Friday, October 6, 2017

UnEnchanted - ABB

Hey everyone! As I'm jumping back into blogging, I've got a variety of things coming your way. And of course where would I be without content for my Angry Book Blogger series!

I had a stand out candidate recently and knew that it HAD to have an ABB review. A good friend recommended UnEnchanted to me. I then discovered that it was a fairly popular self-published book and I had to see what it was about.

There will be spoilers throughout the review. But as always it's hard to state what I like/dislike without particulars.

After wrapping up the book, the first(and probably unoriginal) thought I had was that the title summed up my feelings.

UnEnchanted (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale #1) by Chanda Hahn.

 Mina Grime is unlucky, unpopular and uncoordinated; until she saves her crush's life on a field trip, changing her High School status from loser to hero overnight. But with her new found fame brings misfortune in the form of an old family curse come to light. For Mina is descended from the Brothers Grimm and has inherited all of their unfinished fairy tale business. Which includes trying to outwit a powerful Story from making her it's next fairytale victim.
To break the fairy tale curse on her family and make these deadly occurrences stop, Mina must finish the tales until the very Grimm end.





A couple pages in I had to stop and double check that I was reading the right book. It starts out with Mina writing in her journal, then dreaming, then waking up, getting ready for her day, blah blah blah. I kept reminding myself that stories may start off boring, but can turn out great. 


In retrospect I wish I would've fled at that point.

The general plot of UnEnchanted is that Mina Grime(aka Grimm) is the plain-looking, unpopular girl who moves every few years until an accident at a factory turns her world upside down. After saving prince popular(Brody) she becomes a celebrity overnight and finds out that she's a Grimm. Grimm's carry a curse where they have to try and live out 200 fairytales or the next person in the family will have to start over.


Mina's time has come and now she must live through the tales in order to break the curse. No big deal, right? Except for it's hundred's of years after the Grimm brothers were around and they had the longest record at 190. No one has come close since then. 

Sounds okay, right? Well here's where the story went wrong for me. Characters, characters, characters, and common sense. 

Our MC Mina is boring. She's lackluster and about as interesting as white wallpaper. She just kind of goes through life up until she finds out about the curse and is completely yawn-worthy. 

Her best friend Nan we're told is super popular and everyone in the school loves her. But she chooses Mina as her bff even though Mina has only been at the school for two years. We don't know how the two girls met or how they became so close seeing as how they have nothing in common, are at complete opposite ends of the popularity scale, and Mina's got the personality of a doormat.

Not to mention that when you have a small cast of characters like this, it's kind of important they stand out. Nan is . . . this is Nan. All book.


Because regardless of what we're TOLD about Nan(and not told), what we see is one of those bubble-gum blowing, phone-chained, social media obsessed teens that is on her phone for the whole book.

We never hear about Nan going anywhere else, talking to anyone else, etc. Nan sits with Mina at their own table where even Nan's popularity isn't enough to draw people to them. I'm told that everyone likes this girl, but her entire purpose is to be give Mina a cardboard cut-out friend that's always on her phone.

Next is Brody. Brody is the super-mega-rich-handsome kid that Mina has a crush on. After saving his life, she goes from zero to hero. He goes from not even knowing she exists to determine to win her over and protect her.

Jared is the lone, dark, brooding guy who mysteriously shows up one day and knows about the curse. He waffles over whether or not to help her, but finally decides to do so. Help consists of him joining Mina's school and having her avoid him most of the time. There's one lesson of sword fighting that . . . never become relevant. 

That's what I had to deal with! How am I supposed to like these people? Besides some shadowy figures such as "bad guy named wolf-tail we meet three times" and "brother Charlie who eats weird cereal and doesn't talk", this is our cast! 

I mean, the bad guys "kidnap" two of Mina's classmates at one point to force her to do something and they steal mean, ex-girlfriend and her best friend because those are the ONLY two kids in the whole school who are named besides our main four. So we can't very well kidnap anyone else because the readers don't know anyone!

Let me break down where I felt these characters failed and common sense took a hike.

1. Mina has been at this school for two years and she's best friends with ultra-popular. They weren't preschool buddies who grew up together. How does super-reclusive nobody Mina meet Nan the social-media obsessed chick everyone likes and become tight with her? I'm not buying it without an explanation. It's too convenient. 

2. Mina is crushing on Brody, but WHY? He's good-looking and rich. We know he's already taken, has never once looked at Mina. He doesn't even know her name. He's never stood up for her. We're not told he has a super nice personality. Nothing. Mina denies later that she is a gold-digger because she doesn't care about Brody's money. Okay . . . then why DOES she care about Brody? If we're given no reason that she likes this guy and he's not even on the market, and it's not his money. See where I'm going? It has to be because of his looks!

It's really hard to get behind a "romance" when we're not told why the guy is a good catch and does nothing nice to Mina until the curse forces him to.

