UnEnchanted, by Chanda Hahn, is book 1 in the An Unfortunate Fairy Tale Young Adult series. At the beginning, it felt like a grown up was writing about teenagers. A disaster for a young adult book. It is expected that rooms be dirty and crushes pined after. But, the writing and story got more captivating with time.
Grimm’s fairytales have been central to such a vast majority of fantasy fiction that is always fun to see what a writer has newly imagined this time around. UnEchanted is an agreeable mix of fairy tales, cute boys, danger, adventure and fantasy.
The book starts off as a bit of cliche. Clumsy, prone to disaster, inconspicuous Mary Grime writes into her dear diary. In this diary, she records all the disasters and unfortunate incidents that seem to have an uncanny habit of following her around.
This day has been different… she saved her long-time crush from spiralling to his death! One can’t boast of that, surely, on a regular day. She confesses to her diary, however, that it’s not really a heroic deed to save someone if you were the one that brought on the death threat in the first place.
Predictable so far. Even the best friend, who likes tweeting (not chirping as the non-social mobile phone-less Mary names it). Nan is talkative, outgoing and Mary’s best friend. Why? umm because friendship is blind like love??… Maybe..
Anyway, things get far more interesting when donkeys, cats, geese and a whole lot of animals start to appear and chase Mary. Something strange is going on. We want to know. Her mother, Sarah, obliges –
Mary is from a line of the Grimm brothers. Their family is cursed. Whosoever is selected by the fairytales needs to survive through all the stories. There are over 200 fairy tales, with giants, witches and big bad wolves. Don’t be silly, the giants aren’t real giants.. In the modern day world, they could be 6 feet tall men weighing 400 pounds…
The spoilt rich kid or reckless heir (loved the phrases).. Brody Carmichael, Mary’s secret crush has taken a keen interest in her since she saved him. In true Twilight style, he drives her to and from school. Has this burning wish to be her knight in shining armour. She is tempted to have him play the role of the prince in her fairytale. The question being.. do all fairy tales have happy endings?
Another good looking guy spices up the mix. Jared has secrets. He is not human. Sometimes infuriating, often condescending, he came when Mary called for help. Should she trust another magical creature? Or does Mary have enough magic in her life to deal with already?
Her hoodies (her favourite dress option) have turned red. A mean wolf is out to get her. Is this Fate’s nudge towards an unpleasant familiar fairytale?
A surprisingly unexpected ending has me hooked to the series. There are 4 more books to go.
Do you like books inspired from fairytale lore? Which is your favourite fairy tale?