Thursday, May 5, 2011

Book Review: Flawless by Lara Chapman

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. (From Goodreads)

I can't stress enough how different this book was from the expectations that I had. I went in expecting a quick, cute read that was more about the drama than the characters. I couldn't have been more wrong. This book had strong characters, believable issues, and characters who learn to embrace their flaws.

Sarah was a really interesting lead character, because she has one major "flaw" and struggles with it. She has a very intimidating nose, one that people tend to whisper about as she walks by. That's definitely left a chip on her shoulder, one that's been made worse by her mother's less than subtle hints that she should consider rhinoplasty. At times she isn't afraid to stand up to people openly mocking her, but at times she's still dealing with her insecurities. I thought it was great to see her stick up for herself, and definitely believable for her to struggle with her image issues. The mom thing isn't as bad as it sounds, either. I expected her to be a horrible character, but you come to discover that she really cares about her daughter.

I think that the reason I enjoyed this book as much as I did was the friendship between Sarah and Kristen. Chapman could have easily made Kristen a horrible friend to Sarah, and one who the reader ends up disliking immensely. Instead she created a friendship that didn't fall apart, even with both girls liking the same guy. Yes, I did get frustrated when Sarah was called upon again and again to impersonate Kristen and write to Rock, but there was never any big overdramatic fallout. Sure, there were arguments between the two, but I never felt that they were unrealistic. It was really nice to see characters who supported each other, rather than trying to humiliate their "rival". Rock was pretty dreamy, too. Although, we all know that he should have just asked out Sarah to begin with.

I rarely give out A ratings, but I really loved this book. It took me by surprise, and surpassed any expectations that I had. I'm happy to say that this is one of my favorite reads of 2011.

By Lara Chapman
Published by Bloomsbury
272 Pages
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Received for review
Rating: A


Lale said...

Thanks for the thoughtful review. I hadn't really considered reading this, but now I'm going to keep an eye out.

Tales of Whimsy said...

Sounds great. I think I would enjoy this one.

Jenny N. said...

I haven't heard too much about this one but your glowing review has me interested in checking it out.

Julie said...

I really had no idea what this was about. I'm sometimes hesitant on re-tellings but I'll definitely add this to my wishlist! Fab review :)

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