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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?

370 pages, Hardcover

First published September 11, 2012

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About the author

Sarah Rees Brennan

65 books5,040 followers
Sarah Rees Brennan is Irish and currently lives in Dublin. She's been writing YA books for more than ten years, which is terrifying to contemplate! She hopes you (yes you!) find at least one of them to be the kind of book you remember.

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5 stars
9,905 (31%)
4 stars
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3 stars
6,890 (21%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,694 reviews
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16k followers
September 3, 2012
I have a scale for YA books I read, since I’ve read so many. It looks some­thing like this.

-I hope this book dies. Right now. And takes a 100km radius with it just to be sure.

-Ter­ri­ble book

-Not my thing

-Meh

-Yeah that was okay

-Hmmm. Inter­est­ing

-I was pleas­antly surprised

-Yeah I liked that

-That was a great book

-Wow I loved that book!

-FIZZJERBLEDEEGOOK! That was Freak­ing AMAZEBALLS!

-I will read that book again

Allow me to lay down some per­spec­tive. At this moment I have no fewer than sixty-three ARCs sit­ting around wait­ing to be read. I have specif­i­cally enough time to scratch my head in bemuse­ment between read­ing one book, review­ing it, con­tact­ing the appro­pri­ate peo­ple and pick­ing up the next one. I do not have time to reread books. So whilst there are plenty of books that I greatly enjoy and even love, the pool for the num­ber of books I reread is cur­rently at five. Five. This book makes five books I reread.

It is not that it’s a per­fect book – but that it is per­fect for me. I loved every­thing about it. Brennan’s writ­ing style, humour, wit and dia­logue shines in every­thing she writes. This book is filled with atmos­phere, mood and the per­fect level of creepy. It’s char­ac­ters shine through as it’s strongest advan­tage. Each inde­pen­dently strong and lov­able, Bren­nan pulls out all the stops in cre­at­ing a Scooby Gang of epic proportions.

Eas­ily the biggest sell­ing point is Kami and Jared. But mostly Kami. Kami was rock­ing so hard that I had resid­ual whiplash. Strong, smart, brave – a theme with almost all the women in the novel. She was quirky enough to be cute, inde­pen­dent enough to be admirable, vul­ner­a­ble enough to be loved – strong enough to lead this novel and stand on her own. Jared with his flawed com­plex­ity and bad boy char­ac­ter­is­tics was lov­able and pitiable. I know I have a soft spot for bad boys, but it’s hard not to root for him and hurt for him through­out the novel.

The pac­ing and plot were pretty much spot on per­fect, never get­ting bor­ing or eas­ing up on the good times which bal­anced with the action and suspense.

I think this book earned each and every one of those five stars. It earned them hard and I need the next one NOW.

**Original Prereview below**

So I opened the book and by page five I was like:



And we met Kami and Angela and Ash and Jared and Holy and I was like:

Give me MOAR

Then I saw that there was a love triangle and for a minute I was like:

No

But not even two pages later I was just like:

I'm convinced

Then the mystery revved up and I was like:

hells yeah

And then the intrigue and danger and relationships started to evolve and I was like:

Can't stop

And every time Kami said something hilarious I was like:

So much love

So basically how I feel about this book is that if I had a choice between reading the sequel and a threesome with:

Magic Mike

Then I would probably choose Unspoken #2. Yes. I said it.

And how I feel about the fact that the next one is so far away:

I can't go on




This is just a temporary review. Keep an eye out for my proper review in August.

*Image Sources:
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Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
December 4, 2013

Dearest Unspoken,

I must regrettably inform you that we must do the unthinkable and separate. I really don't know where we went wrong, you and I. After my co-blogger, Kat, set us up on that blind date, urging me to give you a go, I thought for sure we would hit it off nicely.  And for a minute we did. Don't you remember? It was love at first sight as I set my eyes on your gorgeous cover and unique premise. But somehow, along the way, something went wrong.

Unspoken, you were true. You had a solid plot and you were different from any of the others I've read before you. But it was clear from the beginning that our cultural differences would be our undoing. With you being so very English and me being a confused American, I just couldn't keep up with your complexity. But darling, to be fair, you weren't easy on me. If only your scene transitions were a little more smoother, perhaps I could have understood how much time had passed or when the character PoV had changed. Or perhaps if only the characters didn't suffer from "just go with it" syndrome, ignoring and dismissing instances where they had the opportunity to learn more about the mystery just for the sake of prolonging the story. Unspoken, let's be honest with one another. That mystery could have been solved halfway through the story if only the characters weren't so wrapped up in concealing their feelings. Honey-bunches, it annoyed me.

Speaking of your characters, darling, they were entirely likable. But that's also the problem because that's all they will ever be for me, just likable. Not once did I feel connected to them in any way and countless times I paused to consider the possibilities of why. Kami is a smart, witty, no-nonsense girl. Just my type, if you can believe it. But her constant detachment from Jared proved to be more of an annoyance than anything else. The more and more she pulled away from him, the more I felt I lost any type connection. Don't get me wrong, Unspoken. I really did enjoy the fact that they could read each other's minds since they were babies. I just don't understand why Jared never could bear to touch Kami. Why did Kami want to rid herself of Jared after she mentions how much she values their special relationship. Because she was afraid of being hurt? So this one hurdle somehow cancels out the relationship they had developed since they were children? I'm sorry, but that logical pathway confuses me.

Even still, through our rough times, you somehow managed to occasionally make me laugh. The dialogue and humor were perfection and timely placed. Unfortunately, not even your wit could save us. I probably should have mentioned all this before. Looking back, I had seen the ghosts of these feelings at the halfway mark and I struggled to stay in our relationship. I now realize that I shouldn't have let other's incessant peer pressure get to me. You see, they told me to just hang in there, that it was all worth it in the end. But by the time you have reached your climax and ending, I remained indifferent. To put it lightly, dearest, your ending is illogical to me. You're telling me a group of people couldn't disarm and defeat one enemy? Even with their special abilities combined? And in turn, it took that group of people forever to get to Kami? And dammit I wish I could go into further detail about that, but I know how you feel about kissing and telling.

No, no. I know what you're doing right now and you shouldn't even think it. Unspoken, you were fabulous in so many ways. It was like you were telling this hilarious joke and I was standing there waiting for the punchline, only to realize everyone else is already laughing. Which is why I must close this break-up letter with the most clichéd expression ever:



With all my love,

Stephanie Sinclair

P.S. I know that Kat Kennedy will attempt to chivalrously defend your honor tooth and nail in a review war. Please, pass on a message for me: Bring it. :P

ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for Vinaya.
185 reviews2,075 followers
April 27, 2012
This book, oh my god, th-th-thi...

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WARNING: You may need a lifeboat to stay adrift in the oceans of adoration below!

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There are simply no words to describe the mountain of awesome that is Sarah Rees Brennan. This is my very first Brennan book, and I feel like the universe has cheated me by not introducing me to her earlier. Some day, technology permitting, I would LOVE to splice together DNA from Sarah and my other favorite funnywoman (funnyman?) Rachel Hartman to create my very own personal funny clone, and then I would just sit around and laugh hysterically all day.

