** I received a ‘digital copy’ of ‘Misunderstood’ in exchange for an honest review**
About the Book:
Misunderstood tells the story of Enya Utzon – A real Teen Queen, who knows how to walk the talk. The novel begins by giving the reader an insight into her destined future as an A-list movie star, who allegedly has it all – Except true happiness and real love!
As the daughter of a successful and busy business couple, she’s used to being left to herself and having to handle everything on her own. That is with the exception of her trusted maid, personal assistant, beauty stylist, tennis and yoga-trainer, health coach and dietitian. Enya Utzon truly is a filthy-rich Teen Queen, who lives her life accordingly and with all the luxuries that come with being that. The only question that rises is: Does all of it really lead to true happiness?
In the story, you follow Enya in her in many ways privileged and exciting life struggling to find true love, and to be recognized by the one man that her heart desires. Only problem is; unlike everyone else, he won’t spare her a look!
Life becomes even more problematic for Enya, when she starts receiving a series of mysteries texts that delete themselves shorty after being read. Then other unpredictable things happen reminding her of a past that she’s been trying to suppress and hide for three years. Furthermore, clues here and there pop-up; and after being totally humiliated Enya is forced to take action and find out why these things are happening to her – and if they might have something to do with her shameful past. A past that now is back to haunt her present and she has to do everything within her power to handle it. Enya Utzon is a true Teen Queen after all – and is not prepared to loose that title, even if she at times wishes to escape her title and role in life!
Do you remember the movie, ‘High-school musical‘? It was one of my favourite movies growing up and the character of Sharpay Evans played by Ashley Tisdale was the most hated character. She was mean, acted-selfish, rude, glam-queen and worst of all fashionably rich. ‘Misunderstood’ reminds me of that movies and necessitates to consider the other side of the coin. While watching such movies, we always have had a pre-determined vision of characters like Sharpay to be an evil rich-brat. And to top that spicy sauces are added to the character’s image by the script-writer to prove our conception. We easily believe in it and the movie excels! But what if the evil has a good side?
We often come across books and movies from the point of view of a down-to-earth girl being traumatised by the rich college gals while she finds her way to the top. This book is from the point-of-view of one of the rich girl, Enya Utzon.
Enya Utzon is a hi-class socialite with an inherited reputation to keep-up with. She is beautiful, glamorous, lives in mansions, fashionably rich yet caring & kind hearted. We always comprehend characters like her to be the Evil Queen and this book gives us an opportunity to step into her shoes and see the world from a whole new aspect before making a judgement. Moreover, the glamour of branded clothes, celebrities and huge mansions can sometimes not let characters like Enya to fit into the image they truly wish to be. We all try to fit-in as per our circle yet we never stop criticizing when we encounter someone else doing the same.
‘Misunderstood‘ talks about the other aspect. Afterall, even Sharpay was not a bad person (High School Musical- the movie).
“It really sucked being me, this so-called Queen that everyone admired and wanted to be friends with. Most times, I just felt like a glass figure at the top of a wedding cake pretty and admired, unattainable while everyone greedily wanted a piece of me at the same time. It seemed like no one ever noticed the real person inside of me”
– Enya Utzon
Enya’s parents are never in town so her only source of happiness is her friends. She is in love with this person she can never have, James, who is not really sure about his feeling towards Enya. He likes her yet avoids her from the aspect of love due to his own scarred circumstances. Enya is also believed to be in a relation with Michael, her best buddy while as per her Michael is like a brother. Weird!! Even I could not understand why Enya lived under the concept that she is not in a relation with Michael, while he does every effort to show his love and care towards her. (I hated her at this point, really!!)
The characters are very theatrical; Enya (the Rich Queen), Michael (Prince Charming), James (the hero), Mary Kay (Enya worshipper) and the EVIL QUEEN (Yes, there is an evil queen as well. ‘R’ the evil queen, who plays pranks on Enya and always looks for a reason to embarrass her in public, until Enya finds out the reason behind her hideous acts and supports her. Yes, there is always a positive side to every evil deed as well. And that is what I loved about this book!!
We should stop looking at just one side of the story all the time which is pre-determined to be the ‘good side’ and I am very appreciative of the author for presenting Misunderstood in such a beautiful way. I shared a love-hate relationship with the characters. I have had my share of hatred towards Enya, the ‘aww’ feeling for Michael, felt pity for Mary Kay and weird for James, but then we all act like idiots at times.
The concept of this book is interesting; a girl with a secret past getting harassed with anonymous texts, an enemy BFF playing pranks and a love you can’t have. ‘Very YA’. But towards the end it was left open for the readers to interpret. I am not sure if there is another sequel to this book but I felt there were too many questions left unanswered which did not seem like a very good strategy. The characters were very common and lacked originality, the plots were only twisted series of what already exists yet the writing style is nice and simple.
About the Author:
Anya Valentino’s writing style is sharp and crisp, and she is not afraid to take the stories in an unexpected direction setting her novels apart from the usual YA fiction read.
She gives the readers an insight into colorful characters adding that dash of irony, dramatic twist, suspense, romance underlined by her sarcastic sense of humor. You never know where the story or the characters might take you!
Personally, Anya Valentino is married to an eccentric American Artist and Idealist. She has a spontaneous and busy lifestyle as a Customer Loyalty Consultant. But also hosting and attending social dinner parties, writing on her upcoming novels, copywriting and getting news out on social media, writing professional articles about Customer Experience, and traveling whenever she can. Anya is a businesswoman and a new mom of twins so nothing ever get boring on the home front either.