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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Title: Unspoken
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: September 11, 2012
Publishing House: Random House Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780375870415
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked

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 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 fmailiar 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?

Sarah Rees Brennan brings Gothic romance kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century with a heroine who can take care of herself, a boy who needs to be saved, and the magical forces that bring them together and tear them apart.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


With everyone positively raving about Unspoken, I knew I had to give it a try. If you've been following my reviews, I like checking out books that get a lot of hype and see for myself what the fuss is all about. With Unspoken garnering almost 6,000 ratings in GoodReads, the book practically put itself on my reserve list at the bookstore.

All her life, Kami Glass has been talking to Jared, a voice in her head. Kami thinks that it's just one of her little quirks in life, knowing almost everything about a "boy". But when the Lynburns come back into town and Kami ends up face to face with Jared Lynburn, questions must be answered and family secrets must surface to uncover the truth about what seems to be a dangerous bond that they both share.

To be brutally blunt, Kami Glass is very annoying. I am usually patient when it comes to characters, but Kami pretty much ends up on my list of annoying characters. She is mildly entertaining, yes, but somehow, I thought that the whole book was basically just a campaign to get everyone to like the main heroine and wish that the romantic interest would just stop being a jerk and get with the program already. Since Kami does all the talking (Hoo boy, can she talk.) the book pretty much had me reeling from all the comments and unnecessary information here and there. All of Brennan's characters had the same humor, and if it weren't for the names, I would be guaranteed a hard time trying to differentiate one from the other. The romantic interest, Jared, wasn't anything unusual either. He was gorgeous, rich, and was so protective about Kami that he can't make up his mind whether to push her away or to reel her in. In real life, he's practically a Dodo bird. In the world of YA fiction, however, he's a dime a dozen.

The thing about Unspoken is that it focuses too much on the witticisms that it actually detracts the focus from the plot, however thin it already is. What ever serious business the gang tries to get into ultimately starts and ends up foiled because of all the talking and banter that they, of course, just had to have. The actual action was uninspired and hardly surprised me; if forces of evil can be reckoned with just by attacking them verbally, then I get the reason why the protagonist absolutely has to be so mouthy all the time.

With relief practically oozing from my forehead the second I spied the ending, it goes without saying that Unspoken is most definitely not for me.


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