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Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Unspoken (2012)

by Sarah Rees Brennan

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6318115,382 (3.99)16
  1. 10
    Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia (dizzyweasel)
    dizzyweasel: A more complex novel about magic and the mysterious family that rules a sleepy town.

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This book was just fine, it had awesome potential but I felt like it dragged on too long because it wasn't as finessed as it could have been. ( )
  Jackie_Sassa | Nov 20, 2015 |

SO, I follow Sarah Rees Brennan on tumblr and I see a LOT of posts about this book breaking people’s hearts. And that’s how I’m starting this review because I want everyone to be as prepared as I was (hhaha. Just kidding.)
I read this right after Black Spring which is amusing if you think about it because this is like a twist on a gothic novel and Black Spring was a dark fantasy twist on the ultimate gothic novel (Wuthering Heights blissful sigh) so apparently I was in a mood that week (or every week, I tell ya.)
So, how about inverted tropes, y’all? (I’m not even southern I’m from Ohio don’t listen to me I’m writing these late at night). I love inverted tropes and I love what Brennan did with a bunch of the usual gothic novel ones here. Kami is a darling protagonist and the banter in the book is a as usual and everything is a delight.

Another random happenstance that happened to me with this book was that the whole thing is centered around the fact that Kami has this ‘imaginary friend’ in her head that she talks to who is obviously real. Ok, now remember that book, Shadow Girl I reviewed a few weeks ago? Similar plot. Unspoken was executed in a much better manner (mostly because I didn’t call the plot twists a quarter of the way in…) and I’m not just saying that because I’m totally biased towards magic over clones. (But I AM totally biased about magic over clones).
Now, ok, I admit in the scope of books by Sarah Rees Brennan, I prefer The Demon’s Lexicon (if you’re surprised, well, it was one of the 3 factors that nudged me to start writing Rosewater Wine. So. Demons you know) and because TDL is pretty high up on my favourites list I couldn’t help but mentally compare them a little bit (I try to avoid that but I found I couldn’t help it here?) The main two guys are kind of similar two the main two of TDL - not the same but like archetypically similar? (I don’t think that’s a thing but we’re making it a thing here) in that one is drastically darker and more brooding. (This isn’t a bad thing, I actually really like it. It was just interesting that I couldn’t help but think of Nick when I was reading abut Jared). That said, those similarities didn’t exist with the girls (and all the girl characters were a delight! Angela was especially my favourite).
What I loved loved loved was how Kami and Jared reacted when they realised that the other was real and not just their imaginary friend in their head. Because it was pretty realistic. You wouldn’t like it if this person you thought was probably not real all of the sudden was right in front of you, in fact, you’d be pretty darn freaked out - and that was their initial reaction which was great. (I also loved the ~*reason*~ for their imaginary friend link business but I suppose that’d be a spoiler so…)
And then, of course, as I was nearing the end I stopped reading and was staring into the middle distance and my mom asked me what was wrong and I just said, “This is the first book in a Sarah Rees Brennan series. I know how this is going to end and it’s going to be ‘not good’ because that’s just how she does things.” (guess who was right: it was me.)
If I said the ending was my favourite part I would not be lying. The ending was my favourite part OH, IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. I actually didn’t realise how much I crave disastrous endings, like, I LIVE for endings like this.
The atmosphere with the town was spectacular. Kami’s sleuthing was great (and I’m usually not a fan of the journalist character at all so great job there because I genuinely liked her). All the characters were intriguing and ohhhhh the ending. I’m so excited for the next book really I am. ( )
  glitzandshadows | Oct 12, 2015 |
Supernatural YA romance suspense novel just was not my cup of tea. The protagonist's life is, to me, oddly compartmentalized. She has a mom and a family but does not interact much with them. Her school is a backdrop to non-school activities. These things are there, I guess, because they are essential to a YA novel but are just in the background for the plot twisting and dialog between the characters, which I just did not see much interior life. It could just be me. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Meg (Cuddlebuggery) and Gillian (Writer of Wrongs) have been after me to read Unspoken for months now. I just wasn’t sure though. I mean, I trust them, but for some reason I was highly skeptical of this book. However, I decided to go ahead and read it during my vacation, because why not? Plus, I had the ancient ARC on my shelves from back when it first came out and better late than never, right? Thankfully, Unspoken wasn’t what I expected at all. Unfortunately, I don’t have book two with me and I can’t find out what happens next for at least two weeks and probably more. Curses.

