Jenny's Reviews > UnHappenings

UnHappenings by Edward Aubry
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it was ok

This book really annoyed me! It has a compelling premise, but the writing style bugged me from page one. The main problem I had is that the entire narrative was telling, not showing. First-person pseudo-omniscient narratives can mask a lot of shallow character development, but when whole swathes of someone's formative years are summed up with "in retrospect I realized that it was during those years that I became emo and withdrawn"... I mean, you really gotta try harder than that.

Each chapter was super short. Almost every chapter ended on some sort of vaguely emotionally manipulative cliffhanger ("it was bliss...but it was not to last..." and so on) that reminded me unpleasantly of Dan Brown. The book has two main female characters but barely passes the Bechdel test, each of them uniquely and obnoxiously Manic Pixie in their own way. Their lives revolve around the male narrator. I don't understand other reviews' adulation of the "tragic love story" because, man, the stuff that happens between the main characters is some manipulative and self-absorbed bullshit.

Also: I am all for hand-waving away the technical/metaphysical details of timetravel for a good story, but the repeated "AND THE WORLD RESET and it was sorta all fine AND THEN IT WAS RESET AGAIN and then it was sorta fine" was really too much. The resets took place over the course of a page or two each time (ebook pages, no less) and again, the emotional fall-out was something that was explained to the reader as having happened, not something that rang in any way true to actual emotional impact. There's a sort of half "unreliable narrator" style reveal at the very end that, imo, came out of nowhere and seemed to be there primarily for emotional manipulation.

I kept reading partially because it had such a high rating on Goodreads and also because I did want to know what happened (hence two stars instead of one), but...this was not good.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 18, 2016 – Shelved
May 18, 2016 – Finished Reading

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