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Don't be scared... I'm only a little crazy!


Unspoken is unlike any other YA book I have ever read. I'm not going to say it is TEH BEST BOOK EVAH (even though I want to!), but it is, without doubt, incredibly unique in the YA sphere. It manages to mix together all the elements I find most appealing (and conversely are the least predominant) in YA fiction today.

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The conclusion is clear: WE NEED MORE ANIMALS IN YA!

But that minor defect aside, Unspoken will rock you like a 19th century hurricane. Also, don't drink Coke while reading this book - snorting with laughter while consuming carbonated beverages can be most unpleasant.

On a more serious note, I sincerely believe Sarah Rees Brennan is magic.

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If you're thinking I have too much time on my hands... you'd be right!

In the unlikely event that my pretty pictures didn't convince you to go out and arm-wrestle a grizzly in order to obtain an ARC of this book, here are some words that will definitely do the trick!

Angela had a perfect body. She had a perfect face too, but at least she put some effort into that, her makeup always flawless and her abilities with eyeliner unnatural. Kami focused more on clothes than makeup. She was always forgetting to put on lip gloss as she rushed out the door, but she felt the likelihood of forgetting her clothes was not high.

“So he’s not crazy?”
“I didn’t say that,” Holly said. “My current verdict would be: Crazy eyes. Nice ass.”
“I think I want that on my tombstone,” Kami said. “Remember my last wishes, if I get involved in a tragic accident with a fruit cart before I can put it in writing."


“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.”


“Technically speaking, you drive like a rabid chicken who has hijacked a tractor.”
“Like a bat out of hell,” Jared said. “Nice simile. Sounds sort of dangerous and cool. Consider it.”
“Not a chance. I like my brains the way they are, not lightly scrambled and scattered across a road. And speaking of bad boy clichés, really, a motorcycle?”
“Again I say: rugged,” Jared told her. “Manly.”
“I often see Holly on hers,” Kami said solemnly. “When she stops for traffic, sometimes she puts on some manly lip gloss.


“Please just stay clear of him,” she said, and Kami realized Jared was the Lynburn her mother was most afraid of.
“Whoever he is, I agree with your mother,” said Dad as he entered the kitchen. “Stay away from him. Stay away from them all until you’re of marrying age. Once you reach a nice, mature fifty- four, gentlemen callers will be welcomed here.”


“Is this true, Kami? Are you going out on a date?” Dad asked tragically. “Wearing that? Wouldn’t you fancy a shapeless cardigan instead? You rock a shapeless cardigan, honey.”

(All quotes are from the ARC and will be verified against a retail copy)

Also, I promise to write a proper grown up review that will make Random House want to auto-approve me, a little closer to publication. In the meantime, if can beg, borrow or steal an ARC of this, trust me just this once and DO IT!
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 65 books5,040 followers
March 9, 2013
It's my baby, so nobody should listen to what I think! I'm just like, oh, it should go to Cambridge and it has the prettiest hair!
Profile Image for Simona B.
885 reviews2,952 followers
March 1, 2016
"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."

description

description

•Writing: bad. Like really bad.

•Plot: what plot?

•Characters: what characters? You mean there were actual people in here? Shocking.

description

There is really nothing more to say.
Profile Image for Heidi.
756 reviews176 followers
September 24, 2012
Okay, so it’s been a few days and I think my rage face has worn off a bit and I can talk to you all about all of the things I absolutely loved about Sarah Rees Brennan’s Unspoken without being completely bias against the whole thing because of the ending*. So, here it goes, review time!

Forest deep, silent bells
There’s a secret no one tells
Valley quiet, water still
Lynburns watching on the hill
Apples red, corn gold
Almost everyone grows old.


Intrepid young journalist Kami Glass knows there are secrets in her quiet small town of Sorry-in-the Vale, she knows the Lynburns are at the heart of it, and she knows no one wants to talk. When the Lynburns return after a generation away, Kami sees her chance to get to the bottom of things. If only having the Lynburns so near didn’t mean losing hold of her own secret and realizing that her imaginary friend wasn’t so imaginary after all.

I’ll be honest, it’s been a good long while since I read a strait up YA book that really grabbed me. I’ve been sticking largely to adult or middle grade fiction lately, or YA that plays the crossover game as I was simply done with those aspects that much of YA had to offer. And then, I picked up Unspoken.

-Girl who never quite fit in with all the other kids. Check.
-Mysterious new boy(s) in town who are interested in her. Check.
-Love triangle of sorts. Check.
-Angst. Check.
-Series. Check.

That’s right, there’s this whole list of things that I hate about YA novels, and they’re in Unspoken, but I didn’t care. The sheer awesomeness that was this story, the wonderful characters that defied YA stereotypes, the complete grip it held me in made Unspoken just the YA book to remind me that they’re not all the same.

In Unspoken, author Sarah Rees Brennan has achieved that rare balance between character and story, where all aspects are so well entwined that it becomes impossible to imagine one without the other. I was enraptured by the story, and completely invested in the characters to the point that I could not sleep while reading this book because I could not stop thinking about it. Days later, I still can’t stop thinking about it.

So let’s talk about the things that make Unspoken so unique and wonderful, despite that little bulleted list above.

1) No absent parent syndrome. Kami isn’t just a teen, she’s a daughter and a sister, and that is quite evident in the story. Her relationships with both her parents, her two younger brothers, and her deceased grandmother help us to understand who she is as a person and to appreciate the disparity between the childhoods she and Jared have had. Her family isn’t just mentioned at the beginning and then never heard from again, they’re there. They worry about Kami, they care for Kami. They like to know where she is and who she’s with, and they really don’t approve of her hanging out with “those Lynburn boys”.

2) Her girlfriends don’t disappear when the boys show up. Usually when we have these stories of the quirky girls that are always on the outside (in Kami’s case, everyone thinks she’s more than a bit nuts for those times when she’s lost in her head talking to her imaginary friend, Jared), they’re either devoid of friends, or what friends they had disappear from the text as soon as romantic possibilities come into play. Kami actively works against this, in fact, she makes a new friend in Holly at the prompting of Jared, and is very grateful for it in the end. I loved the female relationships in this book, not just because they were there, but because they exhibited good healthy girlfriends who were there for one another in good times and bad, didn’t judge (except when they were trying to be helpful), and listened when they needed to.

3) Not only all of that, but Kami’s friends Holly and Angela are the two hottest chicks in school. They’re those girls who we stereotype as ‘those popular bitches’ because all of the boys want them, and they know it, and yet Holly and Angela are completely sweet (okay Angela’s a bit grumpy, but as someone who also hates people and adores napping, I love her), genuine, and totally break that ‘mean girl’ mold. Turns out it doesn’t matter if you drive a bike, wear sparkles and heels, cutesy dresses, or scowls–as long as you’re awesome, you’re a winning girl in my book.

