Thursday, June 6, 2013

Review: Unspoken

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: Sarah Rees Brennan is one of the most comedic authors I know. Yet, at the same time she also makes my heart hurt so much I want to rip it out while I read her books. Interesting combination, right?

I had a hard time relating to Kami because I'm neither brave nor funny, but I loved having her as the main character. She's a sassy, short, Asian, journalist who goes on crazy adventures to get the scoop. It's difficult to get bored when you're with her, because she dreams up these plans. Kami is a far cry from perfect and her flaws are a little annoying, but charming and keep her grounded as a real person. When things get difficult, I love how Kami manages to stay positive and continue pursuing the truth. Her thirst for knowledge is a refreshing change from the passive characters in other stories. Did I mention that she's short? A girl after my own heart.

How do I even begin to explain the cast of characters? If there's any complaint about them, it's that they're too charming and too witty. Every character has a funny little quibble to add to the conversation, which may be unrealistic, but has the same kind of feel as the amazing characters from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. The love interest is more of a friend throughout the entire book, which works, because Jared's the closest friend Kami's ever had. Because, you know, he's in her head. It's also the first book in a trilogy, so there's plenty of time to get into the romance stuff. 

Did I mention how funny everyone is?

Despite how I make Unspoken sound, it's not all wit and giggles. The characters suffer and suffer bad because Sarah Rees Brennan is evil. There's more depth behind this story than word battles, I swear. Sarah Rees Brennan tackles a lot of difficult topics in a natural way that doesn't take away from the plot or become so focused that the book transforms into a life lesson.

Another aspect about the story that stuck with me was the setting. Unspoken is essentially a Gothic novel, so it includes its fair share of shady townies and old architecture. Sorry-in-the-Vale is almost a character itself, with the rich town history and creepy but unclear secrets the town holds. The author does such a great job of creating the town naturally, without spending paragraphs describing the town. She crafts it together so subtly, you don't notice until suddenly you can draw a map of the town at the end of the novel.

There's no lull in the story so make sure to read this when you have a sizable amount of time. You will not want to put this down once you've started. I promise you that you won't be able to put this book down once you've started.

Rating: 5/5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous review, Julie! So glad to hear you enjoyed Unspoken. I LOVED this one as well. Kami does have her fair share of flaws, but she's so charming! And you're so right--everyone is incredibly hilarious. I'm super excited for the sequel, Untold. Can't wait to read it!