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Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
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Sep 10, 12

bookshelves: arc-or-galley, fantasy-or-paranormal, fantasy-or-pn-favourites, romance, paranormal, mystery, 2012-favourites
Read from September 04 to 05, 2012

What Brennan has accomplished here is what I wish I could find more of in young adult books - the dark atmosphere, the brilliantly intertwined humour, the wonderful set of atypical characters. Much of Unspoken is original and engaging, with very little standing in the way of it being a perfect book. It should be said, however, that Brennan’s particular style most likely isn’t going to appeal to all, but those, like me, who do fall in love with it, are in for one spellbinding ride. If you can appreciate the crafty wit embedded in the writing, the laugh-out-loud dialogue, as well as the deeply sinister plot, then this book will be sure to linger in your thoughts long after the final page.

Kami Glass, the main character, is the personified version of an eccentric cake. (And who doesn’t love cake?) Her quirky personality is subtle enough to not distract the reader away, but emphasised enough to make her a little different from most protagonists. More than anything, she is adorable. Her steady determination to excel as Sorry-in-the-Vale’s budding new journalist (albeit an unprofessional one) is to be admired, as is her independence and notable presence as a strong female lead. Beneath that, we have a layer of vulnerability that makes her all the more endearing. She is a special character – the sort I almost wish I could will to life.

Sharing a mental connection with Kami is Jared, the youngest of Sorry-in the-Vale’s founding family, the Lynburns. He is the source of comfort that Kami has relied on her whole life, the steady reassuring voice accompanying her own thoughts. Once the two realise – during a very entertaining elevator ride – that the other is more than just a figment of their own imagination, a strained and awkward relationship forms between them. Buried at the heart of that is a believable and touching bond developed over years of conversation and loyalty. Getting that particular aspect to rise to the surface is a slow process, even a little torturous at times. However, each glimpse of the unmistakable warmth they have for each other is a rewarding one. This, for me, was romantic enough. Less is more, they say.

The plot, much of it focused on the mystery of the Lynburns and whether or not their return is linked to the ripple of disturbance moving through the small English town, is appropriately dark and surprisingly unpredictable. Perhaps I overlooked all hints pointing towards the culprit, or perhaps Brennan is just that talented, but no matter of how hard I tried to predict the direction this book would take, I couldn’t. While I must admit that the characters and their interactions is what made this story for me, I do have a great deal of appreciation for the overall plot line. What I’m not so keen on is the mother of all cliffhangers that this book closes on. It’s cruel, so very cruel...

The sequel is, without a doubt, one that I will absolutely have to read. Brennan’s intelligent humour is the main reason, and her beautifully crafted characters, the second. Awful cliffhanger or not, I look forward to meeting them again.

(This review also appears on my blog)
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Quotes Sam Liked

Sarah Rees Brennan
“Angela spared a glare for Kami, and then resumed her marathon glaring session at Jared. 'It's too weird. I'm going to call you Carl.'
Jared scowled. 'I don't want you to call me Carl.'
'That's interesting, Carl,' said Angela, cheering up.”
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

Sarah Rees Brennan
“Hark," he said, his tone very dry. "What stone through yonder window breaks?”
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

Sarah Rees Brennan
What's going on with you? Jared asked out of the blue.
Beginning a new era of journalistic history, Kami told him, sending her cheer through their connection. Also, to be perfectly honest, Angela and I were slapping our asses.
As one does.
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

Sarah Rees Brennan
“You’re crazy,” said her best friend, Angela, as the bell rang to signal five minutes before the first class on the first day back at school.
“They said that about all the great visionaries.”
“You know who else they said it about?” Angela demanded. “All the actual crazy people.”
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

Sarah Rees Brennan
“If I wasn't going to be a world-famous journalist and if I didn't have such respect for truth and justice, I could be an amazing master criminal.”
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

Sarah Rees Brennan
“Put the jerk in the south wing, you won't see him for weeks at a time. Or lock him in the attic. The law will not be on your side, but literary precedent will.”
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

Sarah Rees Brennan
“What the hell is going on?" demanded Kami's dad, advancing with his black eyes snapping. Jared blurted, "My intentions are honourable."
Kami sat up straight in her bed and stared in Jared's direction. "Are you completely crazy?" she wanted to know. "This isn't the eighteenth century. How do you think that's going to help?"
"Well, I mean," Jared said, back against the wall like a cornered animal. "When we're older. I mean-"
"Please shut up," Kami begged.
"I agree with Kami," said Dad. "When you're in an abyss-like hole, quit digging.”
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

Sarah Rees Brennan
“Kami said, "I want you to go in there and vamp that receptionist."

"What?" Ash said blankly.