4) Unspoken features and embraces multiculturalism and looks at prejudice in unusual ways. Kami is 1/4 Japanese, and her relationship with her Japanese grandmother was very important to her. The prejudices we see in Sorry-in-the-Vale stem largely from a xenophobia of those who are considered “outsiders”, which is potentially anyone whose family hasn’t lived in the vale for hundreds of years. Other specific brushes with differences and prejudice appear throughout the story, and I love that they were present and excellently handled.

5) The love triangle in Unspoken isn’t really laid out as one would predict. In fact, it’s one I hesitate to call a love triangle at all as I’m not sure there’s any genuine romance anywhere in these pages (which I love). Kami and Jared’s relationship is one of the most complicated and unpredictable I have seen in YA, and I was completely fascinated by it. It’s a relationship that’s more intimate than romance, and that makes it too much for love:

Saying he was part of her or that they were more than friends sounded like love, but it seemed like a loss as well. All the words she knew to describe what he was to her were from love stories and love songs, but those were not words anyone truly meant. They were like Jared, in a way. If they were real, they would be terrifying.

Kami and Jared have been in one another’s heads since they were born. They share everything, every feeling, every event, all of those things someone might only share with a diary–because someone that doesn’t exist is the safest person of all. When Jared and Kami meet, they go through a confused barrage of emotions that seems at a glance must be wonderful, but upon further inspection is horrifying. They cannot trust their own emotions, because they don’t know how much they are projecting on one another. To realize that someone knows you so completely that you are almost dependent upon one another for every breath means that you must always mean everything to one another, and that risking the rejection that could come if romantic thoughts were ever in play becomes too great.

To Jared, the link between himself and Kami was some sort of gift that he received undeserved, a gift that redeemed the rest of his life. His lack of confidence in himself and her relationship to him is to the point of manic, and Kami feels the constant weight of holding Jared together. To Kami, the link means she can never be alone, can never trust herself to reveal to Jared how she feels, and can never really even be sure if her feelings are real. It’s unhealthy, but my girl Kami is level headed enough to see this even through the cloud of Jared’s dependence and adoration, and I love her for her braveness.

The struggle of a relationship that is both symbiotic and parasitic makes Unspoken shine, and places an unexpected amount of emotional depth under a story that is exciting, harrowing, and fun. For everyone who loves those Gothic stories with mansions, evil, and a distinct lack of safety in sleepy small towns, Unspoken delivers.

*I actually want to clarify my annoyance with this ending. I dislike when major plot lines are left open, which I feel like they were here as far as the action went, BUT I did actually like the relationship developments toward the end of the story. I feel they were necessary, but I’m so angry at certain characters’ words and actions I could spit.

Original review posted at Bunbury in the Stacks.
Profile Image for Steph.
263 reviews264 followers
April 14, 2015
Edit: 11/2/12 So after reading this snippet from the sequel I will definitely not (though I doubt I would have anyway) be raising this rating to two stars. You know what I imagine closes out that scene? These are the days of our lives... Is this a soap opera or a book, guys? Guess the relationship melodrama keeps on keeping on in book two.

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Unspoken really isn't as bad as some of the other one star YA books I've read this year - The Body Finder and Shadow and Bone spring to mind. There really are some redeeming moments in it, and if it hadn't been for that last chapter, I might have rated it just a little higher. Perhaps those moments of redemption are what made this book's betrayal even worse. This was a story we've heard many times before - trying to pretend it was the opposite of that thing - instead of just being honest about what it was.

Kami Glass (Malese Jow in my mind) is quick to let us know that she's not like those girls. She starts the book by disliking another girl for no apparent reason other than her popularity (Holly will be played by Candice Accola) and is called out on her internalized misogyny by the love interest in the book. That, along with the cheeky humor, had me thinking from the very first chapter: I am going to love this book. I know what you're thinking. Where could it have gone wrong when you've got Malese Jow and Candice Accola involved?

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I like SRB, and based on reading her blog alone, I know she didn't mean to promote a bad boy type as an acceptable love interest. It's clear that she's trying to do the opposite of that here, by having Kami question and dislike their connection half the time, but here's my issue:

Why include that type of love interest at all? Why include a love triangle? Why spend so much time on romantic melodrama that you don't allow your interesting side characters to develop beyond being perky and loving napping?

This whole story feels like something I've read before. Despite SRB poking fun at these other stories in her writing she chooses to use this Twilight-esque set up that sells anyway. It almost seems worse somehow. At least these other books aren't trying to pretend that they're something superior to what they really are. Ash, the third useless point of the Kami centered love triangle, could have been copied and pasted from any YA book that follows this same formula. Possessive Jared could too.

You can't talk about this book without mentioning the humor. Bad puns and witty zingers abound. At first, it reminded me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars, and I thought FINALLY a book that isn't taking itself too seriously and is making an effort to be witty. Yet somehow this book managed to take itself too seriously and tell too many jokes. The situations the characters found themselves in were overly dramatic and ridiculous, but they'd always manage to tell a joke anyway. All of the characters began to feel like walking... well... bloggers. I love bloggers, I am a blogger, but no one talks like this in real life all of the time. The dialogue was awkward and jarring. Instead of developing the characters beyond beating us over the head with specific traits (Kami loves investigating and she's not like those other mushy YA girls! Holly is SO nice and perky! Angela LOVES napping and HATES people! Ash likes Kami and is surly! Jared like Kami and is surly AND destructive!) jokes would just be told instead.

The last several chapters (aside from the last one) are the ones I liked at least a little. They are when the only real character development happens and things start falling into place. Kami seems to stick to her guns a lot more; I thought her feelings toward her connection with Jared were well-written toward the end. Jared never gets any more interesting or likeable but I learn to accept it. Ash is doing things besides staring longingly at Kami and randomly making out with her in hallways. Holly and Angela get a thing that isn't just a rehashing of their assigned personality traits. The plot is finally doing something relevant. I thought we were well on our way to two-star-ville.

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Then we got to the last chapter. I knew to expect a cliffhanger-trilogy-ending (why are we still doing this?) but I didn't know that it was going to involve the relationship too. I mean, seriously? What was that? I said in the comments that it was like SRB added it just to yell "RELATIONSHIPS DRAMAZ!!! MUAHAHA!" and run out of the room to go hang out with Stephenie Meyer, and I stand by this assessment. I might readjust my rating (might) when I am feeling less... surly... and not... snarling. Seriously, what was that about Angela and Jared snarling at the end? Did we need to focus on their joint snarling? Was that supposed to be a heart-warming bonding moment? I can't.

