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Unspoken: The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees…
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Unspoken: The Lynburn Legacy (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Sarah Rees Brennan

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5547718,027 (4.02)15
Member:titania86
Title:Unspoken: The Lynburn Legacy
Authors:Sarah Rees Brennan
Info:Random House Books for Young Readers (2012), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Read :), Reviewed, Favorites, ARC, Owned, Amazon Vine
Rating:*****
Tags:teen, fantasy, romance

Work details

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan (2012)

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  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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**Spoilers clearly marked.**

2.5ish stars



This book. This fucking book with all of its wasted potential. There are ways this book sets itself apart from the typical YA and that is supremely refreshing, but it comes with its own failings that make it ultimately fall apart. I can see why some people blindly love it, as almost the entire first half is funny, interesting, full of suspense, and quirky. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing is just that - too much.

I thought our MC Kami was awesome - most of the time. She had a backbone, which was satisfying, and she put it to good use by standing up for herself. She wouldn't bow down to anyone or tuck tail. I really liked that about her, especially in comparison with typical YA heroines. Additionally, she was funny, quirky, nerdy, energetic, and lovable - all good things. Unfortunately, in time, it became apparent that the author was trying waaay too hard to make Kami awesome and that's just not awesome. One needs to learn when to leave good enough alone.

Come the second half of the book, Kami was too funny, to the point of tossing out really corny and inappropriately placed one-liners. (Side note: her dad did this a LOT. He was super corny just as often as he was funny.) What, for the first half, was extremely entertaining, became a desperation to be funny all of the time. No. Too much of a good thing.

Another weirdness: Kami was obsessive about her friends' appearances - just the girls. One is constantly bashed over the head with how utterly beautiful her 2 female friends are and how desirable they are to guys. I mean, she mentions this non-stop from start to finish. Practically every reference to either of her two girlfriends is prefaced with a comment about their beauty or desirability. She doesn't "hate" on them, but it was weird and excessive.


Really weird and really excessive. O_o




Moving on - Kami's "in-person" relationship with her mystery boy was intense and poignant - for like 5 minutes. After that it was contrived, drawn-out, and tedious. I understand where the author was coming from and what she was trying to portray, but I understood that early on, because I'm not stupid. It doesn't need to be drilled into my head for an entire novel. We get it.

The no-touching and the touching with the sparks and the feelings and the woe. Blah and blah.

- We stood side-by-side - not touching.
- We walked along the path together - not touching.
- We made eyeball love - not touching.

*Cue eyeroll.

Yah, these are not actual quotes (because I'm too lazy to search), but seriously - we fucking get it. No fucking touching. No need to point out every time they don't touch. Point out when they do ffs.

The behavior of all the characters was strange. Cryptic comments that made no sense, said just to create the illusion of suspense and to cast suspicion on yet another suspect. It appeared as if everyone knew secrets about the town except Kami. That didn't make much sense, because some of these people were Kami's age and had lived there just as long as she had. It was overdone, is all. Said at the right time, a cryptic comment can work, but numerous cryptic comments from numerous people tossed in willy-nilly? Tone it down a notch. The "suspense" is killing me. **Yawn. -_-



Let's not talk about the "unstoppable", yet lackluster villain. Instead, can anyone explain the inordinate amount of time it took for Jared & Co. to get to Kami at the end?
That was ridiculous. Just more contrivance to create the illusion of suspense. *Cue eyeroll. Again.

Lastly, how many times can you have your characters deep in conversation and about to find out really important information, only to have them interrupted or distracted? Of course, the characters respond to this "logically" and never follow up on it ever again. The really annoying thing is that they would think about it at later times. "I wonder what so & so was going to tell me, before we were interrupted.." You saw them numerous times throughout the rest of the book. Why didn't you just fucking ask so & so? Way to investigate and detect. *Eyeroll cued.

It would be easy to ignore the problems with this book and embrace it as so many others have, because there are certainly aspects of it that are desperately needed in the flailing YA genre, but I'd be remiss. A quirky heroine and a bit of humor aren't enough to carry any story.

Wasted potential, this fucking book.




For more of my reviews, visit my blog:




( )
  JennyJen | Aug 14, 2014 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A deeply, imaginative gothic fantasy with hilariously snarky characters.

Opening Sentence: Every town in England has a story.

