After leaving behind a trail of drug-addled destruction, Jay finds himself confined to the walls of a psychiatric hospital. He is now compelled to confront his actions, his issues, and the past that led him to such a downhill spiral. But what surprisingly affects him most are the people that he becomes surrounded by; people with considerable deficiencies that will shed some light on the things that truly matter in life. “The Flawed Ones” is a thorough examination of the struggles of mental illness, depression, addiction, and the effects they have on the human condition. Most importantly, it proves that physical and mental shortcomings do not necessarily define who we truly are inside– that the heart is, in fact, untouched by our “flaws”, and that love will always prevail above all.
*Trigger Warning: suicide attempt, drug and alcohol addiction, depression, anxiety, slight references to suicide, rape, bullying, abuse*
“Since I had gotten here [psychiatric hospital] I had been afraid of the ones out there, roaming the halls. Little did I know that the real source of horror was inside my head, and it could not be escaped.”
–Jay Chirino, The Flawed Ones
The Flawed Ones is a realistic depiction of depression, anxiety, and addiction. The book opens up with Jay in the ER after a suicide attempt. From there, Jay finds himself in a psychiatric hospital. This is a very realistic story about how depression and addiction can ruin lives; both of the addictee and those around them.
I found this story to be incredibly eye-opening. Depression and addiction is thoroughly examined and described with a sensitivity to those who have gone through/are still dealing with these issues. I found The Flawed Ones to be written in a manner that for those who have never experienced or witnessed first-hand the destruction of an addict or the dark hole of depression in a way that made it quite clear what happens in the brain and the thought processes of these people. While I can speak for depression (thought not to this severity), I cannot say how accurate the addiction part is described. What I have witnessed first-hand of addiction though, I can relate and say that in my experiences, everything seems to be spot on and quite accurate.
Throughout the book, we learn of the other patients and their stories. I can say I teared up for a lot of them. Their stories were so heart-breaking. I thought these additions were perfectly added in and they added a sense of reality and depth to the book. The way these people affected Jay was just beautiful.
“I also attribute a lot of my personal growth to the people I met there [psychiatric hospital]. . . . They taught me that even the most flawed individuals can have amazing hearts, and can influence your life in ways you thought impossible. They taught me that we are all flawed in different ways, and the smallest variations of our imperfections make us remarkably unique and incredibly special.”
-Jay Chirino, The Flawed Ones
I can’t describe how much this book touched me. If you or anyone you know is an addict, I highly recommend this book. It helps those who have a hard time understanding addiction get a look into the brain of an addict and how they think and rationalize their actions. I believe this book would be great for an addict to read because it ends on a note of hope; hope that their is a way to overcome addiction. And even if they are flawed, they are beautiful and amazing deep down inside. I originally rated this book 4 out of 5 stars but after sitting on it for awhile, I can’t seem to get it out of my head. I’m changing my rating to 5 out of 5 stars, purely on the impact this book has had on me.
Thank you to Jay Chirino for an advanced copy of this book in return for an honest review.
*Quotes subject to change upon publication.*