Author: Lara Chapman
Summary: 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 comparisons to a beak don't bother her much. Sarah's got the best best friend and big plans to make a name for herself as a journalist. Then, on the first day of senior year, Rock Conway walks into Sarah's journalism class and, well, rocks her world. Problem is, her best friend, Kristen, falls for him, too. And together, Rock and Kristen look like Ken and Barbie 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?
The Dish: When I first read the summary for Flawless, I immediately thought of a classic I read back in high school that I thoroughly enjoyed: Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac. How could I not make such a comparison when the narrator's main "flaw" is a large nose? When I started reading, it confirmed right away that's just what Chapman had intended only using a modernized and feminized formula.
First off, the book was written entirely in present tense, which you don't see very often in books. Or perhaps I've just not noticed it in many of the books I've read. Reading in this tense didn't really disrupt the flow of the story and perhaps it helped in speeding me through the pages. Chapman really does have a way of reaching out to her readers and completely immersing them into the book. I felt as though I was there with Sarah right when Rock first came into her Journalism class, to all the times when she was writing for Kristen, to the very end where I'm almost certain I felt a lump of anxiety in my stomach. Truth be told, I almost felt that Rock was unbelievable as a character, that he was too good to be true, but the romantic part of me squealed like a fangirl about his interests which included literature and poetry. But he also became a bit more real to me when he behaved in typical teenage boy fashion after Kristen gave him so much attention.
The main plot was slightly predictable, especially if you've read Cyrano de Bergerac, but there was also the side plot involving Sarah's mom and a new coworker that was a refreshing break from the main story. The end result of this plot helped show the closeness that Sarah had with her mother and the complete loyalty she felt for her. Despite it's predictability and semi-after-school-special feel, I really did enjoy reading Flawless. I whipped through the story because even though I thought I knew what would happen, I really wanted to see when and how it would happen and the resulting consequences.
There was no serious 'bang' when everything came tumbling down, but I think in this kind of story, you don't need a massive climax. Sometimes, it is the more subtle climax that has readers on the edge of their seats, anxiously eager to turn the page. I believe Chapman pulled that off quite nicely here for the overall warm and light feel of her story, and I'll definitely be on the lookout for more books from Lara Chapman.