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'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 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'll always love you and make you happy,If you will only say the same.But if you leave me to love another,You'll regret it all some day.
Wow. Just wow. I had no idea how dark and powerfully emotional this would be. Flawed is one of those unforgettable stories that stays on your mind long after you've reached the conclusion.
Because of some of the comments that I've seen about this novel, I want to start by saying that this isn't a story about incest. That label feels misleading and many readers will be turned off when they're assuming that this features a romantic relationship between two siblings.
Flawed is much deeper and more complex than that. It's about two teenagers struggling to cope with their lives in an environment that's completely broken and lacking in love, suffocating under the weight of their emotional and physical scars. It's about the long lasting effect that hatred and cruelty can have on children and how strongly it influences their own adult lives. It's about the blurring lines between right and wrong and how to say no to the only person who has ever loved you, has ever kept you safe, has ever cared if you lived or died.
Avelynn does a fantastic job at creating characters that stir up a variety of emotions, which is what makes this story so captivating. Love, anger, heartache, adoration, and especially fear and anxiety. Sarah and James' father is an abusive drunk who is constantly searching for an excuse to take his anger and self-loathing out on his children. Each time Sarah was alone in the house with him I was worried and on the edge of my seat, expecting him to hurt her before she could make a quick escape.
As the story progresses, Sarah makes an attempt at independence and begins to want more than just a sheltered life under her brother's protection. But when James realizes that he may be losing her, his actions become desperate and irrational. It all results in an ending that fits the overall feel of this novel, which means that no one should expect a happily ever after.
Flawed was a dark, depressing, uncomfortable, gut-wrenching read that I couldn't put down until it was over. Literally. I finished reading this story at 4:26am and I don't regret one moment of my lack of sleep.