Jul 08, 12
Read from July 06 to 08, 2012
Sarah Rees Brennan might be my new favorite author! I was swept away by this story of a girl and a boy who are linked to each other. They can read each other's minds and have been able to since they were babies. Kami Glass is a life-long resident of Sorry-in-the-Vale but being part Japanese feels like she can take the outsiders point of view. She also has ambitions to be a journalist and is determined to find out the secrets of the town. She knows that some of the secrets revolve around the Lynburn family and their ancient home that overlooks the town.
Kami has never been alone. She can depend on Jared to be a constant presence in her mind giving her comfort and support. However, stopping and staring into space while communicating with someone no one else can see has made Kami a bit of an outcast in her town. She lost the friendship of Nicola Pendergast because she was just too weird. Now her best friend is Angela - beautiful, lazy, and a hater of humanity.
When the Lynburns return to town in the persons of twin sisters Rosalind and Lillian, Lillian's husband Rob, Rob and Lillian's son Ash, and Rosalind's son Jared, Kami has even more secrets to uncover and explore. The two boys come to school and both get involved with Kami. Ash is like a fairy tale prince, all blond and beautiful, and interested in Kami. Jared is her Jared, the one she has shared brain space with all her life, but he seems to both need her and want to maintain distance from her.
The story heats up when someone throws Kami into a well, though she is rescued by Jared, and then starts killing. First the deaths are animals but they soon escalate until Nicola is killed. Kami has to find out what is going on. She quickly discovers secrets long buried. She lives in a town of sorcerers. The strongest of them all are the Lynburns but there are others who have magic in their blood too.
The most amazing part of this story - besides the wonderful dialogue and images - is the nature of the bond between Jared and Kami. Kami is so conflicted about it. She loves the comfort of the mental connection but doesn't know what to do now that Jared is real to her. She loves him but wants her own mental privacy. She doesn't know how much her caring is because he is in her mind and how much of her caring is real.
I loved Jared too. He is such a lonely person, hated by both his parents, that I can understand why he would not want to sever the bond with Kami. After all, she is the only one who loves him and accepts him as he is. He can't imagine life without her support.
The story has wonderful, well-developed side characters as well. Angela and her brother Rusty are great friends. Kami's father is a character - in all senses of the word. Her mother is supportive but has been keeping secrets Kami's whole life. And the Lynburns... Lillian is arrogant and aristocratic, Rosalind is eerie and obsessed, Rob is down to earth and seems to care for Jared along with his own son. Ash is handsome and seems to want to have a relationship with Kami.
This was a great story. I can't wait to get a finished copy and share it with my students.