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I would say my favorite thing about this novel is Holly, with Angela as my second choice. Unfortunately, Angela got to be a badass at the end but instead of just letting Angela shine subtly SRB also beat us over the head with a chain and made that into an over-used joke too. While Holly didn't quite get the development that I wanted (because clearly more time needed to be spent on more love triangle and relationship drama) I did think she may be one of the few original parts of this book. It's nice to see the perky blonde girl given a chance to be the friend and not the guy-stealing-skank. There's a reason I cast her as Candice Accola in my mind - but I think TVD does it better. TVD isn't the most original idea on the block, and it's guilty of a lot of the things that this book is, but to make up for it it takes care with its characters (except Bonnie) and never pretends it's something that it's not. Unlike the YA book world TVD also isn't surrounded by hundreds of shows just like it.

Regardless, I liked that SRB explored that hating Holly because she was popular with guys wasn't acceptable, and that it wasn't her fault, and that it wasn't necessarily what she wanted. I liked her relationship with Angela, even though I feel like that was another safe swing and a miss on SRB's part. It felt like another example of this novel stepping up to the plate to be something different and then not making an effort once it got there to actually let it be something different.

I can see why so many of my friends wrote gushing reviews of this book and I'm sure others will continue to enjoy it, but personally, it just rubbed me the wrong way. I won't stop reading SRB's stuff in the future because I feel like she has the potential to write great things. She seems aware of a lot of the things being done poorly in YA today: girl on girl hate, lack of homosexual relationships and POC, girls instantly falling in love with the bad boy without questioning their feelings, etc. I want to give her points for effort for almost stepping away from the pack but she didn't, not really, and I didn't care about the characters or plot enough to overlook this fact. This had all of the potential to be great and as I said before that's probably why it was so disappointing.

Yes, this review was mostly an excuse to look at pictures of Malese Jow and Candica Accola. Thank you.
Profile Image for K..
179 reviews708 followers
September 12, 2012
Sarah Rees Brennan Unspoken is unequivocally one of the best young adult books I've ever read. I don't even know where to begin. Is it enough to tell you to read it?

Synopsis aside, this is as colourful, as unique, as moving and absorbing as a book can get. The plot involves a strange family, a old-town legend, murder, love and magic. Brennan envisions an original premise that holds your attention from the very first page. Her idea is fully developed, never giving too much while holding nothing back; the details rather come as they may. The pace is a leisure walk through Kami's everyday life, with curious bursts of the real mystery surrounding the return of the infamous Lynburn family, feared and revered as local gods. It is arguably slow, but readers are not left impatient because Brennan never fails to deliver quality. The air in which Brennan has enveloped her tale is chilling. It is a gothic atmosphere: a mansion filled with embellishments of a single motif -- a human hand and the profile of a woman drowning; and a forest with lakes and rivers called the Crying Pools and the Sorrier River. The setting is laid out perfectly -- visually rich and stunningly visceral.

The writing is sensational. But let's skip how well she is at building tension, or shaping characters so entire both in body and temperament, or crafting scenes within which your most intimate emotions are dragged right along with the characters' distress. What I applaud her most for is the brilliant way she's conceived and actualized the concept of a girl hearing a voice in her head, without slipping through all the potentially tricky, subtle holes of reason. Brennan balances between Kami and Jared the inevitable confusion and frustrations that come with being mentally and emotionally invaded and the the genuine affection, formed, reinforced, and reciprocated time and time again since the day they were born. These are fine, fine lines and Brennan pulls them off heroically.

The scheme of it could've been a grand failure. But Brennan is expert; she has thought this through and it shows. I knew every word and every confession that went through Kami's head. Her situation is different but so intense and her inner battles so well-written that I I felt like I knew how it felt. But obviously, I don't! I have no clue what that would feel like, to be able to read someone else's mind and have them read mine; the bombardment and lack of privacy; the severe complications that could erupt from a single, careless thought slipping through one mind into the other. But she was so good she convinced me I did. The trick is that while it is imaginary, Kami's situation is also inescapably bound with the conditions of the heart. Kami's emotions are readily accessible, they are emotions we are familiar with. On top of that, the cerebral connection between Kami and Jared was executed flawlessly. It was like a dance, smooth and effortless -- we don't quite know but we understand. It had such a nature of its own that it felt like an intimate, long-ago sensation; like an old, forgotten skill remembered.

Now, this cast has got to be one of the most memorable group of characters I have ever come across in young adult literature. They are all strong, present, and original. They do not fall prey to cliches, stereotypes, or pigeonholes. From Kami, to the Lynburns, to the dead grandmother who makes not a single appearance in the story other than in Kami's memories, they are each individually compelling. Angela, Holly and Ash, as the supporting characters, do more than support. They season the narrative with cool humour and badassery. Jared, as our male lead, is troubled. He is unstable, unpredictable, and you're not quite sure whether to like him or not. But he is the hero, albeit somewhat a tragic, agitated one. His emotions are extreme and passionate, but he is also so desperate that you give him your sympathy, then eventually your heart. And before you know it, you love him as Kami does.

Kami is the heroine I have been searching for. I could list countless flattering adjectives to describe her but it wouldn't do any good. So why not let Kami speak for herself...

"She didn't want to be the girl who just believed in the guy she liked...She didn't want her feelings to blind her. She did not know what her feelings were, or what his were, or how to separate the two. She did not want to drown in what was between them and lose control, or lose who she was."


"She wasn't long-legged in tight jeans like Holly and Angela, but she was wearing a white dress that tied low down in front, swung bell-like about her, and had a bright pattern of apricots. She hoped that she looked pretty."


How dare you resist such a creature? Kami is a character we can have faith in. Often we doubt our protagonists, waiting for the moment they fall for the lie or surrender to the threat. But in Kami we trust: that she will always do what she feels is right. She is hilarious, introspective, unyielding and soft. Her resolve will not be wavered by anyone. Anyone.

The relationship between Kami and Jared is interesting in that it progresses in reverse to typical young adult romances. They begin bound to each other and through this, they form an unbreakable bond of affection and trust. But as their worlds collide, their path takes a turn you do not expect. Their feelings for each other are layered, cutting, and sincere. It is gut-wrenchingly sensitive and romantic. But also complicated. Their link does not instigate or fuel mindless lusting and turn them into a meaningless catastrophe. Brennan throws obstacles so that nothing comes easy. And it's not. In fact, it is downright excruciating.

Are these words enough? Have I done my duty? All I will say is that Unspoken is a novel that will leave both your imagination and your feels satisfied. Dangerous chances are taken, real things could be lost. The stakes are high because Brennan risks the thing that matters most, your self.

Five shooting stars.

---

This review also appears on The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.

---

First read: April 2012

I have to re-read this before I review it. I need to make sure I absorbed all I need to absorb because it was that fcking awesome.
Profile Image for jenny✨.
563 reviews773 followers
February 24, 2021
02/23/2021:
Seven years and three rereads later, this book still makes my heart hurt.

He was always part of her thoughts, and now that he was real, he was inescapably part of her life, but it was as she had told her mother: saying he was part of her or that they were more than friends sounded like love, but it seemed like loss as well.

Even as I realize that this book isn't beloved by everyone, its quirks nonetheless nestled so perfectly against all of mine. It hit all my softest bookish spots all those years ago when I first picked this up—and for that, it will forever hold a special place on my shelf.

◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️

10/22/2020:
In 2014 my family took a vacation to Western Europe, and I offhandedly packed a copy of Unspoken that I’d borrowed from my local library in Vancouver.

I don’t remember having any sort of expectations for this quaint-looking book (it was the edition with Kami’s cartoonish silhouette in front of the gates), but I do vividly remember taking it out before going to bed while we were in Liechtenstein and being FLOORED. I was utterly immersed in Kami and Jared’s world with no reprieve—within its first few pages I had already fallen for them both, and needed to know what happened next.

The following night we were somewhere in Germany and I ran back to my room after dinner to pick up where I’d left off with them. Somehow, cocooned in my blankets in a hotel in the Black Forest, Sorry-in-the-Vale didn’t seem so far of a stretch of imagination.

It’s been six years and I still think about this series a lot. My memories of that vacation are tied up with the idyll of Unspoken, each making the other that much more special than they would’ve been by themselves.

◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️

I made Kami & Jared a playlist :)
Profile Image for Keertana.
1,126 reviews2,162 followers
September 17, 2012
Unspoken is a novel that now, looking back, I can see had a huge margin for error. In fact, in the hands of a less-experienced author, I am confident that this story would have fallen apart, but Sarah Rees Brennan manages to pull it off. I am always awe-struck by the innovative ideas she thinks of and even more in awe of her flawless method of execution. Yet, despite the precarious line that this story balanced on and my incredibly high expectations, Unspoken managed to be every bit as breathtaking, hilarious, and heart-warming as I had imagined.

Kami Glass has grown up in her small town, Sorry-in-the-Vale, hearing a voice in her head her whole life. While most people seem to think Kami has an imaginary friend, she knows better. Jared, the boy whose thoughts, emotions, and memories she shares, has been her constant companion throughout her childhood, but when Jared moves into Kami’s small town, the situation may just be too bizarre for the two to handle. After all, who ever expects to meet the person who knows their every thought, dream, feeling, and secret? In the midst of this new complication though, animals are being slaughtered in the woods behind Kami’s house and the Lynburns, the aristocratic family of Sorry-in-the-Vale who inspired fear amongst the town’s citizens, have returned. Suddenly, Kami’s life is beginning to become a lot more interesting…and dangerous!

I feel as if I could write an entire post about Sarah Rees Brennan and still not gush enough about her. While I admired her writing style in The Demon’s Lexicon, complete with her signature wit, complex character relationships, and hilarious situations, nothing prepared me for the utter beauty of the writing in this novel. Unspoken flows in a way few books do these days and if the characters of this story hadn’t already stolen my heart, the writing surely would have. Furthermore, while the plot of this novel takes awhile to unfold, it is never boring and has you frantically flipping the pages, uncovering clue-after-clue of the mystery within these pages. Its many plot twists took me completely by surprise and while I feel as if I should have been able to predict what happened, the fact that I wasn’t able to is just another mark of Brennan’s writing prowess and talent over subtlety.

Yet, what really made this novel as wonderful as it was were its characters. Kami is one of the most lovable protagonists I've come across and it seems impossible to me that anyone could resist her intelligence and charm. While she can come across as juvenile at times, her narration seeming to be younger than her actual age, her curiosity and thirst for answers is a journey you cannot help but be caught up in. Furthermore, she is utterly kick-ass with her unparalleled wit, independent nature, stubborn streak, and ability to hold her own. If that isn’t enough to want you to make Kami your best friend, she’s unerringly loyal, intelligent to a degree of insanity, and so strong that I can only admire her. In other words, Kami Glass is a heroine that comes alive on the page and it is her, more than anything else in this novel, which keeps this story shining.

While Kami was the central, and really one of the strongest, points of this book, Jared won me over as well. Jared seems to be like any bad boy from the surface, but as we get to know him better, we begin to see the chinks in his armor - his inner insecurities, his dependability upon Kami, and his immense capacity for love and kindness. Jared is a character who grows on you, stealthily making his way into your heart and staying there, despite the mistakes he's known to make. Brennan makes it so easy for us to understand Jared, even from Kami's perspective, that we sympathize with and love him as our tragic hero with all our heart.

Yet, with all these wonderful characters, Unspoken shines because of the connection between Jared and Kami. None of us (I think!) know what it's like to have a voice in our head or even meet that disembodied voice in reality, but through Kami's eyes, I can picture the situation perfectly. It's one wrought with emotion, misunderstandings, and a delicate balance which Brennan treads with a fine and experienced line. While the romance between these two is extremely subtle (Seriously, Brennan gives subtle a whole new meaning with the love story in this!) and the friendship between Kami and Jared is overwhelmingly tender, it was a union that I fell for at once. It seems obvious that anyone who knows each other as well as these two should be able to see the inner beauty of another person, but the complicated (and blurred!) lines between friendship and romance between Kami and Jared were remarkably well-written. Theirs is a friendship that makes you think and question and ponder and ultimately yearn for that childhood easiness all over again. I can't do enough justice to it, but just know that it is beautiful.

If you haven't already caught the gist of this review, it's basically this: read Unspoken. It contains some of the most well-developed characters I've come across in YA Lit, some of the most complex character relationships, some of the wittiest lines and hilarious moments, some of the best page-turning tendencies, and a mystery that will utterly surprise you with its simplicity and brilliance all at once. Furthermore, Kami's best friends, Angela and Holly, and her family all play a huge role in this story making it all the more realistic and endearing. Unspoken is another must-read of 2012 and Brennan has, yet again, managed to take me utterly by surprise. Trust me; this is one author that simply does not disappoint. Okay, maybe I was disappointed by that evil cliffhanger ending because WHO ENDS A BOOK LIKE THAT and WHY IS THE SEQUEL NOT AVAILABLE YET but otherwise, this was awesome. ;)

You can read this review and more on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings.
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,359 followers
September 1, 2012
A tale filled with magic, thrill, romance, and charm, Unspoken is a unique Gothic mystery that, if only I could have clicked with its characters, I might have greatly enjoyed. And as I seem to be in the minority on this one, I think fans of Gothic novels should definitely give it a try as it does have good writing and a very creative concept.

While most of the Gothic novels I have come to love have been fairly slow paced - ie. The Book of Blood and Shadow and Long Lankin - I found that Unspoken did not convey quite enough atmosphere or creepy factor to make up for the slower development. It does start out with a very decent pace, but I found the first three quarters of the book is spent with Kami while she goes around gathering clues to find a killer, yet she's too occupied with her complicated feelings towards Jared, sometimes Ash, to focus on finding answers. I'm sure if I would have been completely immersed in these characters and their unusual connection I would have found this a lot more compelling. Sadly none of these people really spoke to me, making the book feel very long winded. The off-putting dialogue, or maybe their bland personalities, halted me from developing any sort of connection with them.

