Book Review: Unnatural by Michael Griffo

UnnaturalUnnatural by Michael Griffo
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I don’t even know where to begin here. Oh, wait. Yes I do.

This. Is. SHITE.

I started reading the book for free at Barnes and Noble on the nook and was intrigued by the writing in the beginning. It was smart, it was fresh and it wasn’t shallow. But, like the Titanic, some of the most impressive creations can make a slow descent into hellish misery. Unfortunately, I had to experience that misery at the cost of $8.

Within 50 pages things start to go south. It began with bits of odd dialog or an awkwardly described situation or setting, then as more characters are introduced the grade gets steeper until we’re plummeting like a rock off a cliff.

Characters in this book say the most absurd and cringe-inducing things, especially Michael who suddenly talks like a New England Wasp, with all the depth of a cardboard cut-out. But the biggest offenders are Ronan, the love interest, and Brania (how the hell are you supposed to say that?) the big bad villain whose intentions are so eschewed that the reader never once really grasps what her big plan is. But more on that in a moment.

Let’s read an example of some of Michael Griffo’s masterful work of speech. In this particular scene, Ciaran wants Ronan to turn him into a vampire, thereby ending his lonely human existance: “Take me!” Ciaran begged. “Please, Ronan, make me a real part of our family.”

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Ciaran and Ronan are brothers. I know I’ve totally told my brother to “take me” in moments of wild desperation (please note the sarcasm). Seriously, this entire scene was so awkward to read that I literally squirmed in my seat, emitting a series of groans, the likes of which I haven’t made since being forced to endure The Spirit in a darkened theater on Christmas night.

Then there’s the problem with inner monologues. For some reason, the author thought it was a brilliant idea to show what every single character was thinking in any given scene, making the jumps between characters so fast and confusing, you never really know who’s talking or thinking. The editors, if they really existed to begin with, should be drawn and quartered for pissing on the foundations of good writing.

Throughout the book there are a multitude of moments where characters experience synchronicity, mainly between Michael and Ronan, which was meant to be a plot device, showing us that they were destined to be lovers (gag). However, it seems in every chapter some extraneous character is thinking the same thing as another. Hell, there are even scenes where three different events are taking place at the same time and everyone shares the exact same thoughts! It was exhausting and irritating.

Now let’s talk about some of the more uncomfortable situations in the book. Twice, we are treated to 16 year old vampires having sex with adults. Though not explicitly described, their intentions are clear. At one point, Nakano, another wholly confusing character and newly-made teen vampire, stares down a flight attendant until they go to the bathroom to fuck. WHAT?! And let’s not forget Brania, another teen blood-sucker, who has the hots for Michael’s father. Has Mr. Griffo ever heard of statutory rape? And no, being dead/immortal does NOT excuse this.

And speaking of Brania, not once is it ever understood what her grand scheme as the villain is. In fact, I don’t think Griffo ever had a plan for her, he just went with whatever was going on in his head and tried to create some master objective from unseen forces. Utter failure. Her dialog is so strained and absurd that it’s impossible to take her seriously as anything but an animated baddie from an 80s cartoon.

And how freaking many times do we need to read the word “boyfriend?” It’s like Griffo just HAD to cement the fact that these two were together and couldn’t think of a better way to put it.

Then characters take complete personality 180s throughout. Ronan goes from the unassuming intellectual type to being so sure everyone thinks him dangerous, and for no given reason. Before Michael came along was Ronan rampaging the halls of his boarding school, smashing windows and screaming “Blooooood!” And so many characters go mental at the drop of a hat. Ronan starts tossing people around, Michael punches his boyfriend boyfriend boyfriend boyfriend, Ciaran goes from sweetheart to angsty kid to loving brother to eventual psycho. NOTHING MAKES SENSE HERE! And then Nakano–oh hell, just kill the bastard already.

Look, there are so many more things wrong with this book (which makes Twilight feel like classic literature). Michael Griffo doesn’t deserve the privilege of opposable thumbs if this is the type of drivel he’s going to churn out. The entire novel spits in the face of the English language and standards of literature. Every English student should be given this as an example of how not to write so that humanity will never have to suffer another blight such as Unnatural.

Don’t waste your time or your money. And for all those people who gave this more than 3 stars: you are either drunk or read at a 3rd grade level. Shame on you all for contributing to Michael Griffo’s delusions that he can and should write.

If you’d like to learn more about vampires, homosexual teens and poor writing skills, visit your local library and BURN THIS PIECE OF CRAP.

View all my reviews


1 thought on “Book Review: Unnatural by Michael Griffo

  1. Pingback: Review: Way to Go | Geekery Converged

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