Sarah Rees Brennan
September 11th 2012
Random House Books (US)
(I would've used the UK cover, but look at the pretty!)
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?
Unspoken was an interesting book, and I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it as much as I was expecting to given that Sarah Rees Brennan wrote it (And she's fabulous and hilarious and brilliant and I want to meet her again). It was good, but it felt a bit like there was something missing, stopping it from being stand-out awesome. But I will 100% be reading Untold when I can get my grabby little hands on it.
Kami was a really fun character, and her relationship with Jared was probably one of the most interesting things about the book. There was all the tension between them, and they had this really close, intense relationship because of the fact that they were psychically linked and until they'd met, they'd both thought that the other was imaginary. It kept on bordering on romance but never quite working out because of a mixture of all those things and the fact that Jared is a Lynburn. I kind of want them to get together, but at the same, there is just something off about it that makes me think that it wouldn't work out all that well (though that might just be because SRB is kind of completely evil).
The plot was interesting, but it got off to kind of a slow start and took me a while to actually get into it, though again that might just be because I was reading it in the week where I had most of my exams and my concentration was kind of elsewhere. Like with most good books, though, by the end, I couldn't put it down because it was all action and I had to see where it was going and whether everyone was going to make it out okay.
The side characters were interesting and fun in true SRB style, and Angela is really just the best. I mean, really, who doesn't love people who hate people and love napping? I'm still not really sure how I feel about Ash, Jared's cousin. I don't not like him or anything, I just feel like I don't want to trust him even though he's not that bad. But his dad is actually that bad. Like, seriously. The setting of Sorry-in-the-Vale and the whole backstory about the Lynburn's and what they actually were worked really well, I thought, and I liked having the mystery about it.
The only thing that really didn't work for me was Sarah's writing style. I got used to it after a while, but it just sounded so American even though it's meant to be set in England - in a small village in the Cotswolds no less. After all of the British books I have read where they get the tone of Britishness just right, this just felt off until I got so far into the story that I didn't really care anymore. It's a small thing, and I guess it wouldn't really bother you if you are American, as a British reader I did get a bit annoyed (I didn't feel this as much with The Demon's Lexicon even though that's set in England, too, so I think it's just this.) Then again, it could just be me.
Overall, I really enjoyed Unspoken, but I didn't love it as much as I wanted too. I am invested enough in the series now, though, so I think I shall definitely be reading Untold.