"You know," Kami said. "Dazzle her with your charms. Rock her world. Go on."

[...] "What," Ash said, "all of us?"

"Do you want to stand around trying to guess if she likes pretty boys or rough trade?" Jared asked, gesturing lazily from Ash to himself.

"Excuse me, what did you just call yourself?" Ash demanded. "No, wait a second, I don't care. What did you just call me?”
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

Sarah Rees Brennan
“Listen to me. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what any of this means. But I know this much. It doesn’t matter. You’re not one of them. You never were. You’re not theirs. You’re mine.”
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

Sarah Rees Brennan
“One of the lambs fixed its attention on Jared. “Baa,” it flirted.
“Boo,” said Jared.
“Oh my God, Jared. Don’t tough-talk the lambs.”
"It was giving me a funny look.”
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

Sarah Rees Brennan
“Your soul is like the souls of a thousand monkeys on crack, all smushed together.”
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

Sarah Rees Brennan
“His desperation and misery swept her up like a storm capturing the sea. She turned her mind to even these feelings, because they were his, like his terrified rage in the lift when they had first met, being wrapped in his arms in the cold well, being dazzled by his wonder at the woods and her home and her. Like being a child, awareness of him the morning chorus that woke her and the lullaby that sent her to sleep, his thoughts always her first and last song.
I love you, Kami told him, and cut.”
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

Sarah Rees Brennan
“Kami'd always retold her fairy tales to make the fair maidens braver and more self-sufficient, but she had never had any real objection to the handsome prince.”
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

Sarah Rees Brennan
“Boys. Listen up. We are going out for a girls’ night, where there will be dancing.”
Kami did an illustrative shimmy. Angela looked resigned.
Jared looked amused. “What was that?”
“You’ve got to dance like nobody’s watching, Jared,” Kami informed him.
“Have you considered that perhaps nobody’s watching because they’re too embarrassed for you?”
“Fine,” said Kami, grinning at him. “Be a hater of dances. Be a hater of joy. I don’t care. You’re not invited!”
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken
tags: kami

Sarah Rees Brennan
“Hark,” he said, his tone very dry. “What stone through yonder window breaks?”
Kami yelled up at him, “It is the east, and Juliet is a jerk!”
Jared abandoned Shakespeare and demanded, “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Throwing a pebble,” said Kami defensively. “Uh… and I’ll pay for the window.”
Jared vanished and Kami was ready to start shouting again, when he reemerged with the pebble clenched in his fist. “This isn’t a pebble! This is a rock.”
“It’s possible that your behaviour has inspired some negative feelings that caused me to pick a slightly overlarge pebble,” Kami admitted.”
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

Sarah Rees Brennan
“A leather jacket,” Kami said as he shrugged into it. “Aren’t you trying a little too hard to play into certain bad boy clichés?”
“Nah”, said Jared. “You’re thinking of black leather. Black leather’s for bad boys. It’s all in the color. You wouldn’t think I was a bad boy if I was wearing a pink leather jacket.”
“That’s true,” Kami said. “What I would think of you, I do not know. So what does brown leather mean, then?”
“I’m going for manly,” Jared said. “Maybe a little rugged.”
“It’s bits of dead cow; don’t ask it to perform miracles.”
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

Sarah Rees Brennan
“Nothing else ever mattered to me, and you weren’t even real. All I ever wanted was you.”
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken


Reading Progress

09/04/2012 page 86
23.0% "The humour in this book is perfect. Intelligent and witty, just how I like it." 2 comments
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Comments (showing 1-34 of 34) (34 new)

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message 1: by Henrietta (new)

Henrietta This sounds refreshing and different. If it's surprisingly unpredictable, I'm in :)

Great review, Sam!


message 2: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Thanks, Henrietta! I really enjoyed it and hope you will give it a shot. :)


message 3: by Kristy (new) - added it

Kristy Great Review! I am intrigued!!!! :)


message 4: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Thanks, Kristy! :)


Suzanne I'm really glad you enjoyed this one Sam. I'm going to be reading it next and the few review's that I've read have been anything but glowing. Hopefully like you, I'll be able to appreciate Sarah's writing style and enjoy this one as much as you did. Great review


message 6: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam I've noticed that people have either loved this or they haven't. I hope you will fall into the first category! I'm looking forward to seeing what you think. :)


*Lynn* Great review! I can't wait to read the book. =]


message 8: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Thanks, Lynn! I hope you will enjoy it. :)


Bookworm Great review! I hope I get to read this book soon.


message 10: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Thanks! I hope so too! It's a fun read. :)


message 11: by Jasprit (new) - added it

Jasprit If you can appreciate the crafty wit embedded in the writing, the laugh-out-loud dialogue, as well as the deeply sinister plot I so need a book like this now, me being the dufus I am completely overlooked this when I first about it, but now I can't wait to pick it up. I also love how this book keeps you on your toes, those books end up being the best! I hope you don't have to wait too long for the next book! A wonderful review! :)


♥Rachel♥ I'm reading this next, so I'm so excited to see you enjoyed this one, Sam! I've seen a few bad reviews so I was sort of dreading this one but now I have hope again. Not looking forward to the cliffhanger though. :/


message 13: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Jasprit wrote: "If you can appreciate the crafty wit embedded in the writing, the laugh-out-loud dialogue, as well as the deeply sinister plot I so need a book like this now, me being the dufus I am completely ove..."