With a British setting, we get interactions that are a little different than what you would expect in North America - or at least I was told lots of it were a part of the British culture. I could deal with the humor and wit - I actually quite enjoyed that aspect - but I could not get used to the flow of their conversations or the way they sometimes interacted with each other. Kami has an awkward personality, she talks very formally at times, making bizarre comments with strange conversational shifts that comes off as unnatural. For example, during a casual conversation she asks her date: "So… tell me about the difficulties in your family". Who talks like this? I was hoping it would grow on me, but unfortunately it never did and I kept cringing whenever these people started conversing.

Even though the characters failed to entice me, the plot did give me a few chills and saved it from being a complete loss. We have a freaky manor, a strange family who everyone seems to be terrified of, and a town full of secrets. Plus, Kami has been talking to a voice in her head her whole life. Is he real? Or is she crazy? Being right up my alley, this setting easily grabbed me from the first page. If it wasn't for the slow, romantically inclined telling, it could have easily become a 5-star favorite. When we do get some answers there are a lot of unexpected turns that I would not have predicted. However, when it came to the big climactic ending - the reveal of the killer - I had already been suspecting this person for a while so it came as no surprise for me, thus negatively affecting the intended impact. The events following this up to the ending were at least a little more unforeseeable, closing on a surprising note that makes me curious for book 2 regardless of my qualms.

Unspoken is a creepy and quirky read that has a lot of potential to garner fans who will absolutely fall for it. Unfortunately I wasn't quite as impressed as many others; when I don't care about the characters, it's hard to care for the rest, but I still found it to be an OK read.

--
An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Tamora Pierce.
Author 95 books82.9k followers
September 1, 2013
In Sorry-in-the-Vale, England, Kami has an Issue--she is a teenager who still talks with her invisible friend. Then the town's "ruling family" returns to the area, complete with teenaged cousins. Kami finds herself attracted to handsome Ash, but her world rocks when she meets brooding, reclusive cousin Jared. He is her invisible friend, and he is just as rattled to learn his own invisible friend is all too real. Interfering adults and a series of murders add notes of contemporary fiction and suspense fiction as well. It's a wild ride in a truly unique setting that's all Brennan's own. Don't miss it!
Profile Image for Lisa.
107 reviews371 followers
January 6, 2013
I don't know if I've felt ever felt guiltier about not liking a book than I do about this one. So many people love Unspoken to pieces and I can understand why, but I was very underwhelmed. It seems to me that Unspoken was a book that was trying to break out of the YA mold but ended up following the fold.

By far the biggest problem with this novel is Jared Lynburn. He's your typical brooding, overprotective, woe-is-me, bad boy with anger management issues. I find none of these traits attractive, and therefore I could not identify with Kami's attraction to him even considering their shared thoughts. Although he and Kami are not in a relationship, he acts possessive of her. He has to be tricked into "letting" her go out with her girl friends without him, he sabotages her date with another guy, and he's always hovering around her in this creepy overprotective way, even when she tells him she needs space.

I also found his self-pity very irritating and overly melodramatic, and I didn't appreciate how he would use his self-pity manipulatively to make Kami forgive him for his asinine behavior. He also had a tendency of expressing himself with physical violence. We're introduced to the character just after he gets into a fight with every member of the rugby team (we're given no explanation for this fight but I'm inclined to believe it was Jared's fault based on his subsequent actions), and he punches his cousin, Ash, in the face without any provocation. Physical assault is just not okay.

When I was first introduced Kami Glass, I was intrigued. She was intelligent and witty, and I admired her ambition and strength. Kami also says the right things about not wanting a possessive boyfriend and needing independence, but in the end actions speak louder than words. While Kami initially admonishes Jared for his behavior, she quickly backs down and forgives him because he acts hurt by her criticism. I can't think of a single instance where she didn't end up comforting him and assuring him of his worth after he acted possessive, jealous, or overprotective. And even though his behaviors never change (he's possessive, overprotective, and jealous to the very end), she falls head over heels in love with him. By the end, I lost all respect I had for her character.

I didn't find the side characters all that compelling either. There isn't much to say about Ash. He lacks personality and character development. He is the nice guy of the love triangle and he follows the path taken by nearly all other nice guys . Angela's people-hate tip-toed the line between funny and annoying. Holly had potential in that she broke the YA mold by being pretty and popular with guys, yet also nice, however, she didn't have much depth. Kami's family was a bit too cartoonish for me, particularly her father, who joked the entire book. He doesn't have one line that wasn't supposed to be funny.

Speaking of humor, I thought it was overdone. Not only was every character witty, which was very unrealistic, the characters would also make jokes during situations that called for serious reflection. The overuse of humor also made Kami and Jared's angst-filled relationship seem even more overly melodramatic because the scenes and conversations exploring their relationship were the only serious scenes in the entire book.

As for the mystery, it was unnecessarily drawn out by lack of communication and characters inexplicably deciding not to follow up on information. Everyone in town seems to know the Lynburn secrets except Kami, Angela, Holly and Jared, despite the fact that Kami and Holly grew up in the town and are not outsiders, and Jared is a Lynburn. It seemed unrealistic that no one, including Kami's mother, would tell Kami what they knew about the Lynburns. There were also several instances where Jared's family would act strangely around him or say something cryptic, but instead of asking questions, he would just leave even though he supposedly wanted answers. His family wasn't even trying to hide the truth from him, and when he finally did ask for an explanation, they told him without a fight.

Lastly, I thought the ending was problematic. Cliffhangers are one thing, but there still should be some sense of closure at the end of a book, despite unfinished plot lines. Unspoken felt like it was ended in the middle of the story, as though Brennan wrote the entire trilogy as one book and then randomly chopped into thirds. I wish the ending had been less abrupt .

The book gets an extra star for effort, but honestly, I didn't enjoy reading this one.
Profile Image for Kristalia .
382 reviews607 followers
August 23, 2018
Final rating: 4.75/5 stars

unspoken

This was so sooooooooo good. I loved every part of it. Since i couldn't decide between 4 and 5 i decided it was going to be between. And it is only because i am type that craves for explanations and i didn't find enough of them in this book. For now, it is staying 5 stars as basic rating, because i feel it didn't belong with standard books.

I wanted to read it because it was written by Brennan. I loved her Demon's lexicon trilogy, and guess what, i love Unspoken even more! I love her sense of humor and her writing style! The book made me laugh so many times, i almost fell from the chair once. Also, it was deeply emotional, especially when looking from Jared's POV.

There was never part that bore me, and i liked that. I loved that it was from alternating pov and in third person. It always makes story more believable to me (i don't like being in people's heads, aka, first person point, or narration).

Forest deep, silent bells
There’s a secret no one tells
Valley quiet, water still
Lynburns watching on the hill
Apples red, corn gold
Almost everyone grows old.


I found that a little creepy. So we have mysterious family, who were once rulers of the city. Now they are coming back after many many years.
I was wondering what was wrong with the family. I even thought they might be vampires. Guess what, they aren't. Mwahahaha. They wouldn't walk on the sun if they were and they certainly didn't sparkle.

