Author: Lara Chapman
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
May Contain Spoilers
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.
When I read the description for Flawless, I couldn’t wait to read it. Having a beak of epic proportions myself, I was curious about how Lara Chapman would present her story about a girl with what she thinks of as a big flaw – her nose. Sarah is the daughter of a successful newscaster, and though she’s confident on the outside, on the inside she is troubled by her appearance. She just wants people to accept her for who she is, instead of fixating on her nose. The problem is that Sarah can’t get past this “flaw” herself.
Sarah’s defense mechanism is to strike first, before someone has a chance to make fun of her. When meeting people for the first time, she is always on guard. Will they notice anything other than her nose? She has killer eyes and a perfect smile, but most people zero in on the largest part of her face. Even her mother turns it into a sticking point between them, by constantly urging that she get a nose job. Sarah knows that her mother means well; after all, she ended up with her mom’s nose, before she had her cosmetic surgery.
I loved the humor, and quickly came to like Sarah. She is smart, practical, and loyal. She wants to be accepted for who she is, but she hasn’t quite managed to embrace her outer appearance. It is always there, always something for her to worry about. She puts on a tough front, but that’s all it is – inside, she is insecure and fearful of letting anyone other than her BFF, Kristen, get too close to her.
Drama rears its ugly head when hottie Rock, the kid at school, catches Kristen’s eye. Even though Rock is perfect for her, Sarah is guilted into helping her friend snag herself a new boyfriend. Sarah doesn’t believe that anyone, especially a guy as good-looking as Rock, could ever fall for her or her nose. What Sarah discovers is that she is selling herself short, and not giving the people in her life the credit they deserve to see the real Sarah.
Flawless struck a chord for me. I remember being in Sarah’s shoes and feeling like everyone was constantly making fun of my flaws. I pushed people away, and it took many years to move beyond that high school mentality, where everyone is judged by how they look, what they wear, and how good their grades are. If you allow your insecurities to rule your life, life is going to get pretty lonely. It’s hard to take risks and stand up for yourself, but the connections you make will be more than worth the pain of those occasional failures. Everyone is flawed in one some way, but once you accept your differences, you will be the richer for it. It takes a lot of missteps for Sarah to learn this lesson, but once she does, she finally allows the real Sarah to shine through.
Review copy provided by publisher