Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Becky's View: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
♦publisher: Random House BYR
♦release date: September 11, 2012
♦hardcover, 370 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦source: from publisher for honest review
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?

Review:  Unspoken is such a fun read.  The characters are great fun to read and seem so genuine, the town is charming but with such a sinister underlying atmosphere about it, and the mystery keeps you guessing and suspecting and curiously deducing until the very end.  This is my first Sarah Rees Brennan book and I absolutely came away from Unspoken as a fan of her writing style and wanting more.   

You have to love the main character, Kami.  As a matter of fact, pretty much the whole main circle of characters are pretty great.  Kami is so comfortable with herself---the girl owns up to having an imaginary friend at her age and doesn't care what people think.  She has got so much determination and she's almost unfailingly upbeat with a fantastic humor and a flair for witty comebacks. Plus, she's quite the Nancy Drew when it comes to mysterious happenings around the small town of Sorry-in-the-Vale.   Her best friend, Angela, is hilarious and sarcastic and adores Kami in spite of all her quirks. Holly, Ash, and Jared all perfectly round out their little group. Jared was a tough one to pin down---I think I went back and forth between loving and hating him all through the book.  He's a complicated one; weak and childish and almost cruel at times, chivalrous and supportive and compassionate at others.  You can see him trying to sort himself out, though.   The one thing that did bother me was the sort of blind acceptance that Kami and Jared both had toward their connection.  As soon as they both knew the other existed, I was constantly in my own head asking WHY---why were they connected that way? But neither of them did until much, much later into the story.

The ending. OH, that ending. It's a complete sucker-punch. I literally read the last few pages three or four times with my mind and heart reeling with thoughts like "I must have read that wrong", and "he must be joking", and "Nooooo! But,...but,...but...".  Thank goodness this is a series, because if that was the true ending, it would have made me hate this book for leaving me completely heartbroken. But fact that I was so affected is just a testament to how much I cared about this story and everyone in it.

A fun read that is full of magic, mystery, and an ending that just rips your heart right out of your chest.  

Find Sarah Rees Brennan online: Website  • Facebook  •  Twitter

Purchase Unspoken:  Amazon  •   BN.com  •  BookDepository  •   Indiebound


  1. A sucker punch? Wow. Sounds awesome and thanks for the warning.

  2. I need a copy of this book NOW, everyone is raving about awesome it is !!! Thanks for a great review Becky ;)

  3. THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD. I can't get over how well the mystery was developed, how charming and crazy and interesting the characters were, and how much I just want to know how it all ends RIGHT NOW. Great review!

  4. That ending sounds crazy. I've read a few books by Sarah Rees Brennan and I've liked every single one of them, so I'm pretty excited to read Unspoken.