5 Stars / Contemporary / Review / Young Adult

Review: Flawed by Becky Bird

When Mia Baker begins at an elite school on a scholarship, she’s instantly besotted with the hot but arrogant Finn Davis. But when she overhears him commenting on her attractiveness compared to her beautiful sister Jade, Mia takes an instant dislike to him.

When Finn’s best friend Charlie takes an interest in Jade and invites both sisters to his family’s lake house for the weekend, Mia and Finn are forced into close proximity. Despite their differences, their attraction to each other continues to grow.

But Finn’s not about to admit he might actually like Mia. She’s on a scholarship, and she’s failing English. Then there’s Grayson Wang, his mortal enemy, who Mia can’t seem to get enough of.

When Charlie starts dating Mia’s sister, Finn begins to doubt just how genuine Jade’s feelings are for him, so he warns his friend to cut Jade loose. When Mia finds out Finn is to blame for her sister’s heartbreak, it only continues to fuel her harsh judgments of him.

But, if there is to be a happily ever after, Mia must overcome her pride, and Finn, Mia’s socioeconomic status.

Author:Becky Bird
Young Adult
Trope(s):Enemies to Lovers
Modern Day Retelling (Pride and Prejudice)
Point of View:
Release Date:30th September, 2019


A delightful and hugely engaging tale

Young Adult novels aren’t normally my thing. In fact, I don’t actually think I’ve ever read one before. Well, since I was a young adult myself, anyway. But being a fan of Jane Austen – and of film remakes of classic books in a modern/teen setting, I thought this sounded like a fun diversion.

What I got was so much more.

Almost from the first page I was sucked into the story although I didn’t necessarily think it was in a good way at first! Our heroine Mia has been given a copy of Pride and Prejudice to read as part of a school assignment. And she doesn’t want to read it because “mind-numbing” “so called literature belongs in yesteryear”. *Clutches pearls in shock* Was I going to like this girl? Kudos to the author of making me feel for a character within the first 2 pages, and then turn those feelings right up on their head in the next.

Mia was opinionated and happy to tell people her thoughts – whether they wanted to hear them or not. She was determined to believe her first impressions of people and didn’t believe in second chances. Everything was black and white for her yet she still was able to grow, learn and apologise if she was found to be in the wrong. Simply – she was the perfect, modern day Elizabeth and I ended up loving her.

I already liked Finn before he even appeared on the page since he has one of my top 5 hot hero names. The reasons behind his grumpy, arrogant demeanour is explained well in this book – but Finn is still the perfect aloof, standoffish man (boy) who is brought to his knees when he falls for Mia.

“I actually got butterflies in my stomach as the pair began to realise that the other might not be what they first thought.”

The author cleverly parallels the social situations found in Pride and Prejudice, transposing the situations to modern settings. So it’s not a straight rewrite but has all the key elements of how Elizabeth and Darcy (and therefore Mia and Finn) felt at key points in the novel. I loved this element of the book and found myself feeling quite pleased with myself when I saw a direct parallel between scenes/situations.

I loved Finn and Mia’s antagonistic relationship and I actually got butterflies in my stomach as the pair began to realise that the other might not be what they first thought – and then notice their feelings for each other change and grow. And while the focus was clearly on our main couple, we’ve also got other characters who come alive and bring interest to our tale. People like Charlie (Bingley), Jade (Jane), Camila (Caroline), Lottie (Charlotte) and Lila (Lydia). And extra points for Grayson Wang (Wickham). {Wang! *giggles* I’m obviously less mature than the majority of young adults!} As it’s not a straight retelling, some characters don’t appear, new ones pop up, and some details and relationships aren’t as they are in the original text. I’m not saying this as a criticism, just to explain the premise to potential readers to help them decide whether they’ll like the book.

I personally can’t see why you wouldn’t love this book. It’s a refreshing, interesting and sweet retelling of Pride and Prejudice with characters you’ll love – and in some instances love to hate. The writing is clever and gets you hooked into the story from the first. It’s not long before you forget you’re reading as you fall into the story and start to root for Mia and Finn to get over themselves and fall in love!

As this is a young adult (YA) novel, and the main characters are around 16-17, we only ever get up to kissing – and not too descriptive kissing at that. That means this book is equally perfect for all ages. And don’t worry if, like me, you normally love a bit of raunch in your stories. I still felt the happiness and emotion – and hell, it’s got more kissing in it than the original P&P, which I also love!

Overall, this book really surprised me. I woke up the morning after finishing it, excited to read more. Talk about a book hangover when I realised I’d already finished it. It’s stayed with me and I’ve been thinking about it ever since I finished the last page. I’ve even gone back and re-read the end. All in all, a huge 5 stars from me and I look forward to reading more from Ms Bird. Delightful.

Becky grew up in small country town Australia.  

Her favourite memories of her childhood involved weekly trips to the book store after Saturday sports. 

Becky loves fast paced stories, cats (most animals really) and strawberries 🙂 

When she’s not writing YA fiction, you’ll find Becky bushwalking, at the movies, and chilling with family and friends.

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