Book of the Week-Unspoken

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

Age Recommendation:

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. 


Plot Summary:

From GoodReads:

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?

The Bad:

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.

The Good:

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!

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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!

Exclusive Interview with YA Author, Sarah Rees Brennan!

I am so extremely excited to share this interview with you today! Sarah Rees Brennan is an amazing author of the Demon’s Lexicon trilogy, cheap and most recently, physician her new series, which starts with the novel, Unspoken. The second of that series, Untold, just released a few weeks ago, and I’m excited to read it. I know that its going to be SUPER awesome.

I first discovered Sarah when she went on tour with Cassandra Clare this past spring, for Cassie’s Clockwork Princess tour. She had her pals, Sarah and Maureen Johnson, with her, which was really awesome. I had already read some of Maureen’s books, but I will admit, I had never even heard of Sarah, but she was SUPER hilarious and I have to admit, the dress she wore was so cute that I was obsessed with the dress!


I also interviewed Cassie at that particular signing, and when I went to the “green room” to go interview her, Sarah was like, “Oh my god, you’re so cute!” which kind of made my whole life, and I knew immediately that between her hilarity, her calling me cute and her fabulous taste in dresses, I just had to read her books.

I’ve read the entire Demon’s Lexicon, and now I’m eager to dive into her Lynburn Legacy books. I was extremely excited when she agreed to do an interview and even MORE excited when I read her answers. She’s an awesome author, very inspiring and her books are great.

Update: I decided to dive into Unspoken as soon as I finished writing up this interview, aaaaaand ended  up finishing the book in a couple hours. A review will be coming later but let me just say this: this book was absolutely amazing and I am blown away right now. Absolutely blown away. I want to read the sequel right this moment but its late and I have school in the morning. I also never thought a fictional boy would make me fall in love and break my heart like Jace Wayland until Jared Lynburn. Sigh.

Enjoy the interview!

Sara: What can you tell us about your new book, Untold? Where does it take us from Unspoken? 

Sarah: It takes place a few weeks after the end of Unspoken, though there’s a story that bridges the gap called The Night After I Lost You (which you can read here!). Unspoken was set in autumn–a time of change, of the leaves turning gold. Untold is set in winter, a time of loneliness, of cold and despair–but despair that passes, for most of us. (There’s always a last winter.)

… Obviously it’s a very cheerful book. Actually, there are a lot of jokes–I don’t want to spend time with people who have no sense of humour, and that includes fictional people. But a big change happens at the end of Unspoken, both for the town and in the relationships of the main characters, and that means the next book starts out with uncertainty, hurt and fear. (And then stuff gets better! Or does it get worse. You never know which way I’ll dart.)

Sara: Was it easier or harder to write the sequel now that you’ve written Unspoken? Why? 

Sarah: Easier, I think. I knew and loved the characters, and I could feel the shape of the story. I wrote it after I’d sold Unspoken but before it came out, and that’s a magic time: full of hope, and the happy knowledge that this book you’re writing will be published. Though there’s always a worry with sequels–you don’t want to let anybody down! I think book two is really the rest of every series–can the author keep it up? can she STEP it up? I tried!

Sara: What is your writing process like? What is the hardest part of writing a novel? 

Sarah: I write a chapter plan, constructing plot with several helpful critique partners, and I try to follow it. I think the hardest part of writing a novel is the middle part, where you don’t remember why you started and can’t imagine how you’re going to finish.

Sara: Where do you get your inspiration from? How did you come up with the idea for Unspoken, and in turn, Untold? 

Sarah: I had the original idea for Unspoken–a girl finds out her imaginary friend is a real guy–when I was about seventeen. I wrote a book about it–Beyond Imagination, I called it, because I was a super imaginative writer. The idea kept coming back to me. The hero of Unspoken has the same name as that original book (Jared) though he’s a different guy–all the characters are different, except one. She was called Kelly Preston in the first book, but in Unspoken, she’s called Holly Prescott, because turns out Kelly Preston is a real person people may have heard of…

When I decided I loved the idea, and I wanted to go back to it, and talk about how telepathic soulmate-style bonds would actually be TERRIBLE, and also build a Gothic mystery (fear, atmosphere, being trapped, and having no way to talk about your experiences). I tried to read Beyond Imagination again. It was too awful. I threw the book like a snake and rewrote it from scratch.

Sara: What advice do you give to aspiring writers, not only on writing but on the world of publishing, as well? 

