’t help but feel for her. While she’s certainly downtrodden, Sarah is a relateable character. You’ll want to cheer her on because she’s inherently likable. Each time she falls, she picks herself up and charges forward, and her loyalty to the people she loves–though sometimes misguided–is moving.
Sarah’s brother James is all kinds of damaged. He has moments of such sweetness, yet he’s manipulative in the subtlest, scariest ways. He knows how to control Sarah and does so without hesitation, yet there are reasons why he is the way he is. Throughout most of Flawed, I hated James, but I also got James. Those complexities, the contrasting emotions he inflicts, make him the very best kind of antagonist.
And then there’s Sam… Guys. He’s adorable. Smart and sweet and self-sacrificing; you can feel his love for Sarah–his absolute devotion to her–seeping from the pages. Despite the dark and serious tone of this book, Sam and Sarah share some very romantic, very intense moments (Kate Avelynn is a master of hot kisses and steamy scenes), and you might find yourself wanting a Sam of your own by the time you’re done reading this story.
Flawed is a definite recommend for all lovers of contemporary romance, but especially those who favor stories with heavier themes. You find Flawed at Amazon, The Book Depository, and Barnes and Noble.