Saturday, September 15, 2012

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Book:  Unspoken
Author:  Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher:  Random House Books for Young Readers
Date:  September 11, 2012
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A+++

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?
(cover and description from


Initial reaction

Title and cover
I have so much love for this title and cover I’m not sure how to express it properly.  The cover is absolutely gorgeous and fits the tone of the book so well.  And it manages to avoid all the current clichés in covers.

What’s the story?
Be forewarned that this review may start to sound like a 14 year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert because I am about to go all fangirl. 

This book was absolutely amazing!!!!!!  I loved it!  From the very first chapter, I felt drawn into this world of mystery in this little English town.  And as the mystery unfurled, I was just pulled deeper and deeper into the story.  I was tearing through the pages.  I would look down and feel shocked that I had read 50 pages and I didn’t even realize it.

First of all, the voice of this book is just so funny and snarky.  I loved Kami!  She was a wonderful protagonist and her voice was so, so entertaining.  But I also loved Jared’s voice.  Jared was such a bad boy, yet he never felt clichéd.  And watching the interaction between Jared and Kami was thrilling.  Plus, the secondary characters were so fabulous.  Angela, Holly and Ash felt very three dimensional and they were each so interesting in their own right.  It was a very fun little gang of sleuths and I loved following their progress and trying to figure out who was right and who could be trusted.

The plot was like another wonderful English woman……….practically perfect in every way.  (Mary Poppins, if you’ve never seen it!)  It had just the right balance of fun, mystery, creepiness and angst.  I was never bored.  In fact, every time I had to put it down, I’m sure I gazed wistfully at my Nook, wishing that my pesky students and family would just go away for a day.  I know that if I had been able to, I would have read this book in a day, probably in one epic sitting.

I feel I should warn you about the giant, massive, killer cliff hanger at the end of the book.  If you don’t like cliff hangers, be forewarned that this is a big ol’ cliff hanger of epic proportions.  I’m pretty sure I sat there for 5 minutes with my mouth hanging open.  I’m fairly certain that I would trade my husband and children to be able to read the second book RIGHT NOW!!

I could go on and on for days about just how wonderful this book is, but I should probably stop here before I embarrass myself and resort to screaming and pulling my hair while crying because I am so overcome with emotion.  Just go read this book.  Like, yesterday, ok?

The Soundtrack

Every Breath You Take by The Police

I’m an 80’s girl, so this is the very first song that popped into my head when I started thinking about a soundtrack for this book.  ::shrugs::  You can take the girl out of the 80s, but you can’t take the 80’s out of the girl!

Where the Story Ends by The Fray

Wicked Game by Chris Isaak

I imagine that this is how Jared might feel.

Here are a few that I really like from Sarah’s own soundtrack.  At the bottom, I’ve included a link to her whole playlist.

Your Love is a Song by Switchfoot

Be My Only by FM Radio

Family Tree by Matthew West

If My Heart Was a House by Owl City

Black Dove by Tori Amos

Whole playlist from SRB

And here is the link to her LiveJournal where she explains the playlist.

And this soundtrack has gotten completely out of hand.  Sorry about that!

The final grade
My grade for this one is A++++!!!  I cannot give this book enough extra credit!  The title may be Unspoken, but everyone needs to be talking about this book.  I have stacks of books waiting for me to read, but I’m seriously considering sitting down and re-reading this one.  I can’t get this world out of my head, and honestly, I really don’t want to!  Go buy this book as fast as you possibly can!

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