This review may contain affiliate links or I may be reviewing a book that I have received for free as part of a review program or as an advanced reader copy. That being said, all opinions are my own. The book cover, author biography, and plot summary for A Flaw So Beautiful are courtesy of alorakateauthor.wixsite.com.
Are there any books that you see that you automatically know that you absolutely have to read? I sure do, one of which was A Flaw So Beautiful by Alora Kate. It wasn’t the title, though that is intriguing, and it wasn’t the the cover, though that, too, made me pause. It was the plot summary. It was so real and desperate and relatable that I was hooked immediately. I messaged the author within five minutes and asked if I could review her novel. She was kind enough to say yes and provide me with a copy of the book, and the rest is history. I promise you that you’ll be as caught up by Lincoln and Ashton’s story just as much as I was.
A Flaw So Beautiful in 85 Characters or Less
Shattered survivor learns that the pieces she thought she lost can be found again
Full Plot Summary
Lincoln: Catching sight of my neighbor’s ass in the hallway the day I moved in more than piqued my interest. It’s not just the body that has my attention. She’s mysterious, hiding behind sunglasses that cover most of her face. I ask her name and try to get her to talk on the rare occasions I see her in the hallway, but every time she ignores me and turns away. I need to know more about this woman, I can’t get her out of my head. Do I keep trying? Do I keep asking her name?
Ashton: I’m barely holding on. I’m always on the edge, even after all these years. I live every day the same and I can’t change who I am no matter how much I try. My new neighbor won’t give up asking my name and trying to make conversation with me. If he knew me he wouldn’t keep trying. I’m a lost cause.
Realistic Description of a Troubled Mind
Before I embark on this review and due to the sensitive nature of this novel, I’d like to point out that I understand no one struggling with trauma, anxiety, depression, OCD, or any other mental health issue is the same. No one can be boxed into the category of their illness, no one can be generalized because they went through a similar experience. Furthermore, no experience is comparable. None is worse than any other, and frankly, there’s no reason to even try to compare them. Each person is unique in their struggles and thereby unique in their victories.
That being said, Kate did an excellent job of describing how the head of someone who’s lived through what Ashton has works. She nailed down the racing thoughts, the contradicting voices in her head, the anger that seemingly boils out of nowhere, and the fear that maybe she’s never really going to be okay. I don’t think it’s possible to understand a character as complex as Ashton in a 2-hour novel, and I don’t even think that it’d be possible for Lincoln to completely understand Ashton in a lifetime spent with her. Kate both recognizes and respects Ashton’s complexity while giving Lincoln and readers enough glimpses into her mind to make their hearts break for her.
Occasionally Dull Characters
At some points in the novel, I felt that I was merely watching superficial characters on a screen instead of living their lives like I do with most books. For example, some of the dude-ish interactions between Lincoln and Nick seemed shallow, and the budding relationship between Nick and Natalie didn’t emotionally connect with me enough to be much more beyond a hastily added aspect to the story that could lead into a sequel of their relationship. For the most part, though, I emotionally connected with Lincoln and his relationship with Ashton enough to keep me intrigued and invested in A Flaw So Beautiful.
I found those shallow moments the least with Ashton, but in the moments they crept in, they fit her character well. They occurred in the times when her mind was so frantic she couldn’t focus on one thought and was literally too lost to feel any emotion. These moments added to the consistency of Ashton’s troubled mind, playing perfectly into the point I made in my first review comment.
Beautiful Colors Metaphor
Many authors have ended novels of mental recovery with this revelation that life is beautiful and that they can, in fact, love again. Many authors have made good novels with this. Some of you out there can back me up on this, but it doesn’t really work like that. It’s not so clear, and your recovery isn’t something you can put into words. It’s feelings. It’s hope and it’s success and it’s fighting to get back up after you inevitably fall down again. Kate was able to tenderly describe this success in A Flaw So Beautiful through Ashton’s realization of colors.
If you couldn’t tell from Ashton’s clothing and home décor, the world she was living in was quite dark and drab. She didn’t notice detail because she had no interest in it, and light was something far removed from her. As her relationship with Lincoln and her confidence in herself developed, she started to notice the little things, especially the colors. She noticed the color of Lincoln’s eyes and the color of Suzanne’s hair. She could even put into words what her favorite color was and why. It was truly a beautiful moment when Ashton met Natalie, simply because of her amazement of the colors that accompanied the second girl.
Alora Kate’s Pen Name
As awesome of a name as Alora is, I didn’t think that it was the author’s true name. I was right. I don’t think that it’s possible to come up with an idea for a novel such as A Flaw So Beautiful or write Ashton so well if you haven’t experienced something like that yourself. Unfortunately, I don’t believe Kate is an exception to that. When you finish the novel, turn the page and read about her pen name and why she chose it. It’s only a sentence or two. It won’t take you long, and really, it doesn’t tell you the story of why she chose it. But read it anyway. It’s a beautiful end to a beautiful novel.
Where to Buy
Alora Kate is a multi-genre author who likes to be bold and original; stepping outside of the box and bringing her readers fresh characters from all parts of life. She’s a mother, college student, photographer, and graphic designer. She resides in northern MN with her son, where she plans to stay for a long time despite the cold winters.