i received a copy of portrait of an unknown woman from allen & unwin nz in exchange for an honest review.
the unbelieved review
i haven’t read a book by vikki petraitis before reading the unbelieved. based on this book alone, i don’t like i’ll read another book by this author.
reading other reviews, i’m surprised i didn’t like this one. everyone else is highly rating it and has nothing but positive things to say.
for me, the struggle is with the writing style. it’s very basic (like, i’ve read wattpad and fanfiction books better than this). the writing is stiff and doesn’t flow nicely. i struggled to read this book so much that i put it aside two times as a ‘dnf’, only to feel bad and start reading it again. (i don’t like to dnf books, and i was holding out hope that things would improve if i gave it time.).
the characters were alright. they felt too much like “this is a stereotypical aussie man”, and less like an actual man (/woman/whatever). while i didn’t hate the characters, i also didn’t care if anything happened to them.
as for the plot, it was strong at first. (the historical murder thing was really interesting). but things dipped quickly, becoming boring. we’re given loads of statistics about rape/assault on women (including how many lead to convictions, how many go unreported, etc), but it felt out of place. this is a fictional novel, not a scientific article.
that being said, the ending was very uneventful. everything is revealed, and i found myself asking: “is that it?”. i was expecting more.
all in all, i don’t believe i’m the intended audience for this book. i’m assuming it’s targeted towards middle aged white women who don’t read many books like this.