By: Sarah Rees Brennan
Review by: Kylie Comfoltey
Synopsis (via Random House):
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.
I've just finished reading Unspoken a second (yes, second!) time and I'm still in love.
Brennan's sassy Gothic is equal parts mystery, romance, and humor, with a healthy dose of magic mixed in. Oh, the humor! Set in a quaint English village called Sorry-in-the-Vale, I couldn't help but crave that quick English humor (or should I say humour?) and Brennan delivered. This book is bursting with clever banter and wit. I laughed out loud almost every time I picked it up!
I don't often have a favorite chapter in a book, but oh, how I love chapter 23! It is hilarious and intriguing and it's where you really get into the guts of the story. And lets talk about the cover (US edition, above): LOVE the cover!
Brennan's heroin is the lovely girl reporter Kami Glass, who happens to be hilarious. She is fun, easily excitable, and a self-proclaimed weirdo (she does have a boy's voice in her head, after all). She is also very driven and tries to logically think herself through whatever situation she finds herself in. She is smart and witty and resourceful. Kami has made my short list of favorite female protagonists. Also, I want her wardrobe. The girl can dress!
I was so happy to find that family plays a consequential role in Unspoken. Brennan explores the families of all the key players in the story and how those familial relationships/circumstances have shaped each individual. This added much to the verisimilitude of the story and gave the characters substance and depth they would have otherwise lacked.
There are dark aspects to the story. There are deaths and weird wrought iron fences with depictions of drowning ladies. There are storms that appear suddenly on sunny autumn days, and lets not forget the abundance of creepy, pleading hands. But with Kami's quirky humor and ever-positive attitude, it's not what you might expect from a Gothic novel. It is both heavy and bright, dark and humorous. Great balance.
The romance in Unspoken is, well, would someone just slap Jared already? I'm not going to go into it right now. I know I'll say something I'll regret tomorrow.
Reader Beware: I did not laugh at the end of this book. Prepare. You will hate the ending and you will love the book, and then you will stare at a wall for a while trying to decide if you should punch someone or flip back to page one and start again. You will be tormented, but you will not be sorry (-in-the-Vale, haha). You will blame me for telling you to read it. I feel fine about that. READ IT!
Unspoken is the first book in the The Lynburn Legacy series. The next installment, Untold, can't come swiftly enough. I will be waiting in the wings to get my hands on a copy. Five glowing stars to Unspoken!
Drugs/Alcohol: Mild. Mentioned, but no drunk/high teens.
Violence: Fairly mild.
BONUS! Read the first three chapters HERE!
DOUBLE BONUS! Download the free Lynburn Legacy short story The Summer Before I Met You HERE!
Note: Since I first read Unspoken this spring, I have been a loyal Twitter follower of Sarah Rees Brennan. She is consistently hilarious and often shares little nuggets of Lynburn Legacy fun. I've recently learned that she is an apple scrumper, so please lock your orchards. Her Twitter page is linked below, if you want a good laugh.