UnEnchanted

By Chanda Hahn

Source: Kobo store

My Rating: 2 / 5

Here is the summary from the Kobo store:

Mina Grime is unlucky, unpopular and uncoordinated, but it all changes when she learns she is descended from the Brothers Grimm and has inherited all of their fairytale unfinished business. To break the storybook curse on her family, Mina must relive all of the fairy tales..until the very Grimm end.

I loved the first season of the tv show Grimm, and when I came across this book, with its description above, I thought I would like this too.

This was a free e-book from the Kobo store, so I feel like I shouldn’t complain too much about a free book. However, there were tons of grammatical errors and typos throughout the book that really irritated me. There were so many sentence fragments, which were very jarring. It made me wonder if the book was self-published, and had been put out into the world without proper editing. I’m no grammar master, but when I found myself picking out typos and sentence fragments on practically every page, I got so frustrated, because it took me out of the story.

I also found it jarring that the author constantly switched between present and past tense narration. The lack of consistency was annoying, and quite frankly, I was stunned that a book with this many errors could be put out into the world. Did the author not ask a single person to read this before publishing it?

The writing was fine, but it was not great. I’ve read a lot of YA novels lately, and by comparison, this one felt like a high school English class assignment or something. I could see what the author was trying to do, but she didn’t quite get there for me. Part of the reason I was so frustrated with this book was because I loved the idea of it and the story that the author has come up with. There were some really unique takes on familiar fairy tales and some twists that I didn’t see coming, and I loved the characters of Nan, Mina’s best friend, and Charlie, Mina’s brother, but my enjoyment was definitely hampered by the poor quality of the writing, alongside the mental corrections I had to make on every page.

I must mention that a big pet peeve of mine was how frequently the author described our alleged hero, Mina, as tiny, fragile, delicate, how easy it was for villains and boys to pick her up or hold her, etc…. come on. Why did the author go to such lengths to make her seem so vulnerable and helpless? How am I supposed to look to this girl as a hero when she spends a lot of time waiting around to be saved by the boys in this story’s love triangle? There were some moments of ‘girl power’ where Mina showed herself to be brave and determined, but there were just as many moments where she literally curled up in a ball and waited for someone to save her. This irritated me.

Mina also had absolutely zero confidence. She finally got the popular boy in school to fall for her and he asked her to the dance and then he told her that she was so beautiful that all the other boys were staring at her, and what did she do? She apologized for embarassing him. WTF?? Grow a backbone! Come on! I understand that this is supposed to be the first in a series and therefore is something of an origin story, but give me a break.  There are so many other good YA stories out there with strong female characters who can be vulnerable without being portrayed as physically weak or lacking any confidence or self esteem, and I began to feel that I was just wasting my time trying to finish this.

Overall, this book was a big disappointment for me. I loved the story and was totally drawn into the world the author created, but felt myself taken out of the story so many times by ridiculous, obvious spelling and grammar mistakes (e.g. using the wrong their/there, principal/principle, mixing up where and were, forgetting quotation marks…believe me, I could go on and on), and was frustrated with the portrayal of Mina’s character. I believe there is going to be a second book soon, but I don’t think I’ll be able to read it.

2 Responses to UnEnchanted

  1. Chanda Hahn says:

    Um, no I didn’t. I uploaded to smashwords on a spoof months ago for friends and family to read only ( to read on thier ereaders) I never expected it to go big or international. Since then an English teacher anEnglish major and 2 editors went through it, but Kobo and alot of the websites don’t have the edited version. It takes forever for them to get updates uploaded. And there isnt any way to retract all if those first downloads. Which is why it was free. Yes it was selfpublished. But those mistakes were fixed 5 months ago. So you can see my frustration when something little becomes something big too fast, and there is nothing I can do to fix it. 🙁

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