Sunday, April 1, 2012

Uninvited (review) - a rare DNF

1/5 stars
Rarely do I actually write a review for a 1 star book.  However I found The Univited so frustrating and borderline offense that I feel the need to explain my feelings.

I was iffy about this book when they introduced the main character driving down the road just wearing a bra. Not a sports bra, but a bra and not for any real reason.  When a male writer creates a female character who's beautiful, sexy and often not wearing many clothes, I'm a little leery.  Sometimes it feels like male writers create heroines who are merely their fantasies, not real well-devolved characters.  It's like "look I'm a sassy free woman comfortable with my sexuality" but it's done in a way that doesn't feels genuine.

My discomfort grew with an unnamed character (you later find out who) is spying on Mimi, refers to one of her friends as "faggy."  I'm not saying it's not okay to have homophobic characters. Homophobes exist. But it was used casually without any purpose to illustrate that a guy was effeminate.  I know most authors would argue "but that's what the character says" but when it's not necessary it should be edited out.  I'm not comfortable reading books with hate speech unless it is addressing the issue of hate.

This book had a plot that seemed to amble without going anywhere.  Someone is spying on Mimi and Jay (the second main character), being a creeper.  The story has numerous POVs, which is not that well executed.  The POVS eliminate all the drama of who's spying.  The reader knows who's spying and why they are spying.  Now that I've had a couple weeks away from this book I'm wondering where the story was even going.  Mimi was trying to write a screenplay.  Jay was trying to write a song.  They were building a friendship.  Creeper dude was spying and lusting.  But what was the real point?

This book also had a creepy case of sibling lust.  It started when Mimi showed up and met Jay who (SPOILER ALERT) is her half brother.  Even after she realizes that she still finds him attractive. However that was minor and quickly went away.  But there's another half-sibling lurking in this book.  And he lusts after Mimi, admiring everything about her, imagining a life with her.  He doesn't know that she's his sister.  But the reader knows and that makes it creepy enough.  This goes on for chapters and chapters. And honestly I'm not sure where the sibling-lust ends because I did not finish this book.

I've only ever DNFed one book.  Normally I stubbornly force myself through a book, even if it's a miserable reading experience, because I don't want the book to beat me.  I couldn't fight this book.  The plot seemed to be going nowhere, the main character felt flat and every time the sibling-lust came up I cringed.  To me it was pretty obvious the author was trying to be edgy.  But sometimes less is more.  Where this book is concerned, I recommend avoiding it altogether.

In case you are wondering I listened to this on audiobook.  I listened to 5/7 CDs before stopping.  The narrator was unremarkable but not bad either. The problem was the story itself.


Kayla Beck said...

That just sounds weird. The icky sibling lust thing is what turned me off The Mortal Instruments series. Yes, I know it will sort out NOW. But then? Blarg.

Thanks for the heads up!

veela-valoom said...

I haven't read Mortal Instruments (because the Cassandra Clare fanfiction fiasco).

I can't read siblings flirting with each other. I'm really creeped out that anyone would want to spend that much time WRITING it.

I still wanted to read Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma because it sounds like a more intelligent look at the topic (and it's gotten quite good reviews--until recently actually when a lot of friends have given it low ratings).

Flannery (The Readventurer) said...

Yikes. Those are two things that really annoy me in books as well. The weird sibling-ish thing is also in Charlaine Harris' series about the character who can see ghosts. I am blanking on the name.

I can't believe you made it that far in the audiobook.

Forbidden, hmmm. I definitely didn't love that either.

veela-valoom said...

I'm curious because it's so divisive. It seems either 5 stars or 1 stars which is...interesting.

I am very determined Flannery. And by determined I mean stubborn. Stupidly stubborn sometimes.