CHARACTERS :



Kami : was soooooo cool. I loved her. And she was interesting and funny. She shares mental connection with Jared, her imaginary friend, who guess what, goes in package with Lynburns. She thought she made him up, until she went into the elevator with him. That is when they both understood that they were in fact real people. I love her courage, and the fact that she was willing to investigate Lynburns and the town in general, even breaking into the offices and taking documents. Wow. She even has friends who will help her, and she is not miss popular type everybody must love me. She is just normal with voice in her head.

“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.”


I especially loved the part where she fell in the well, and Jared went to rescue her(I laughed soooo soooooooooo much):
“Honestly, Jared, one thing at a time. Why are you in the well with me? This is a really bad rescue!”
“You lost consciousness and slipped under the surface of the water!” Jared pointed out. “There was no time.”
“But now we’re both trapped! Now we’re both going to die!”
“No, we’re not,” said Jared. “I called the police as I was running to the well. I’m sure they’re coming.”
“Did they say they were coming?” Kami asked suspiciously. “Or did you shout ‘Kami’s in the well!’ and then jump in the well too, thus losing your phone and making sure that the police think it was some kids playing a dumb joke?”
Jared paused. He was breathing quickly, the dreamy part of Kami noticed, his chest rising and falling hard. She wasn’t sure if it was because he’d had to run so fast, because he’d had to dive to grab her, or if it was panic.
“Alternate plan,” Jared said. “Do you have a very intelligent collie who might communicate through a system of barks to your parents that little Kami is in the well?”
Kami closed her eyes and leaned her cheek against the wet planes of Jared’s collarbone.
“We’re going to die.” Something else dawned on her. “And where is your shirt?”
“Let me explain,” said Jared. “I had just gone to bed, like a reasonable person, when you decided to get tossed into a well like a crazy person. And then it was a matter of some urgency to reach you. You’re lucky I tripped over my jeans on the way out the door.”


Jared : I loved him. I understand him too. His father is dead, and his mother is the one who even blamed the fault on him. He was in fact, an outcast of the family, because his mother was never meant to marry his father. He is so so devastated that he has no one, while he has family. His sadness and closing to the world are especially shown in The Spring Before I Met You, where the only person who would talk to him was his imaginary friend Kami. Who was real person. Since he didn't have proper relationship with people, he often confused his feelings with something they are not. There was scene when his family went to dance in the rain, and he started to lose it, while Kami tried to give him support; I loved how she was always there for him, always taking his side.
“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.”


OVERALL :

I loved the story in general. There were always funny moments, and always emotional ones. I loved the mystery, the killings and the Lynburns. It was interesting that the most of the things was explained in so-so logical way. I loved loved loved especially the scene with the wall between them. I loved that moment, and i think it was one of the best in the book.
There was a wall between them, but the wall of silence in Jared’s head wasn’t there anymore. Kami still did not quite dare to come to the place where their minds met, for fear of being shut out again. She skirted the edge of what he was feeling, and stretched out her hand so he could see it on his side of the stone wall.
After a moment, she felt the brush of Jared’s fingers against hers. The light touch of skin on skin made electricity crackle through her blood so that it burned and stung in her veins.
She had never been so aware of anyone in her life, or so uncomfortable.
Jared’s hand closed around hers, their fingers linking. From a careful touch of fingertips,they were suddenly both clinging as if the other had fallen off a cliff and they had to keep hold or risk them slipping away. Jared’s hand was a lot bigger than Kami’s, fingers callused.
It was just a boy’s hand, blood and flesh and bone, she told herself fiercely. It wasn’t such a big deal.


This review can be found on my blog: infinity-of-time.blogspot.com also known as...
Profile Image for Glass.
643 reviews4 followers
September 15, 2012
This is the book for all of you who still have a little piece of a child left in your soul. Characters are seventeen, but maybe you'll have impression that they are younger than that. That's for the most part because of the writing style - it has fairytaleish vibe combined with mystery.

Kami Glass - yes, I liked her from the first page when I saw her name - is a strong girl, a little bit strange but in a good way, and she knows what she wants. If you're expecting some usual YA love story with paranormal twist, think again. Unspoken is completely different from any book you've read.

But ending... My God, ending! It's killing me. True cliffhanger. I wanted to smash my Kindle out of spite to the goddess of writen word - how dare she to torture me this way?
Profile Image for Rachel Reads Ravenously.
1,791 reviews2,135 followers
Read
April 29, 2019
DNF about 150 pages in.

It's funny because this has been on my tbr forever, I found the receipt inside the book saying I purchased it 5 years ago, but this just did not work for me. I wonder if I read it 5 years ago if I would have loved it. Started out strong and then somehow died. Not the book for me, at least not today. Great idea and concept tho, I can see why everyone loved it.


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Profile Image for Zyra .
203 reviews80 followers
June 21, 2017
i picked this book up cause the concept was too interesting & different.
Kami can hear a voice in her her head & talk to someonelse all her life in her mind. & the author did not disappoint. the story kept me every bit curious as it could. like is this person for real or imaginary. if real so how was it possible?
Jared's character is way too complicated & troubled. the solidity to rely on, for him has always been kami, as she is the comforting & supporting voice in his head. also i did not like how everyone was always harsh on him. no-one seem care about him except for the voice in his head. he did not deserve such family. even throughout the book the Lyburns did not seem to really accept or care for him. always kept secrets & kept him in the dark. everywhere he was just treated & assumed as villain. partly because he was not as good looking as his cousin?
also Kami's character was a joy to read. ambitious, strong, funny, self- sufficient.
The struggle between Kami & Jared, from being voice in head to real people is captured beautifully. the emotional & physical. the mystery regarding the Lyburns did keep me guessing to as in what type of supernatural Lyburn's were.
this book balances everything. love, friendship, family, hate, paranormal, which is rare in ya.
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,804 reviews831 followers
September 17, 2012
Unspoken is not the story I was expecting, and I enjoyed that. Somehow I thought this would be a dark and serious tale, and some of it is. Mostly, it was a story full of wit and fun, a little romance, and magic.

Unspoken is centered on Kami Glass, a high-school student, and ambitious journalist-in-training. She’s head of the school newspaper, and always on the trail of a new story. But now Kami’s focused on uncovering secrets, because the founding family of Sorry-in-the-Vale, The Lynburn’s, have come back, after a seventeen year absence, and no one thinks this is a good thing. There’s one more thing you need to know about Kami: she’s grown up with an imaginary friend (or so she thinks), Jared. When the Lynburn boys show up in school, Kami finds out that Jared is not an imaginary friend at all, but a real live flesh and blood boy. A boy not happy to find out that his imaginary friend is anything but. Kami is shocked, as well, but this has to take a backseat to the strange occurrences that start happening around her.

Animal sacrifices, an attempt on her life, and the murder of a girl, become the mysteries that must be solved. Is it a coincidence that all this has happened since the Lynburn’s return? Kami doesn’t think so. Everywhere she turns she gets a warning to stay away from the Lynburn’s, they’re dangerous, but why? Even her mother begs her to stay away from Jared, but Kami knows she can’t. To stay away from him would be like tearing herself in half.

