Unspoken – Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon and Schuster)
Release Date: 13th September 2012
Edition: UK paperback, review copy
Other Titles by this Author: The Demon’s Lexicon, The Demon’s Covenant, The Demon’s Surrender
Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met...a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. Having an imaginary friend has made fitting in hard – but that’s never bothered Kami. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is just the way she likes it.
But all that changes when the mysterious Lynburn family return to Kami’s village, along with teenagers, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami...
As life as she knows it begins to unravel, Kami is determined to get to the bottom of every mystery. 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, is she still in love with him?
And can she trust him?
I read Sarah Rees Brennan’s debut The Demon’s Lexicon when it was released in 2009 but lost track of her until Unspoken. What the hell was I doing with my life?! I loved this book so much!
The first thing about Unspoken that I need to declare my love for is Kami. She is one of my favourite protagonists in the books I’ve read so far this year. Kami has a brilliant sense of humour, a sharp wit and is endlessly curious which gets her into quite a bit of trouble throughout the novel. I know that the ‘quirky’ heroine can be a bit if an annoyance, but Sarah Rees Brennan pulled it off with aplomb. It was also nice to have a POC main character that was represented as so on the cover – well done, S&S!
The connection between Kami and Jared was fascinating. The connection that have through their odd mind-speaking is so lovely in the way that support and care for each other even though they know more about each other than two people should. But when they met, the dynamic changed. It would have been so unrealistic if it didn’t. They suddenly became aware that the other was real and this part of themselves they’ve kept secret from the rest of the world is currently standing next to them! Their discomfort and uncertainty was brilliant and I really sympathised with them, especially when Kami felt that she couldn’t discern her thoughts and feelings from Jared’s.
Speaking of what I felt while reading Unspoken, Sarah Rees Brennan created the perfect atmosphere for the quiet, magical English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. There was so much mystery and intrigue! The Lynburn’s are a formidable and important family, but why? What is going on in the woods? Will anything happen between Kami and Jared? What is Kami’s mum hiding? Thankfully, all of these questions and more were answered by the end of the novel, which incidentally contains a very significant and emotional ending. It gave me all the feels and I kind of wanted to throw the book across the room actually.
Above all of the general awesomeness I’ve already mentioned, I think that Unspoken shone with the little things. The sparky, grating competition between Jared and Ash and Kami’s fiery best friend Angela are excellent companions to our brilliant heroine. There’s a mention of a certain Jocelyn Fairchild, a nod to Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments maybe, as that is the name of Clary’s mum and Cassie and Sarah are friends in real life... I have to admit that that seriously made me squeal when I read it! I also loved that there was none of the mysteriously absent parents malarkey. Kami’s parents go crazy with worry when she gets herself in a mess and when she wanders off for long periods of time without telling them. Sarah Rees Brennan also does something weirdly unusual in Unspoken, she creates a clear personality link between Kami and her dad. You’d know from the way they interact and speak – they definitely share some genes!
I adored Unspoken and it’s made me eager to go back and finish The Demon’s Lexicon trilogy while I wait in agony for the second Lynburn Legacy book.
Thank you to S&S for sending me a copy for review.