Review: ‘Unenchanted: An Unfortunate Fairy Tale’ (Book 1) by Chanda Hahn

UNENCHANTEDImage via GoodReads

Blurb (from Amazon):

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.

Review:

I was hoping for a new twist, and perhaps a little edginess and darkness to this contemporary take on fairytales, and in particular, the tales of Brothers Grimm- known for being bloody, brutal and bizarre in turn. It started out interestingly- following a day in the life of apparently average, yet unusually clumsy school girl Mina Grime, who ends up saving the life of her crush in a strange freak ‘accident.’ This, and a host of other odd incidents, apparently hinting at Grimm tales themselves, prompt her mother to reveal that she is infact descended from the Grimms (hence her surname.) And, oh yeah, trapped inside a malevolent ‘Story’, which came across as a bit like the Matrix. The only way to save her family is to break the Story’s vicious cycle once and for all. All in all, a promising beginning.

Though as I read on, I felt as though ‘Unenchanted’ lacked detail about the ‘Story’, about Mina’s own ancestors, and the dark magic which gripped her family. It was detailed enough in descibing Mina’s personality and everyday life, though, and the characters were fairly likeable- Mina and her mute little brother, Charlie, in particular, but the plot wasn’t particularly memorable in places. For me, it was too full of high-school settings and Mina gushing over her dreamboat crush, who becomes her friend and ally just a little-bit-too-easily to be real.

The buddy relationship between the two of them was interesting and fun, but I felt Mina’s constant degrading of herself- ‘oh woe is me, I’m so clumsy, who could ever like me’ etc.’- annoying at times. As mentioned before, it also wasn’t quite edgy enough for me, and lacked the bittersweet quality of Grimm’s original tales. Perhaps it could have quoted from them, and taken more inspiration from them in terms of imagery/plot?

Overall rating: A fun, frothy read, but could perhaps do with a little more grit behind the Grimm. 6 and a half out of 10.

Note: I got this book for free via Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.

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