The Uninvited by Tim Wynne-Jones
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I THOUGHT THIS BOOK WOULD NEVER END.
I’m not a quitter. I’ve never not finished a book. So I finished this one. But I’m pretty sure it took 84 years.
The pacing was slow. So slow. Not “building the intensity” slow but ACTUALLY PAINFULLY SLOW. I don’t care if the main characters went out for margaritas. I don’t care if Mimi changed her clothes for the sixth time. I don’t care if Cramer skulked mysteriously for the millionth time in a row. Nothing was happening.
Mimi was literally the most insufferable heroine. She’s forcibly quirky, to the point that you feel like there’s a neon sign flashing in front of your eyes saying PLEASE SEE WHAT A MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL I AM. I literally felt the strain of reading any parts from Mimi’s point of view, as if someone was stretching out a long string of silly putty. And right from the beginning she’s an unrealistic character, because what girl goes on an all day road trip wearing just a sports bra (imagine the seams of your car upholstery digging into your bare skin for hours on end) and then, upon arrival, changes pants outside in the yard. (I also didn’t need the elaborate description of Mimi’s butt and thong either.) Overall, Mimi was shoved down my throat so much that when I was supposed to care about her and her plight, I didn’t care. (And it didn’t matter, because her plight was solved with a phone call.)
Jay was a useless character and Iris even more so. I honestly can’t give any information about Jay other than “plays guitar.” He was completely forgettable. His big dramatic reveal is dropped with little fanfare in like the second chapter, and not only does it not add anything interesting to the character, it cheapens the later reveal for a later character. Iris was marginally interesting to read about, but did absolutely nothing to further the plot. Just another detour in a long, painfully rambling narrative.
Cramer was the worst. He’s supposed to be mysterious and ambiguous and tortured, but I just wanted to throttle him out of annoyance. His character veered far too far into “nice guy” territory. I half expected a description of him wearing a fedora and posting online about how he’s such a nice guy and girls don’t understand him. He proved to be a weak antagonist/antihero and I hated him so much.
The rest of the cast and the plot are rounded out with forgettable, unlikable caricatures. Cramer’s mother is a plotline that I’ve seen a million times before and this didn’t offer anything new or exciting. Stooley Peters was supposed to be a red herring, but you can see right through him. I still don’t know who on earth Waylin is or why he matters- Cramer talks about it as if it’s super obvious who he is and what his relationship to the other characters is, but it’s never explained. And Mimi’s parents are literally the worst. Jay’s parents are a lot more interesting, but are relegated to one scene and a couple of half hearted mentions.
In short, this book nearly killed me. I read quickly, I read voraciously, and this book literally exhausted me to the point that I had to keep putting it down and taking breaks because I was so bored that I couldn’t keep going. I finished it, because I’m stubborn, but seriously, I would never touch it again.