The Review:

I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up, Unspoken, the first book in the Lynburn trilogy. I was hooked right away by Kami Glass’ snarky and brutal humor. She has no problem letting people know what she thinks and she equally has no problem throwing herself into potentially dangerous situations.

Kami Glass is strangely inquisitive and wants to know all the secrets of her little England town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. She really wants to learn about the mysterious Lynburn family that has “protected” the town for hundreds of years. Coincidentally, the Lynburns have just returned back to town after many years away. Kami starts up a newspaper in her school and her first big breaking story will be to tell the Lynburn’s secrets. But Kami is hiding a huge secret of her own. She has an imaginary friend. She has been speaking to Jared her whole life and little does she know that she will soon find out that Jared isn’t so imaginary.

Kami doesn’t have to wait long before she starts to get the answers she seeks, both of the teenaged Lynburn cousins enroll in her school. Ash is the cute and charming Lynburn, he soon has Kami gushing over him and recruiting him to work on the newspaper. Jared (yes that Jared!) is not a good looking as his cousin Ash. He has a scar cutting across the side of his face. He is (of course) the bad boy and always getting into fights.

Sorry-the-the-Vale holds some really dark secrets and when Kami finds a mutilated fox in the woods she wants to discover the culprit. Not long afterwards, she is knocked down a well and almost drowns. Jared comes to her rescue and quickly decides that he will keep an eye on her in case someone is out to kill her.

Unspoken is the gothic tale of Kami who has always kind of been an outsider in her town. Kami’s Asian ancestry also has her not quite fitting in in her little England town. She really tries to not let that get her down so she is very snarky and often says what she thinks because she doesn’t care what other people think of her. Sometimes Kami gets a little too overboard with her snarkiness but I still enjoyed it. Kami’s best friend Angela had me chuckling a lot especially with her disdain for other people and her complete love of laziness and sleeping.

When Kami and Jared learn that they are in fact real people and not imaginary, they are both devastated. I really liked Jared but he was a bit frustrating about all the mixed signals that he kept giving Kami. Although Kami didn’t help with that much especially in the beginning but after she made her decision it was really hard to see him keep shying away from her.

I felt like the first half of Unspoken really focused on the fun, snarky Kami and her friends with a little bit of mystery before turning into the full blown mystery with a little bit of snark thrown in. The first half of the book really flew by for me while I felt the second half slowed down a bit. It wasn’t because the story really slowed down, I felt like more and more questions kept getting thrown onto the mystery before anything finally happened. The story did get much darker and this novel doesn’t have a happy ending, but that is why it is part of a trilogy, right? I am really happy that I have the next book in the series ready to pick up.

Notable Scene:

His hand shot out and slammed down on a button. The doors closed and he slammed another hand on the lift wall, close to her head. The clang reverberated in her ears. He was standing next to her suddenly, much too close, bowed down so she was looking directly into those cold eyes. “Kami.”

Kami wasn’t shaking. The world was shaking her, the world was shaking apart and about to fall to pieces. Nothing made sense anymore. “Jared?” she whispered. Her voice was changed like everything else, sounding as if it did not belong to her. She lifted a hand, seeing her fingers tremble in the dim lights of the lift, up to touch his face.

Jared grabbed her wrist.

They stood absolutely still for a moment, looking at each other. Kami didn’t dare move. She could feel her pulse pounding against his palm. He was real. He was here, and she was scared.

He let go of her and stepped back.

They were on opposite sides of the lift again, just like before, except now he was watching her. The cold lights had swallowed up his eyes: they were pale and awful, the kind of eyes you might fear watching you in the darkness when you walked home alone. His feelings hit her, not like having someone reaching out but like someone throwing something at her. She had never felt anything like this before in her life. It was like being enveloped by a storm with no calm center, with no calm anywhere to be found. Kami felt blinded by it, by Jared’s fury and panic, and above all his black terror.

The link between them had become an onslaught. Kami could not just tell what Jared was thinking, she could feel it. She could not escape, could not untangle the strands of herself from him. She tried to visualize walls in her head, shields that she could hide behind, feeling both exposed and lost.

“Stop it,” she said, her voice catching.

“You stop it!” he whispered back.

They sounded like terrified children, and strangers who hated each other. Kami could not tell who was the most afraid.

