I am SO excited to share this week’s Book of the Week with you. I had originally planned on featuring Gayle Forman’s Just One Year, story even though I try really hard to stay away from sequels as the featured book. It just doesn’t seem fair to feature a sequel when some of you may have not even read the previous ones. I’ll only do that with big series like when I feature Allegiant next week.
But I hadn’t read a new book that wasn’t a sequel at all so that’s kind of the choice I had to make…until I picked up Unspoken on Monday night. And finished it in a matter of hours, and immediately went searching for a copy of Untold, because I knew that I had found something incredibly special.
I will say more than once in this post that with this book alone, Sarah has become one of my favorite authors. This book was amazing, an escape, a laugh house, a thrill ride. Read on to find out why!
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
GoodReads / Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository
young adult, paranormal, fantasy
Part of a Series?:
Yes, the first book in the Lynburn Legacy, followed by Untold, and the unreleased Unmade
You May Like if You Liked:
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Angelfall by Susan Ee, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
This is a new feature on the Book of the Week. As most of the reviews I do are YA, and YA is starting to break apart into YA and NA, and that sort of thing, I will be recommending an appropriate age for the books. Keep in mind this is MY personal recommendation and it varies on the maturity of the reader.
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?
This is probably going to be SO lame, but the description of Kami’s clothes drove me up the wall. It was hard for me to picture Kami as this kickass, amazing character sometimes when the clothes were being described. I had an issue with her kicking butt in these dresses. I mean, don’t get me wrong: I totally wanted her wardrobe. It sounded like she had a seriously awesome wardrobe, and after meeting Sarah Rees Brennan and interviewing her, I know awesome clothes is definitely part of her life. I definitely want to steal her wardrobe. I just kept getting distracted by her clothes. I know that’s SUCH a lame reason but it really was. I don’t know if authors feel the need to say that a girl can like pretty clothes and be a badass, but its also completely distracting when it seems to be making a point of it. I don’t know if that was what Sarah was trying to do, but I get distracted by wardrobe descriptions, unless its important to the scene or the story.
That being said, I’m officially in love with Sarah Rees Brennan, this series and Jared Lynburn. Sigh.
First off, the diversity that is in this novel is fantastic. It shouldn’t be notable when this kind of thing happens. It should just BE that way, but we have to be aware of it because it just doesn’t seem to be obvious, especially in young adult. So much of the main characters in YA are Caucasian girls. There aren’t a lot of different ethnicities going on. So I was excited that Kami was Asian, and that she was a mutt too, half Asian. I’m a mutt (half Irish, half Mexican) too so I really liked that. I liked the mix of British and Scottish and American, and the varying looks. I also liked that there was LGBT themes in there as well. Very excited about the diversity.
But there was just the story alone. From page one, I was addicted. I finished this book in about three hours. I had just finished writing up the interview with Sarah Rees Brennan when I thought, you know, I really need to read Unspoken. People keep telling me its good, and our very own contributor, Christina Marie, has read it recently and loved it. I thought it was absolutely horrible to have interviewed Sarah about her book and not having actually read it. I was addicted right away.
The thing that I love about this book is the characters. Each character is so unique and real and it was so easy to love each and every one of them. None of them felt fake or forced. I loved all of them. Kami, Angela, Holly, all of them. I even love Ash, even though I had been thinking of that as a character name for my zombie novel, and now I can’t use it because I’m going to think of Ash Lynburn. But each character is so real. I even like the characterization of Lillian and Rob and Rosalind, though you’re not really supposed to like them.
But oh, that Jared Lynburn. I was madly deeply crazy in love with Jared Lynburn from the moment that you hear his voice in Kami’s mind. I was pulling for Jared from page one, because I was already hooked. He was sweet, and protecting but he has that bad boy attitude, and he has that sarcastic attitude that is so irresistible. I honestly never thought a fictional boy would drive me as insane, in all the best ways, like Jace Wayland Morgenstern Herondale Lightwood, but apparently I was terribly wrong about that. Sigh. So in love.
I swear though, I’m going to talk about the story too. The story is great, a great mix of paranormal fantasy, friendship, romance, uncertainty, growing up, all of it. It reads like a paranormal mystery, and you have no idea what is going on. And Kami Glass is super adorable, with her trusty notebook tucked in her bra, trying to solve these crimes, even when people are obviously trying to kill her. So many paranormal stories are starting to feel repetitive and starting to feel like something you’ve already read before. This story is fresh, and unexpected, and you have no idea what’s going on and when you get to the end, you’re so surprised. She keeps you captivated til the very end. Its a wonderful mystery but there is so much humor in it as well, and the sarcasm is to die for.
OH! And that cliffhanger! What a horrible, terrible, wonderful cliffhanger. I swear, if Untold wasn’t already released, I would have DIED at that cliffhanger. NO way.
5 out of 5 Stars
Recommended or Not?:
Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes. I’m not kidding. I finished this book in three hours, and then spent my entire next day reading Untold, in between class and work and stuff. I am not lying when I say that she has become one of my favorite authors from these two books alone, and I’ll be anxiously waiting the release of the third book. She’s a wonderful writer, and this story is incredibly addicting. More people should be reading these books!
In a couple days, look out for a review on the sequel, Untold!
* * * * *
I hope you enjoyed this week’s featured book! Definitely buy this book; you will NOT regret in the slightest. This is an other book that I am definitely going to start pushing on people, big time.
Don’t forget that you can check out previous Book of the Weeks here, and check out my interview with Sarah!
Happy Reading everyone!
4 thoughts on “Book of the Week-Unspoken”
I’d heard of this before and I’m ashamed to say that the title made me uninterested – it sounds so much like those bad copy-cat vampire or ‘fallen-angel’ books that I dismissed it without realising. But it actually sounds amazing. I am defs putting it on the ‘to read’ list.
It kind of reminds me of the Flavia de Luce books: they’re set in the English countryside and a quirky outsider girl is the protagonist. But they’re not fantasy, they’re more murder mystery, but they’re still amazing books.
Also can I just say that the cover of this edition is fantastic, it’s a nice change from all the same-same ya books that are covering the shelves of bookshops lately. I know people say not to judge a book by its cover, but para-text is important!
I am totally with you on that. I judge books by their covers all the time and since I read mostly YA, I get tired of the same covers over and over again. When I see the same things, I start to expect that the story is going to be the same as well, but Sarah’s covers are a lot different and they really stand out. I don’t think I’ve ever had a chance to notice because her books don’t tend to be on shelves often. You have to order them in, usually.
Also, I think it took me so long to read these because I was expecting the same sort of things. I had read her previous trilogy and I liked it well enough but it didn’t make a huge impression on my mind so I wasn’t eager to start this series. However, so many people were talking this up, and I had interviewed her so I wanted to read the book, and I read both of them super fast. They really impressed me. They really read as a sort of murder mystery with the paranormal wrapped in it. It was unexpectedly awesome. And the main character is just to die for, she is so funny.