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Perfect by Cecelia Ahern

This is the sequel to Cecelia Ahern’s Flawed.
Those that are less than perfect are branded and labelled flawed  in this dystopian near-future.  Yet the whole system itself is flawed: there is corruption and power-seeking and the judgement about who is and who isn’t flawed is very subjective. Horrifically babies can be designated as flawed at birth.  F.A.B.  

Protagonist Celestine North complicates her situation by becoming an evader, one who hides from the law. 

Many know that this is wrong but lack the courage to speak out. Eventually they do and it is in part thanks to Celestine finding and showing the footage of Judge Crevan himself branding her spine without anaesthetic.  She already has five brands.  

There are two love interests for Cecelia. She hooks up with Carrick, another evader. She also still has some feelings for her former boyfriend, Art, who is also Crevan’s son. 

This novel is powerful in that all is not back and white. Art becomes a Whistleblower  - one of the guards who supervises the correct containment of the Flawed. He rejects this role when he realises what his father has done.  There is a moment when Celestine almost feels sorry for Crevan: he is now stripped of his fine robes and his role and she remembers how he just used to be Art’s dad. 

The ending is upbeat.  The Guild is overthrown but we realise that this society will have to work hard to build something humane and effective. The work is only just beginning. 

The stakes are high and pace is fast throughout.  There are plenty of cliff-hangers and twists.

This is a long book – 426 pages and the format is 9 x 6 inches. The font is adobe Thai point 13 so the text resembles a book for adults.  However, the chapters are very short with a few of them being just one page long.               


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Hilary McKay’s Fairy Tales

2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, upper primary
Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomesStraw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen.Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader.Adults can enjoy them too. 
This is quite a …