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Student News of Liberty High School

LHStoday

Student News of Liberty High School

LHStoday

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Assistant to the Villain: A Book Review

High hopes for a popular book come crashing down
Assistant+to+the+Villain+by+Hannah+Nicole+Maehrer+didnt+meet+this+readers+expectations.+
Lexi Hufty
“Assistant to the Villain” by Hannah Nicole Maehrer didn’t meet this reader’s expectations.

While walking around my local Barnes & Noble for a good book, I came across Assistant to the Villain” by Hannah Nicole Maehrer. Intrigued by its funky color and red pages, I bought it. I had high hopes for this book because of its sticker, ‘Barnes & Noble pick of the month’ and finished it with disappointment. 

The book takes place in a fantastical setting, where Evie Sage comes across the Villain while in search of a job. He hires her, and a romance blossoms. Or so it was described. In reality, I can’t make heads or tails of the plot. Is it a romance? No, because there was no development in their relationship, only vague moments of vulnerability. The two’s relationship doesn’t change throughout the book. It’s clear that they are in love, and would do anything for each other, yet nothing ever actually happens. Then the story must be about the mole! After so many of the Villain’s plans fall through, they realize there is a mole in their midst. Though I can only count three events before the climax that really add to this plot, all of which are short and quite weak. 

So it is clear the plot is almost nonexistent. What about the characters? They have trauma, yet it is poorly explained. I hoped to understand and connect with their pain. It only managed to be a collection of words on a page. Evie is assaulted, but the effect of that is almost never mentioned. Her mother killed her brother and ran, and while that explains why she had to become the caretaker of her ill father and younger sister, it’s barely touched on. Even the reason that the Villain has gone on his revenge streak is feeble.

In my eyes, this book has two saving graces: the ending and the author’s humor. While sometimes in poor taste, disregarding what should have been a serious moment, Maehrer’s comedy is really why I finished the book. Not only that, I think the ending was rather well-written, unlike the rest of the book. While the majority of the book was choppy and hard to piece together, the ending seemed quite connected. If only she could have written the rest of the book like that.

All in all, I do not rate this book well. Funny, yes, but not worth it. There is a second book, which I do plan to read, and hopefully disregard the first volume in its entirety. This book was started by a popular Tik Tok series, and you can definitely tell. The author tried to take too many liked ideas and combine them. In the end, she just combined every color in the rainbow to an ugly brown. 

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About the Contributor
Lexi Hufty, Reporter
Lexi Hufty is a freshman, and it is her first year in journalism. She adores stories, and she explores every way they can be told - including, but not limited to, writing, drawing, video games, and sculpting. She plans to join the swim team and plays volleyball outside of school. You can always find her with a book (or two,) nearby. Outside of school, Lexi is almost always playing one of her favorite video games.

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