*SPOILER SECTION*

3. That leads us to Brody. How are we supposed to like a guy who's dating head cheerleader, ultra-pretty, popular girl and doesn't mind that she's a nasty piece of work? He only breaks up with her because the curse needs him to have a Mina-centric universe. That's right, Brody needs to care about Mina for the story and is influenced by the curse to do so. Everything he does is completely fake and at the end he forgets any of it happened.


That was in fact the one redeeming quality of the book. If you sit there eye-rolling at Brody's 180 don't worry, it is as fake and unbelievable as it seems. Despite that, it doesn't change that Brody is a main character who you can't believe in.

4. Brody is rich. Like, fenced property with a buzzer to get in and a guard to answer said buzzer rich. He's got maids, a limo, etc. And he's at public school?! Why? I mean, it's not like impossible but it would've been nice to know why someone this loaded is at public school. I mean, his parents even pay the press off to mind their own business and not interview Brody. Sounds like people who wouldn't be sending their kid to public school.

5. When Mina's mom tells her about this curse, she says that as the only other living family member, Charlie will get it if Mina dies. This is not once a generation, this is a curse that latches onto a family member and then moves on to another one immediately when that one dies.

Mina's told that her dad only lived through 10 stories. She's told that TOGETHER the original Grimm brothers held the record of 190 completed and no one has been close since. Two adults with the full knowledge of the curse since it started and a deep knowledge of fairy tales didn't even get this done.

And she's told that her brother will get the curse, which he probably won't survive long, if she fails. Her response is not, "Oh, we should do what's kept us safe for 16 years mom. Let's keep moving any time the curse starts circling. That way I will live as long as I can barring other causes and give Charlie as much time as he can have."

Noooo, her response is, "Let's stop running and I'll take on these fairytales and complete them to save Charlie!"
Mina has no training. No combat skills. We're not given any indicator that she knows more than your average person about fairy tales. She's a kid! With zero self-confidence. But suddenly she's ready to take this head on and seriously thinks she's going to survive and beat 200 stories and save Charlie.


THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! Or at least it shouldn't, but it will. Because we wouldn't have a story otherwise. But really, come on!!! Tell me this story with someone who knows from birth what their destiny is. Have them be trained in self-defense and an intense knowledge of all things fairytale. 


Don't give me mousy Mina who can't even defend herself from high school drama and her fairy tale knowledge is nil. 

Completely unbelievable that she'd survive. This right here is where I really was just done with the book. If someone like Mina wants to save her brother, she should just keep moving and not take on these fairy tales. 

See, authors don't write about just wizards. They write about the wizard who takes down the dark lord. They don't write about just hobbits. They write about the hobbits who go on a journey to save the world. And they don't write books about cursed people unless those people are going to break the pattern of their families curse and actually you know, BREAK THE CURSE. 

We aren't hearing the story of all the people before Mina because they didn't make it. We're hearing about Mina because she will complete the stories. So there's no doubt in my mind about that, but I do not think it's realistic for Mina to do this.

6. Mina is more worried about her "romance" with Brody and going to this dance than this curse. She doesn't grab a volume of faity tales and start studying. She doesn't go out and buy pepper spray or enroll in self-defense classes. 

She's a high school student who is worried about guys, and dresses, and her classes, etc. She does completely stupid things like "Hey I'm at a dance and I see bad guys. I know, I'm going to head behind the sets where no one can see me and sneak out the back door out of eye sight into the alley where no one will hear me scream."

Shockingly enough the bad guys follow and then corner her where no one else can see what's going on. Why do people always leave crowded areas where lots of people can see them and help? 

I think they would call Mina TSTL. And that's a big issue for UnEnchanted because her whole mission is to survive some intense stories come to life. 

There's a couple other things that bothered me. Jared who's sorta helping but who doesn't actually help for most of the time. Brody's getting all alpha dog on Jared, "You're scaring my girl!" Well Mina never told Brody she wanted Jared to go away or that he was creeping her out. At the same time she never stopped to say, "Actually Jared is helping me out with the curse that you, me, Jared, and Nan know about though we never talk about it amongst ourselves."

Nan is supposedly this great friend, but she lives on her phone and her life revolves around how many hits she gets on social media. It's considered a great sacrifice when she drops her phone(which she probably shouldn't be playing with on a school trip anyway) to save Mina and Brody. Um, duh. I'd hope anyone would choose two people over their phone. But since Nan is addicted to her phone I guess that's a heroic choice for her. No worries, she won't be without one long.


My hero.

In summary. I found the characters to not have enough depth. I found there were too many issues that made me want to throw the book. I think the idea of this could've been amazing. But I'd like to see a different cast, and see a MC who is prepared to take on this challenge so I can actually believe it when she wins. 

This netted two stars from me and I think the only reason I gave it two instead of one was because I've hated some books a lot more. I definitely will be avoiding the rest of the series.

To learn more about ABB and see my disclaimer check out my blog post on that.

3 comments:

  1. Wow. That sounds. . . painful. But it made for a great ABB review.

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  2. Yikes. o.o That sums it up pretty well.

    I love the memes, though!

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    Replies
    1. I was curious as to what you'd think since you'd read it as well.

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