Book Review: Lost Girl

cover-review-lost girlTitle: Lost Girl [The Neverwood Chronicles 1]

Author: Chanda Hahn

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Thriller, Adventure, Science Fiction, Paranormal

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Wendy doesn’t remember anything about Neverland—or the experiments done on her there as a child. Seven years later, all she wants is a normal life, but shape-shifting shadows plague her dreams and turn her life into a waking nightmare. When the shadows attack at a football game and a boy disappears right in front of her, she realizes these wraith-like shadows are real. They’re not just haunting—they’re hunting.

A mysterious boy named Peter, his foul-mouthed sidekick, and a band of misfit boys intervene before Wendy faces a similar fate. But can they trust Wendy enough to take her to Neverwood Academy and reveal all of their hidden secrets when she’s hiding a secret of her own, or will the dreaded Red Skulls find her and drag her back to Neverland?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Lost Girl by Chanda Hahn was a familiar story with a science fiction twist that was both delightful and fast paced. The author did an excellent job of taking the well-known children’s story of Peter Pan and twisting it into a face-paced YA Thriller/Romance. There were themes of genetic manipulation, human testing, super-powers, and even a taste of the supernatural.

Technically speaking, the book was well written. At times the repetitive use of character names could come off as a bit overdone, but it was easy to understand why the author chose to do it. The style of the book was easy to follow and understand for teen readers without dumbing it down too much or over-hinting at any of the story twists. There were some surprising twists and turns to the story, and I found the characters complex enough to hold my interest despite their familiarity. The romance was expected, but intriguing once the unfamiliar character of Jax was introduced.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and would certainly consider moving on in the series. I’ll be interested in seeing how this series pans out.

Book Review: UnEnchanted

 

review-cover-UnEnchanted

Title: UnEnchanted [An Unfortunate Fairy Tale 1]

Author: Chanda Hahn

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Mina Grime is unlucky, unpopular and uncoordinated, that is until she saves her crush’s life on a field trip, changing her High School status from loser to hero overnight. But with her newfound fame brings misfortune as 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 its next fairytale victim.

To break the fairy tale curse on her family and stop these deadly events, Mina must finish the tales until the very Grimm end.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I liked this book more than I expected to. I picked up UnEnchanted on Amazon some time ago because it sounded interesting, had a great cover, and was more importantly, FREE at the time I purchased it. Of course, being a frequent free-book-offender, I was well aware that a good portion of the time, when I pick up a book free on Amazon, I cannot expect it to be spectacular. Most of the time, the free books are indie books with questionable editors, and sometimes, questionable authors. I was therefore pleased to find out, UnEnchanted did not fit into that category.

Now don’t get me wrong, there were several issues I had with the book. Some of these issues include: Missing words, misspelled words (there are only a few, I promise), and a few incoherent moments where plot holes swallowed up bits of the narrative—but overall, I still genuinely liked the book.  It is a Young Adult book, so I may give it a bit of leeway for some issues. The characters were sometimes dramatic (though not overwhelmingly so in my opinion), and it was an incredibly fast read (216 pages). So, understandably, a lot of detail was left out at times, and the plot moved along very quickly over a short period of time. I will admit that this bothered me a bit. I would have preferred the author to have taken more time to develop the story—because I really think it could have been even better, but I’m still going to give the book an overall rating of 4 stars. If nothing else, than for effort.

This was a cute story. I genuinely liked the characters (who weren’t overly whiney as in most Teen novels), the changes to the classic fairytales were clever and certainly a new take on stories that have been re-hashed hundreds of times. The romance was sweet, and mystery permeated the pages as both I, and the main character, Mina, worked to unravel various aspects of the plot. I will admit that I wasn’t entirely pleased with the villains. It’s not so much that they were poorly written, or overly dastardly (as with many novels), but that I didn’t really feel that strongly about any of them. I’m sure they were supposed to be scary – and I had no trouble believing they were scary to Mina…but… eh, not so much to me.

Overall, I’d certainly recommend this book to anyone who likes whimsical urban tales of fairytales set askew, YA or otherwise. I’m going to be looking into other books from this author in the future.