I wasn't overly interested in this book when I first read about it either, but then some great reviews started coming in and I had a change of heart. Thanks Jasprit! I hope the wait isn't too long either. ;)


message 14: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam ♥Rachel♥ wrote: "I'm reading this next, so I'm so excited to see you enjoyed this one, Sam! I've seen a few bad reviews so I was sort of dreading this one but now I have hope again. Not looking forward to the cliff..."

I've seen a few of those reviews too so I was worried myself, but it turned out well. I hope you enjoy it Rachel! I think if you can get into the writing, it'll be okay. :)


message 15: by K. (new) - rated it 5 stars

K. Great review, Sam! You really captured the things I loved most about it. Wonderful writing :)


MåїÐ»-(¯`v´¯)-» LOVE THE SOUND OF THIS! :D I love books that have mystery, humour and romance and that thrill factor! Amazing Review Sam! :D


message 17: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam K. wrote: "Great review, Sam! You really captured the things I loved most about it. Wonderful writing :)"

Thanks K! I'm glad to see you liked this too. :) I'll keep an eye out for your review!


message 18: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam MåїÐ»-(¯`v´¯)-» wrote: "LOVE THE SOUND OF THIS! :D I love books that have mystery, humour and romance and that thrill factor! Amazing Review Sam! :D"

I think you'd really enjoy it, Maida! I hope you give it a go. And thanks! :)


message 19: by Eunice (new) - added it

Eunice I keep hearing so many good things about this book. I'm very curious to see how and when Jared and Kmai realized that they aren't just form their imaginations. So glad you enjoyed this, Sam. Fantastic review! :)


message 20: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam That part happens quite quickly actually, but I was glad that it did. It's definitely interesting to see how they reacted! :) Thanks Eunice.


Donna {Book Passion for Life} I think I might be the only one who didn't enjoy this. I found it pretty boring! =(


message 22: by Sam (last edited Sep 13, 2012 06:04AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam I know a couple of others who didn't like this either, and I'm sure there will be more! Brennan has the sort of style that works for some people but not others. It worked for me! :) I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it too. x


message 23: by Laura (new)

Laura Hi Sam! Wonderful review! You used a few of my favorite words--sinister & culprit to name a couple. Lovely words! Love it! :)

“the mother of all cliffhangers that this book closes on. It’s cruel, so very cruel..” haha…Cliffhangers! Kill me! :)
I might give this one a go though—even with the cliffhanger! :) Thanks, Sam!


♥Rachel♥ Sam wrote: "That part happens quite quickly actually, but I was glad that it did. It's definitely interesting to see how they reacted! :) Thanks Eunice."

I was wondering about that as well, because right now it seems like there's something between her and the other Lynburn, photographer, can't remember his name offhand.


message 25: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Laura, thank you! And why am I not surprised that those words are some of your favourites. ;) Cliffhangers are awful things for sure! I still think this book is a great read despite that. :)

Rachel, I think his name was Ash? There was a very brief and faint hint of a love triangle, but nothing significant. :)


♥Rachel♥ Oh good! Relief. :)


message 27: by Monika (new)

Monika I love all the characters in this book. They are well written. But the end .. I'm not too happy. Brilliant review, Sam. :)


message 28: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam I don't think anyone is happy with that cliffhanger! I loved the characters in this too, especially Kami.

Thanks Monika! :)


message 29: by Claire (new) - added it

Claire This sounds really good! :) Great review, Sam


message 30: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Thanks Claire! It IS good, in my opinion. ;)


Kierra I'm planning on reading this book after I finish Eona. It sounds REALLY good! I have a feeling I will rate it a 5 stars...


message 32: by Sam (last edited Sep 20, 2012 04:23AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Yay! I can't wait to see what you think of it. Hopefully it will work for you too.

I've heard amazing things about Allison Goodman's books! I need to make a start on Eon soon. :)


Suzanne That ending! You are spot on with that. It left me feeling devastated. Talk about a whopping cliff hanger!


message 34: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam It was pretty cruel, wasn't it?


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