*This title will be released on September 11, 2012*
by Sarah Rees Brennan
Genre: Paranormal YA |
Excerpt: Yes | Book Trailer: Yes
Reviewed by: Julia | Source: Netgalley
Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.
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?
Just a few paragraphs into UNSPOKEN and I knew I was reading something special. UNSPOKEN was the perfect confluence of humor, romance, and mystery for me. Kami’s conversational playfulness and wit were instantly charming, and the complicated relationship between her and Jared was both enthralling and hilarious. I am a sucker for a bad boy, and a bad boy with a sense of humor is purely irresistible.
Brennan has taken the soul mates trope and turned it on its head as Kami and Jared struggle with the reality of absolute intimacy. I loved the intricacy of how well they knew each other colliding with “in person” insecurities, and thought Brennan did a spectacular job exploring how this type of relationship would pan out, both positive and negative. In edition to the romance end of things, the friendships and family in UNSPOKEN were distinct and hilarious. Rusty’s Cato-esque approach to teaching self-defense had me cracking up.
Kami’s stylized brand of humor may not be for everyone, but I found her over the top personality absolutely hilarious (and reminiscent Nicole Peeler’s Jane True series or some of the Kate/Angela/Julie exchanges in the Kate Daniels books). Kami’s not all bold pronouncements and daring plans, however. Brennan uses her to explore beauty, and how it impacts women’s relationships with each other, in a way that I did not expect to find in a YA. Despite a natural teenage preoccupation with boys (and a ruthless willingness to use her friends’ feminine wiles to further her journalistic plans), UNSPOKEN focuses as much on Kami’s friends and family as on her love life. Kami’s passion for journalism guarantees that romance is always a distant second on her agenda. Her confidence and consistency, even when faced with a matched set of Golden Boy and Bad Boy heartthrobs, made me laugh and cheer out loud quite a few times.
UNSPOKEN demanded my complete attention and I wolfed it down in one sitting. The ending suffers a bit from series-itis, and that is the only thing that knocked it down from 5bats to 4. I wish book one had more of a standalone story arc, though I’m certainly still excited that there’s more Kami and company on the horizon. The Lynburn Legacy has me firmly on the hook, and book two will definitely be on my list of most anticipated reads in 2013. In the meantime, I have all of Brennan’s back catalog to keep me company.
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