Sarah: Publishing is so different from writing. And you never know how you’re going to be treated, going in: self promotion is difficult, and you might have to do a lot. If you’re lucky and you do get promoted by your publisher, then awesome, but it brings with it its own set of stresses. Be as ready for the world of publishing as you can be, I guess is my advice. Writing is only half of your job, and its the half that comes most naturally–the half that made you want to take on the rest. Before I was published, I really had no idea what  being published entailed: how suddenly I would have to learn, and come to care passionately about, covers and distributions and awards and what hills to die on when you’re editing and how to coax marketing departments and promotional items and so much else I never dreamed of. It’s like a life-long apprenticeship: you keep on learning. Be ready for the learning!

Sara: What inspired you to add the elements of diversity into your stories? Elements of the LGBT lifestyle? 

Sarah: I don’t really think of it as adding those elements, any more than I add any other essential bit of a story. Life’s diverse, so books should be, too. It should be as simple as that. It isn’t, of course–LGBT authors and authors of colour face prejudice they shouldn’t, and diverse books are seen as ‘less marketable’ and given less promotion–but the only way to effect change is to write diversely and make clear your wish to see more diversity. Plus, writing about a world in which, for instance, no body was LGBTQ would have to be a conscious choice to exclude: the world I live in and want to reflect is one that includes them. They’re my friends, family, loved ones, they’re my readers. I want no part of any world, real or fictional, that excludes them.

Sara: What are some of your favorite books and authors to read? 

Sarah: Diana Wynne Jones, Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley, Margaret Mahy, were my childhood classics. (I fangirl SO hard every time I read an author loving Tamora Pierce). Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope, centuries-old forever favourites. I love romance novels and my favourites are Courtney Milan, Laura Kinsale, Tessa Dare, Mary Balogh and always Georgette Heyer. Right now in YA–Marie Lu writes the best dystopian fiction around. Robin Wasserman wrote this horror novel that’s like Stephen King with chocolate sprinkles and whipped cream, the Waking Dark, that I love. I’d so like to see some more YA horror: Kendare Blake also writes awesome YA horror.

Sara: What are some of your favorite things to do in your “spare” time, when you aren’t writing or touring? 

Sarah: Tell me more about this spare time…

I love traveling, and do it a lot for fun. I’m lucky to have a job that I can travel with, without a boss to call me and be like ‘Rees Brennan, what do you mean, you’re in Copenhagen? This is the last time, you crazy maverick! You’re fired!’ It does mean, though, that my best friend once asked when I’d last taken a holiday where I hadn’t worked, and I was like, ‘Oh…three years? Maybe four…no, three! Yay, three!’

I like cooking, and vintage stuff, and dancing, and country music. I live in hope someone will send me to Nashville someday.

Sara: What is your favorite part about being an author? 

Sarah: Having readers! I started writing when I was five. That someone likes your words enough to buy or librarify or loan from a friend the book, and spend time with it, and invest in the characters and the story. It seems like passing a snow globe from hand to hand, with a whole world inside it. It makes me so happy.

Sara: What are you working on now, and what do you have planned for the future? 

Sarah: I’m finishing up the third book in the Lynburn Legacy series, which I hope will tear out people’s souls and turn them into soul confetti–I MEAN, WHICH I HOPE PEOPLE WILL ENJOY, phew, good save self–and I just finished Tell the Wind and Fire, which is set in an alternate New York torn apart by dark and light magic, starring a girl who’s a celebrity for something she did when she was younger that she’s not exactly proud of, and who finds out that her beloved boyfriend has a doppelgänger: a being identical to him, created by dark magic, and with no soul… (Also, its a retelling of A Tale of Two Cities).

And for the future, I’d like to write a revenge narrative (What Would Shakespeare Do?) about a mad, bad girl.

Sara: Lastly, a question I ask everyone I interview, because it’s fun: who is your fictional crush? 

Sarah: Mr. Darcy, Colin Craven, Howl of Howl’s Moving Castle, Gen of the Queen’s Thief series, Cricket of Lola and the Boy Next Door…I’m a bit of a fictional harlot. Girls just wanna have fun…with a paperback.

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I hope you enjoyed this interview with Sarah, as much as I did. She had some seriously awesome answers, and I am excited to have her on my blog. I enjoy immensely that she reads Diana Wynne Jones and Tamora Pierce (you guys know how I like to push Tammy on all of you), and that Howl is one of her fictional crushes.

She has some amazing advice and insight, and she’s a great writer and story teller. I definitely recommend The Demon’s Lexicon series, and I will be reviewing both Unspoken and Untold very soon, as I dive into that world. I’m sure its going to be awesome!

Can I just say though: I’m SO sad I wasn’t able to really meet and get books signed by Sarah when I saw her back in March! She lives overseas most of the time, and tours over there often. I sincerely hope she makes it back to California soon so I can meet her again!

Happy Reading everyone!