Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

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?
-Plot summary borrowed from Goodreads

In Unspoken, Brennan does an amazing number of things amazingly well. The mystery and romance were intriguing, the setting was perfect (what sensible reader wouldn't want to go wandering through a gothically named and potentially cursed English village?), and the characterizations & dialogue were superb. I love Kami's detective instincts, her determination, and her snark. I love her pathologically lazy and seemingly bitter best friend (whose brother, similarly lethargic, is forever leaping out at them from unexpected places to test their self-defense training). I love her family, especially her father:

“Why are you putting on lip gloss, my daughter?” Dad asked. “Trip to the library? Trip to the nunnery? I hear the nunneries are nice this time of year”

“Is this true, Kami? Are you going out on a date?” Dad asked tragically. “Wearing that? Wouldn’t you fancy a shapeless cardigan instead? You rock a shapeless cardigan, honey.” 

Really, the dialogue in this just rocks. When other books could have been bogged down in melodrama or a well-worn romance, Unspoken zips along feeling all fresh and fun.

“Hark,” he said, his tone very dry. “What stone through yonder window breaks?”
Kami yelled up at him, “It is the east, and Juliet is a jerk!”
Jared abandoned Shakespeare and demanded, “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Throwing a pebble,” said Kami defensively. “Uh… and I’ll pay for the window.”
Jared vanished and Kami was ready to start shouting again, when he reemerged with the pebble clenched in his fist. “This isn’t a pebble! This is a rock.”
“It’s possible that your behaviour has inspired some negative feelings that caused me to pick a slightly overlarge pebble,” Kami admitted.” 

It's not all snark and games though. There is a very real threat in the village right from the early chapters, and a sense of an increasing feeling of foreboding pervades the story as it builds to its end. The romance is believable and interesting, even if I wasn't wild about the object of it all the time. Even side characters get a fair shake, and I am nearly as interested in what will happen to Kami's friends Angela and Holly.

October 10th, 2013 and the sequel, Untold,  can't come soon enough.


Yüz Germe said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
Yüz Germe

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