Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.
But all that changes when the Lynburns return.
The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him? (Goodreads summary)
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!
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan Title: Unspoken Published: September 11th 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers Series: The Lynburn Legacy (Book #1) Format: Hardcover, 370 pages Website: www.sarahreesbrennan.com Source: review copy via NetGalley
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Published: September 11th 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Series: The Lynburn Legacy (Book #1)
Format: Hardcover, 370 pages
Source: review copy via NetGalley
I love when a book makes sense at the end, I hate horrible, bittersweet or confusing endings! So happy you loved this book so much
Yes, this one definitely made sense in the context of the novel but I won’t lie to you and say it wasn’t bittersweet. I’m definitely glad that Ms. Brennan isn’t leaving the story there! 😉
Christina K. says
EVERYONE is raving about this book!! Totally see why:)
I read the first chapter or so online, and I LOVED IT! I’m not usually a fan of 3rd person POV because it seems distant, but Sarah did it perfectly. Totally connected with Kami and her thoughts. YOu really got to caring for her, even in the little I got through. Another book that nailed 3rd person POV was Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi:) LOVE IT:)
How cool that you connected with the setting so much – that’s a real feat. Usually a lot of description takes you out of a story, but here it’s obvious she infused it with character. Probably the Gothic part of the tale coming in:)
Love to hear about a unique love story:) I do believe I might love Jared though:)
Yes, it is fantastic. Love Under the Never Sky too but it took me a while to get into Aria.
Setting…SRB just has a really neat way of weaving the setting into places and you don’t even realize she’s doing it. So you don’t get long descriptions, you get snippets throughout the whole book so by the end you’re like, wow…what an awesome trip!
Jared…hehe…I can’t tell you what I think until you read it! 😉 I don’t want to spoil your discovery!
Christina K. says
Glad there’s more to this series since the ending is ambivalent!
I LOVED Aria from the first page, connected with her immediately.
About the setting, I like it when you get little bits of it naturally, and not a sit-down list of what’s around the character. If you love Gothic tales and that kind of setting done well, try Beautiful Creatures by Stohl and Garcia. It’s awesome. I love that series. and the love story is awesome, no love triangle, the guy is a good guy (no bad boy but he’s amazing!!) and it’s from his POV:)
Isn’t it funny how different characters speak to different people? I love it!
I’ll have to look into Beautiful Creatures. It keeps popping out at me. I just haven’t picked it up yet.
Christina K. says
O’Dell at BookTwirps is doing a read-along for Beautiful Creatures and he’s really liking it too:) It’s a story with wonderful characters and a great plot and a Southern Gothic setting that’s real and magical at the same time:)
Anna @ Literary Exploration says
I couldn’t really get into this one when I first started reading it so I think I’m going to start it up again later. Awesome review, though! You’ve renewed my want to read it
Anna @ Literary Exploration
Yay! I hope you love it this time around! =)
Your review makes me so excited that this book is on my list of ones to get soon! Gonna go check out an excerpt for it~<3 I love that I can find so many books reviewed here that are already on my mind, lol. Just makes me more anxious to get my hands on it.
Fantastic! So happy you’re enjoying the blog! =)
Amber @ The Musings of ALMYBNENR says
I completely agree with you. As I read, I was able to visualize everything in my mind and I reeeeally wanted to see it firsthand but this was the next best thing. The banter was awesome and balanced the dark. Basically, I agree with your whole review, Heather. Fantastic job – it’s very fun to read.
*blushes* Thanks so much! So glad you enjoyed it too! And thanks for stopping by and commenting! =D
Oh, yay, what a great review! This makes me want to read it even more. I can’t wait to pick it up (and get it signed!) at the Austin Teen Book Festival. 😀
Yay! Have fun! Sarah is hilarious!
Kristin A says
I’ve read so many great reviews on this one. Any time an author can pull off witty banter, I know I’m going to enjoy the book. Also, good to know you were drawn in immediately. Going to have to pick this one up soon!
Yes, Kristin, I think you’d love it! =)
I have heard nothing but great things about this book. It’s on my wishlist. Hopefully I will buy it soon.
Thanks so much! =)
I’m so excited to read this book, I fell in love with the cover and the synopsis convinced my that I need to read Unspoken. Just reading your review spiked my excitement about it, everything sounds amazing – the writing, the characters and reading about the conclusion gave me heart palpitations. Great review.
YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK! 😉 It’s fantastic, hope you love it! =)