The moment I read this description I knew I had to read Unspoken. It sounded unique and intriguing and I loved the idea of a psychic connection gone awry. Who does that? AND, does it well? Sarah Rees Brennan…period.
I could sum this review up in seven words: .
This book rocks my socks.
…but I won’t…So what specifically did I love? The setting, for one thing. I’ve been to London (ok I was six so I don’t even remember it clearly). I’ve seen pictures of the countryside in England, Ireland, Scotland, etc. I know of its beauty but I’ve never seen it firsthand. Yet, somehow, after reading Brennan’s descriptions and the imagery she uses, I feel like I’ve visited the English countryside. I feel like I’ve seen the town and met it’s occupants. It’s gorgeous.
The writing. Within the first two pages I was hooked. I am a sucker for a good inner monologue and incredible banter and in this fantastic novel we get to hear the joint inner monologue of the main character, Kami Glass, and her not-so-imaginary friend, Jared. Top it off with Brennan’s quirky banter and you are set for an utterly hilarious read. Anyone can come up with a great line but to sustain dialogue and keep me captivated through every page is talent and flat-out art. There are no wasted words in this book. Brennan has carefully crafted the plot and it’s pacing to deliver each punch at just the right moment for the final knock out blow and…well we’ll get to that.
The secondary characters. Every character mentioned in this book has a purpose. I loved Kami’s family and the way that the other Lynburns are brought to life, especially Ash. Angela, Holly and Rusty are totally unforgettable. Brennan’s ability to make these characters human is exquisite.
Now on to Kami. She is quirky, smart and impetuous. She’s ridiculously brave and I absolutely adore the fact that she tromps through the woods in skirts and kitten heels. She’s a super awesome girl sleuth with fashion sense. I want to be her. She’s also hilarious and made me laugh more than anyone in the whole book. I also loved her honesty and depth. She is one seriously grounded individual who looks at things from all sides.
Then there is Jared who has the ability to be both endearing and swoon-worthy while at the same time disturbing and a little unhinged. He is complex and “other” compared to the other characters in the book. No one truly understands him, even Kami who is practically in his brain almost constantly. He’s broken and needs Kami in sometimes very unhealthy ways. So, while I adore him and want to hug away his brokenness and kiss his boo boos, he’s also extremely needy and could use a little maturity. Jared has this ability to leave you completely unsettled about him the entire story. Throughout the novel, I kept going back and forth: do I like him? do I not like him? I’ll leave you to decide for yourself!
Lastly, the conclusion aka the knock out blow. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. I wasn’t expecting it at all but it made perfect sense with the way Brennan set up her world. She keeps you just enough in the loop and just enough on edge that you never really know who to trust and who to hate. Unspoken is a beautifully spun mystery and an epic love story while never venturing into the trite or cheesy. I could not have asked for a better ending to complete this portion of Kami’s story and I’m so excited to see where these characters go next.
Unspoken is hilarious and charming while also being dark and unsettling. Sarah Rees Brennan has created a work of genius that delights and disturbs in equal measure. Absolute must read!