Thursday, October 4, 2012

Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Hi all!

Here's a review of another enjoyable YA book.

Title: Unspoken
Series: The Lynburn Legacy #1
Release date: 13th of September 2012
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Paranormal, Contemporary
Pages: 384 in Paperback
Source: Bought from the Bookdepository


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?
I had read so many great review on this story so I was tempted to give it a go and I’m glad I did.
This book has a strong gothic atmosphere with very sinister undertones. There is an abundance of creepy dark woods, old abandoned buildings, a chilling and threatening manor house, all the foreboding text and actions of the "Addams" family (read Lynburns), "something" attacking and causing harm, etc. The background is perfectly created for a supernatural eerie mystery.
While the plot twists weren’t breathtaking or overly original, they kept me on the edge of my seat and weren’t entirely predictable. The revelation of the Lynburn secret I didn’t see coming so it was exciting to guess. The dialogue was grade "A" hilarious at times, there were some seriously awesome one-liners and banter.
BUT… the cliffhanger at the end totally hit me to the ground! Why??? It just can’t end that way!
I assume for many Kami is a perfect witty heroine with personality and an actual backbone, unfortunately, I couldn’t warm up to her that much, I guess, and I never thought I’d say that, but she came across too sassy and quirky for my taste. In addition, I wasn’t fond of how she treated Jared. Naturally, I wouldn’t expect and even want her to fall into his arms and profess her undying love for him on first sight, but I felt that she was too cold, distant and even mean to him for too long after meeting him in person. Did she even like him that much? Based on her usual behavior I couldn’t really tell. It was convenient to have a friend to share her thoughts and feelings, however, as soon as that imaginary person became real she couldn’t deal and came across somewhat selfish and uncaring. HOWEVER, next to my dislike, I loved how Kami was an amateur wannabe detective/journalist, her plans, diversions and missions including her friends always ended in absolute hilarity. Other than that, she was brave, opinionated, fought for her friends and unique in the midst of so many other average YA heroines.
Jared, my poor baby, I honestly felt so bad for him. No pillar to hold onto, nothing to steady himself, zero comfort in all his troubles, sorrow and loneliness. Kami shined for him as a light in a tunnel, his only consolation and connection to acceptance, joy and everything good in his life – a lifeline. Thus, it is no mystery why he desperately needed to hold onto her, especially after discovering that she doesn’t just exist in his head. I have a soft spot for him, because he was tortured but still extremely likeable, badass but boyish, serious but quite humorous on occasions and so very vulnerable you just have to hold back all the feelings or they’ll overflow.
Angela – I have difficulty in understanding how anyone can actually like her and be friends. She was grumpy, mean, rude, sleep-crazy to the point where it wasn’t cute but annoying. The only great thing about her was her brother, and the little tidbit regarding her in the end of the book.
Holly was adorably sweet and for Ash I have mixed feelings. Regarding families: the Lynburns were spooky and cold; the Glass’ were loving and their interactions were fun – pretty much absolute opposites. An honorable mention goes to Kami’s father, that was one hilarious and great dad!
It’s a good gothic YA book that I can confidently recommend. For romance lovers, like me, unfortunately, there isn’t much of it but I’m more than definite that it will change in the second book. A great read!

4 stars!



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