Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Series: The Lynburn Legacy #1
Published: 11 September 2012
Simon & Schuster Children’s Books
Paperback, 373 pages
Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met… a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. Having an imaginary friend has made fitting in hard – but that’s never bothered Kami. She has her best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is just the way she likes it.
But all that changes when the mysterious Lynburn family return to Kami’s village, along with teenagers, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami…
As life as she knows it begins to unravel, Kami is determined to get to the bottom of every mystery. 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?
And can she trust him?
Based on reading experience alone, I would probably give Unspoken a lower rating but the theory of it just fascinated me too much. Telepathy? Mystery? A seemingly sleepy English town? What’s not to like about that? However, before getting on to the actual reviewing, I regrettably have a strong urge to drop a few comments on the cover of the UK paperback edition. I definitely feel the original hardcover cover was a hundred times more gorgeous but the true issue I had with it was that Jared’s scar was on the wrong side of his face. I’m not sure if that bugged anyone else but it was pretty annoying to me.
Alright, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, on to the genuine review!
Although I loved the concept of Unspoken, I unfortunately felt sleepy throughout the duration of reading it. I can’t exactly ascertain why that was so but the vibe and atmosphere I felt from the book was simply hazy and soporific. Or maybe that was just Angela, Kami’s best friend who was incredibly lazy and loved to nap, rubbing off on me?
Moving on to the characters, they were all so quirky! However, sometimes Kami and her friends seemed overly so, making their actions and personalities hard to understand. In quite a few of Kami, Angela & Holly’s conversations, I could only stare blankly in confusion because they sounded completely random. That, could also be due to the fact that I’m not frequently exposed to girls from tranquil English towns hence my lack of comprehension.
Despite that, I was utterly engrossed with the Lynburns, mostly because they all appeared to be hiding mountainous piles of ominous secrets. On my preference between Ash and Jared, I would pick Jared although I’m usually adversed to bad boys in books. It’s just that Jared, regardless of being volatile, was such a deep character. His loyalty to Kami was downright admirable and his concern for her so sweet when he usually acted blasé about everything else in life.
Honestly, I wished Kami treated Jared a little better because some of her choices regarding him were understandable yet selfish. I have yet to decide whether Kami’s tendency to hurt Jared with her decisions is a reasonable flaw because a perfect protagonist would just be unrealistic but it was heartbreaking to witness his pain. Basically, I’m feeling conflicted about a lot of things between Kami and Jared.
The plot of Unspoken was quite slow at first but gradually progressed towards the end. The mystery factor could have been upped as I barely felt any excitement during the investigations Kami organized and a pinch of more creepiness would not hurt either. With respect to the truth behind the Lynburns, I won’t reveal it but I’m definitely thankful they were not vampires nor werewolves. That would have ruined the whole book. Brennan successfully painted a detailed and vibrant history for the Lynburn family and their kind. I really loved the references she made to some well known historical myths!
In the end, Unspoken was a fairly interesting gothic novel though I don’t feel like I’ve fully connected to the story. Nevertheless, the insane ending definitely has me hooked for the next installment, Untold, and I’ve got to admit that whatever is going on between Kami and Jared, I desperately want to follow it to the very end.