Paranormal romance novels, more than some other genres, seem to follow a particular formula really strongly and that, I think, was what I expected. Sarah Rees Brennan is clearly well-acquainted with that formula, but she’s playing with it rather than repeating it by rote. For example, on the surface, there’s a love triangle with the good guy and the bad boy, but it’s not really that cut and dried when you get into it. The relationship dynamics aren’t simple and there’s no instalove anywhere.

Then there’s Kami, who I have to describe as plucky, determined and reckless. Kami’s highly intelligent and driven. She wants to be an investigative journalist and is starting the school paper. There’s no mystery she doesn’t want to research and solve. As such, she’s highly curious about the Lynburns, who have returned to Sorry-on-the-Vale after many years away. No one will tell her anything, though, so she’s going to have to interrogate the Lynburn boys, Ash and Jared, both incredibly hot. Poor girl. In pursuit of truth, however, Kami can be really reckless. She considers danger worth the price of a good story and sometimes I’m like gurrrrrrl.

Still, I think Kami’s great. She’s very much herself, even when she’s making some terrible decisions. In fact, the cast is pretty great all around, though I’m not a hundred percent certain how I feel yet about Ash or Jared. I have a feeling that will come. From that, you can probably surmise that I’m not completely set on a ship for Kami yet, and you would be right. Obviously I know what the ship will be and I think it’s probably the right ship, but my heart has yet to fully buy into it.

On the other hand, I do love Kami’s connection to Jared, who heretofore was her imaginary friend. Suddenly he’s there in the flesh. This is where I mean the book is much more complex than anticipated. I think this would be used by most authors as a way to jumpstart a really cheesy romantic love. Not so Sarah Rees Brennan. Actually, both Kami and Jared are a little bit disappointed to learn that their imaginary friends are real. It complicates things, because it’s a lot easier to trust in someone who cannot tell your secrets. Sorting out what they are to one another isn’t a simple task

My favorite character by far is Angela, Kami’s best friend. Again, she seems like a cliché for about three seconds until you get to know her. I mean, she is the most beautiful girl in town, a fact which Kami does envy a bit. However, Angela’s not the typical best friend stereotype by a long shot. She’s lazy and violent, in that order. Angela hates people and is my spirit animal. She spends as much of her time napping as possible. When roused however, she will kick whatever asses need it most. Also, my ship for her didn’t seem like it would come true and then it DID, so YAY.

The plot itself was, at times, a bit predictable or meandering. It wasn’t my favorite element of the book. The reveal of who the evil doers were wasn’t the shock that it could have been. However, the ending itself was surprisingly dark and I think the scariness could be ratcheted up in later installments. Brennan does seem like she might be willing to do some truly nasty things to her characters, which excites me, for I am a cruel reader. That ending gives me much hope for what is to come, even if I think it’s a paranormal trope. Whatever, I must know.

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan has all of the banter. It’s a case study on banter. At times it’s pretty close to laugh out loud funny. That alone will keep me coming back for more. Expect to immediately need book two when you finish this one. I feel such pain not having it. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Nov 3, 2014 |
This book is completely delightful!

Kami Glass wants to be an award-winning journalist someday, and in order to make this happen, decides to start a school newspaper. She can't do it alone, and so bribes her best friend, the world's laziest beautiful teenager, Angela, to help her. He first self-assigned assignment? Find out everything she can about the Lynburn family, the distant and newly returned manor-house-owning practically royalty of Sorry-in-the-Vale.

Oh, and Kami also plans to find out who is killing animals in the woods. But maybe they're connected?

Kami is one of the most entertaining main characters in a book ever. She's funny and clever and charmingly loyal (and her interactions with her dad and brothers shows exactly where her funny comes from). Quips abound in this story, and while there are a couple of moments when the writing didn't quite explain moments and seemed to skip important information, the characters and dialogue completely make up for it.

Highly recommended, and I've already almost finished the second book... ( )
  kayceel | Oct 5, 2014 |
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"Kami Glass is in love with someone she's never met--a boy she's talked to in her head since she was born. This has made her an outsider in the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, but she has learned ways to turn that to her advantage. Her life seems to be in order, until disturbing events begin to occur. There has been screaming in the woods and the manor overlooking the town has lit up for the first time in 10 years. The Lynburn family, who ruled the town a generation ago and who all left without warning, have returned. Now Kami can see that the town she has known and loved all her life is hiding a multitude of secrets--and a murderer. The key to it all just might be the boy in her head. The boy she thought was imaginary is real, and definitely and deliciously dangerous"--… (more)

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