unspoken

Thursday, October 4, 2012 |
I worry about stories like this.  I worry that they’ll fill up my heart and mind and ruin me for any other books ever.  Holly Black’s Curse Worker books felt this way – like an ache in your chest and a glitter explosion in your brain.  Intellectually I know it is not true, but it feels like Sarah Rees Brennan’s got my heart and soul tied up in knots.  I’m beginning to think she LIKES it.

unspoken by sarah rees brennan book cover
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.

Unspoken is about Kami.  And Jared.  Jared is Kami’s imaginary friend, and has been since she was a little girl.  Except he just became real.  And it turns out that he’s got a crazy family with issues.  Well that’s alright then, because Kami’s whole TOWN has issues, including but not limited to: sinister secrets, attempted murder, and, oh yeah, ritual animal killings in the woods behind Kami’s back garden. 

The story has all the makings of crazy, but it doesn’t go there (quite).  Instead, it’s wise-cracking, smart, emotional (oh lord, don’t get me started!), and has a gothic mystery at its heart that will take more than one book to unravel (see what i did there?  i warned you, like the good reading citizen that i am).  In the process, Kami, Jared and all of their friends and enemies have taken up residence within me.  You know, like good characters do. 

If I had to pick a ‘best part’ of the book, I’d point to the entire thing.  There’s Kami, who is determined to be a journalist and unafraid of looking silly.  Jared, who is in her head and may have dodgy motives.  Angela, Kami’s prickly best friend.  Ash, who is new and beautiful but confusing.  Rusty, Angela’s trusty brother.  Holly, a new friend.  The entire cast of characters in the village, PLUS Jared’s family and Kami’s family.  It should feel crowded, but instead it is just right.

Can I describe a book as painfully good and make you understand it in the best possible light?  Because Brennan has put me through something delicious and hilarious and dark, and I am not sure I’m ever going to be the same (also not sure i’m going to make it until the release date of Lynburn Legacy #2).  In fact, I am very sure that I’ll spend the next few weeks imagining what happens next, and urgently wishing for more of Sorry-in-the-Vale and magic and murders and epic soulmates.

Unspoken is marvelously entertaining, and I can’t recommend it enough.  It’ll definitely make an appearance on my ‘Best of 2012’ list.  Also a consideration: that lovely paper art cover.  It’ll look spiffy on your shelf.  Go get this book!

Recommended for: fans of fun, life and reading.  Maybe especially to those who like YA fantasy, but definitely not limited to them.   

Fine print: I received an e-ARC of this book for review (via NetGalley) from Random House, and I intend to buy an enormous box of Unspoken hardcovers for my friends for Christmas.  Friends: get excited.  Random House: you are genius for publishing this book.  The end.

13 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Wow. Awesome review. Sounds like I should check it out.

M.A.D. said...

Ah, fantastic review!!! You just made me about *drool* to get my hands on Unspoken ... it sounds SO freaking good! :D

Michelle said...

Ohh! I bought the book last week and have been saving it; but, no more! Your review demands that I read it - NOW!

Cass (Words on Paper) said...

Wow, high praise you're giving this book! This sounds amazing, and emotional (though I'll have to read it myself to confirm that).

Kimmy said...

Ok, I'm definitely excited to read this book now!!

Chinoiseries said...

Yes, the cover is indeed gorgeous and the story very promising :) A boy in her head? Who turns out to be real? How does that work? And a gothic mystery as well... I may have to pick up this book sometime!

Candace said...

Oh yes, this book was emotional! Especially that end! It about killed me. But I really thought this was a great creative story with fabulous characters!

Liviania said...

I compared how this one made me feel to Curse Workers too.

My feels! They are all over the place!

April (BooksandWine) said...

Maybe I will read this on Monday, you are so convincing.

Although, the very first thing I got out of this review was that I need to read The Curse Workers. :-)

Book Sake said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much. There were so many great characters in it!

- Jessica @ Book Sake

Ryan said...

Not sure I would have ever picked this book up if I hadn't read your review. Thanks!

Ginny Larsen said...

sounds cool. love your review! you have sold me on this one and given me high expectations (that i'm sure will be met :D)

Read. Write. Ramble. said...

This sounds absolutely amazing! I've been wanting to read this for awhile, but your review has convinced me that I must read it immediately.

Also, thank you for explaining the Curse Workers series to me. An ache in your chest and a glitter explosion in your brain? SPOT ON. I am so obsessed with that series.

-Rachel @ Read. Write. Ramble.

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