FTC Advisory: Random House Books for Young Readers provided me with a copy of Unspoken. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Jul 22, 2014 |
I got about one hundred pages in when I realized I could no longer go on…and it makes me sad because I really did want to like this series. I was actually really looking forward to this book Unspoken got me interested right away, I liked the writing a lot. It was witty and smart. That isn't where it went wrong, though. It was mainly the characters. Kami is the main problem here. I liked her independent nature, but sometimes she just seemed full of herself. Constantly saying the office was perfect and saying she did SUCH a great job. Yes we get it, the office looks nice with it's lamps. And then there's the "cliche" stereotype of not being pretty enough. Her best friend, Angela is the "most gorgeous girl in school, with the most perfect body." And Holly, the "most second gorgeous girl in school." But I think what bothered me the most was that my fictional men weren't making me happy.

Let's begin with Jared, the guy inside Kami's head and her best friend since childhood. Their relationship in their heads was so adorable and familiar. And then they meet in reality and everything goes South. First off, Kami is terrified of him even though he regularly talks in her head. Constantly saying "he's so big and I'm so small." Basically every time they interact she changes from being scared of him, to then wanting to touch him. It's really confusing. One scene that REALLY irked me was when she started unbuttoning her blouse, and Jared was like "What are you doing?" As any boy with some semblance of manners would say. But she obviously doesn't like that because he doesn't seem like he "wants her" am I right? *cue eye roll* So then later, she says to Ash, "If I were to take my shirt off, what would you do?" And he says "Clear the hallway" and she says "good answer." Like really? What the heck.

Going back to Jared, he was really terrible and stand-offish. He said at the beginning "My mom wants me to stop talking to you, then they talk about it, and he says "I just want you." Cue the awwing, right? But when they finally meet, he wants nothing to do with her really, at first. He says "Stay away from me." They both kind of go their separate ways, but then he decides suddenly, they should date. I was like..okay. And, if she really "loved" Jared, she wouldn't be falling for Ash. I get it, he's good looking. And sweet. So tell Jared you just want to be friends. Instead she leads him on, which makes me really confirm she has a big ego. And the story-line..why did everyone seem to know about the Lynburns except her? Her dad knew all about them. But she didn't, this person who should because she's an investigative journalist? It just didn't add up. I liked the humor and writing, but the story-line and romance was just too much for me to like this. ( )
  alexis909 | Feb 28, 2014 |
I'd consider this book on the high end of the "teen gothic romance" spectrum, as well as a modern take on Nancy Drew-style girl detective stories. The protagonist, Kami, is clever and driven, her friends have fun personalities and play important roles in the plot, and although her love interests are broody and mysterious, they still become part of the group and act like regular teen guys. Relationships evolve in a realistic way, and even at times when I thought a big overemotional moment was called for, the characters remained grounded and angsted with thoughtfulness.

The level of quippy banter flying around in this book is sheer madness. How are you supposed to achieve a gothic tone when you know the characters are just going to make sarcastic jabs at the next mysterious thing they encounter? There was a lot of potential for an uneasy spooky atmosphere that never quite came together. I did enjoy watching the central mystery of the town unfold, and it raises some interesting possibilities for future stories.

This book seems well-loved among the YA crowd, and unlike your average Twilight, I think it deserves praise. But for me the romance was just okay, and the mystery concluded at a point that didn't exactly whet my appetite for a sequel. I'd still check out the next book in the series if I was in the mood for a light paranormal mystery, and I'd definitely pick up this book for a young reader instead of letting them take their chances with the sea of generic YA books currently available.
( )
  thatpirategirl | Jan 16, 2014 |
So I finally, finally finished this book. I'm not sure what I can say about this story, I was expecting so much more. The book started off at a good pace, but for me, it started to falter right around the time Kami (our intrepid investigative journalist)encounters Jared for the first time, in the flesh, at the library. After that initial meeting when they realized who each of them was, the story seemed to sort of slow down to painful crawl. I know the story was supposed to be about finding out about the mysterious Lynburns and their return to the town, but a good chunk of the book was dedicated to Kami's and Jared's feelings toward one another. What was with Jared not wanting to touch Kami anyway?

The story really seemed to pick up speed after the pub incident with Holly, and even more so with Nicola. It was interesting learning about the connection with Kami's mother and Rosalind and how that formed the connection between Kami and Jared. I wasn't surprised to learn who the sorcerer was, nor was I surprised when Holly told Kami what happened with Angela. I was, however, shocked with Jared's behavior toward Kami after all was said and done.

All I can say is that I'm glad MY teenage years weren't quite so angsty and drama-filled! ( )
  scottnl | Dec 14, 2013 |
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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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