Thursday, September 19, 2013

Review: Unthinkable

Title: Unthinkable (Impossible #2) (ARC copy)
Author: Nancy Werlin
Page Count: 400
Release Date: September 12th 2013
My Rating: 3 TURTLES: An enjoyable read, but I suggest check out if you like the topic before adding it to your to-read list.
Publisher: Dial

Fenella was the first Scarborough girl to be cursed, hundreds of years ago, and she has been trapped in the faerie realm ever since, forced to watch generations of daughters try to break this same faerie curse that has enslaved them all. But now Fenella’s descendant, Lucy, has accomplished the impossible and broken the curse, so why is Fenella still trapped in Faerie?

In her desperation, Fenella makes a deal with the faerie queen: If she can accomplish three acts of destruction, she will be free, at last, to die.  What she doesn't realize is that these acts must be aimed at her own family and if she fails, the consequences will be dire, for all of the Scarborough girls.

How can she possibly choose to hurt her own cherished family not to mention the new man whom she’s surprised to find herself falling in love with? But if she doesn’t go through with the tasks, how will she manage to save her dear ones?


This book had me conflicted from the very beginning since basically the premise is “let’s take everything you loved, anguished over, and hoped for in Impossible and put it back into danger”. But I was willing to try it seeing as I had picked it up at ALA and already listened to Impossible as an audiobook to prepare for Unthinkable and didn’t want it to go to waste. Because I had absolutely no idea which way it would go I prepared for anything, and while things did not turn out as great as I hoped, it wasn’t as bad I feared it was going to be.

One thing that I really liked about Unthinkable is that we get to read a lot more about the fairy realm. For the most part in the previous book the only magic we saw was the curse that Lucy had to break, and we hardly got to see anything of any of the fairies. I loved Werlin’s vivid descriptions of the different types of fairies and their magical world. I also loved Ryland, the snarky fairy prince that was turned into a cat to help Fenella in the human world. He added quite a bit of much needed comic relief. I also really liked how the book ended, I thought everything tied up very nicely and it felt real to me.

While there was a lot I enjoyed about the book, there were quite a few things that bothered me as well. For those of you who have read my other reviews, you know that books’ feeling “real” is really important to me. Verisimilitude is a biggy in my reviews, and maybe it’s just my own quirkiness, but relationally and plot-wise I still want things to feel real even if it is fantasy. There were a quite a few things in this book that just didn’t fell real to me. For example, Fenella is four hundred years old and acts as though she is eighteen the whole time, also, despite the fact that she has been forced to be the slave of a maniacal, sadistic male fairy for most of her life, she doesn’t seem the least bit uncomfortable around men when she gets back to the human realm. Sure, I suppose this could be chalked up to fairy magic, but the subject is never really addressed with Fenella, even though Miranda, another Scarborough girl, is clearly severely traumatized. Even after having finished the book I’m not sure how I feel about Fenella as a person, and it is hard for me to really enjoy a book if I’m conflicted about the main character. Also, I’d like to briefly touch on Walker Dobrez, the love interest. (Of course there was a love interest). The whole dynamic was a bit weird for me, but the weirdest part was after Walker realizes all the awful things Fenella has been doing, but doesn’t know about the curse she’s under, so he assumes she’s crazy. That makes sense, but then he goes and lets himself be seduced by her. At first he tries to do the appropriate thing and say, Hey Fenella, I think you might be mentally unstable and I’m going to take you to the police, but the next second his mental resolve crumbles and he makes out with her on a park bench. Lover boy lost major respect points from me there.

One thing to keep in mind in this book is that, like Impossible, it skirts the New Adult borders closer than it does Young Adult, so it might not be best for younger readers. I wouldn’t say you necessarily have to have read Impossible to read Unthinkable because in many ways it reads more like a companion novel than a sequel, but it would help. I know fans of Impossible might have some of the same qualms that I had about Unthinkable, but I would recommend they give it a go.

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