Kami is such a quirky, unstoppable, and fun force. Her sense of humor was dry, witty and sharp. It was impossible not to be enamored with her from the get-go. Kami’s always thought of herself as a bit crazy, knowing normal people didn’t have an imaginary friend. When she finds out Jared is real, she knows that some sort of magic must exist and be involved. Kami can’t help but be tentative and frightened of Jared, because he knows so many of her inner thoughts and secrets. Someone like that can hold so much power over you.

Jared is angry to find out Kami is real too, for the same reasons. He’s a moody, broody, male and doesn’t like that he’s so vulnerable to Kami. But soon they sort out most of their anger, and become closer than ever before. Jared is fiercely protective of Kami now that he knows someone’s out to kill her. He can’t lose Kami, the most important connection in his life; someone who’s always been in his corner, even when his family has not. I found myself rooting for their brewing romance even as they fought so hard against it. I wanted to scream: “Kiss her, dammit!” These two go back and forth and had me laughing some of the time. Here’s a fun quote:

“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 a dead cow, don’t ask it to perform miracles.”-Kami


There are a few twists and turns that keep you guessing who’s at the bottom of this mystery. Suspicion is cast on everyone. There’s a fun cast of secondary characters, as well: Angela, Kami’s perpetually annoyed and unfailingly loyal best friend. Rusty, Angela’s brother, a self-defense instructor always leaping out on the two of them to keep their defenses sharp. Holly, the eager new friend. Kami’s father and little brothers, Ten, who is ten, and seven year-old, Tomo, also bring a lot of random and silly humor to the story. The Lynburn family figures in prominently, but they are far from fun.

I had two complaints with the story, one bigger than the other. First, the writing felt a little disjointed and choppy in places. Not a smooth transition from one happening to the next. Not a huge issue but it took some getting used to. My second complaint is a much bigger deal to me: the HORRIBLE cliffhanger we’re left on!! Why, why, why?!! Ugh!! I have no patience whatsoever, and now I’m forced to wait until next June to find out what happens! In spite of these complaints, I did really enjoy the story and I’m eagerly anticipating the sequel.

Thanks to Random House Books for Young Readers and Netgalley for allowing me to read this.

You can find this review and more at The Readers Den.

Profile Image for Carrie.
3,040 reviews1,501 followers
September 5, 2016
Kami Glass has always talked to a boy in her head ever since she was born. She's always thought of him as an imaginary friend and loved him all of her life keeping the voice a secret so others will not see her as crazy. But when the mysterious Lynburn family return one of the teenage boys seems very familiar to Kami.

Kami soon finds that her best friend that she's always had in her head is really Jared Lynburn. When an attempt is made on Kami's life Jared quickly proves that he does know all of Kami's thoughts. Now Kami is determined to discover who was behind the attempt and how and why she seem to be connected to the mysterious Jared Lynburn.

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan is the first book in the Lynburn Legacy series. I would first and foremost warn to readers that this is one of those that leave you on a bit of a cliffhanger that will continue in the rest of the series.

For this first book I enjoyed some of the ideas involved in it but unfortunately for me it was just way too slow paced read to keep my attention all throughout. When I get to over halfway in a story and am still waiting out answers to questions brought up in the opening pages I get extremely frustrated and I believe it was over 60% before some questions were getting addressed. Even at the end I just wanted to hurry the action along.

Overall, 2.5 stars. Too slow paced for my taste but some interesting content nonetheless.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....



Profile Image for Mimi.
265 reviews359 followers
July 16, 2012
There's "bizarre" and "different," and then there's this book... which is probably the best of both! I loooooooooooooooooooooved it so much!

Unspoken is one of those books that make you slap your forehead and wonder why you hadn't read it earlier. I couldn't stop grinning, yet at the same time, I couldn't breathe when it got intense. It kind of has the feel to it of Beautiful Creatures — small town, fantastic cast, feared magical family, and rich gothic mystery — except I liked this much, much more!

Kami and Jared make up a totally unorthodox pair that I seriously LOVE! ♥ They've never met before (they used to believe that the other was imaginary), but they've been able to talk into each other's minds since birth. People look at them strangely for stopping randomly to laugh at inner conversations, but Kami and Jared don't care. They've been best friends since forever, and they're like two halves of the same whole.

And when they do finally meet, it's so realistic! They don't know what to be at first (Friends? Girlfriend/boyfriend? Enemies?), but I promise your heart will go for a wild ride.

It's not just the romance that's so different from what I'm used to, but the characters themselves. Kami (witty teenage journalist extraordinaire) is strange and she knows it. But there's no angsty outcast drama here! She still has wonderful friends and a wonderful family despite her strangeness. And Jared... Jared is a leather-jacket-wearing bad boy who'd move heaven and Earth for Kami. My heart broke for him, ached for him, shone for him.

The wit is off the charts! Kami has such a smart mouth and the kind of reckless brain all reporters are born with; the banter had me cracking up constantly. Sarah Rees Brennan is a mastermind at creating a dynamic story filled with wonderfully unique characters, NONE of that hair-pulling cliche drama, and ALL of the intenseness of a great mystery.

Brilliantly witty and fantastically strange, Unspoken is an amazing novel that brings everything we've been looking for in YA without even knowing it! With a hilarious cast, smile-inducing dialogue, and a mystery that turns pages on its own, this book is sure to be a stunner! :)

BUY or BORROW?: This book was buy-worthy the moment Kami cracked her first joke! I want to own this for all of its hilarious one-liners and originality, and you should too! ;)

(Original review at Mimi Valentine's YA Review Blog)
Profile Image for Cody.
201 reviews629 followers
May 24, 2015
Shows great great promise!

This is my first book by Brennan and I was pleasantly surprised as it is truly like no other. Just look at that blurb: the ability to talk to someone in your head and then a bad boy in leather turns up on a motorcycle? *Fangirls* No longer an imaginary friend but a hot guy? Are her feelings real? What does she want? WHO does she want? Filled with angst and a tantalizing slow burn romance? YES YES YES YES Y’HES!

Kami Glass is an ambitious wanna be journalist who is always looking for scandal and wanting to uncover the towns darkest secrets. Kami made this book for me; she’s intelligent, entertaining and funny. I loved her attitude towards her family and boys as she believes that being independent is important and to never be possessed by anyone or let them put you down. She’s one of the most determined and ambitious heroines I’ve ever met and she has gone through the typical woes of childhood with school friends finding her weird but she refuses to let people’s opinions interfere with her aspirations.

When Kami is attacked with no clear suspect and animal sacrifices keep occurring throughout the town Kami is determined to discover the truth. As previously said Kami has had an imaginary friend Jared since she was born. Then Jared comes crashing into town and Kami realises; one shes not crazy and two the person who knows every little detail about her is real.

The lengths the author goes to in order to make the connection between Kami and Jared real is absolutely amazing both mentally and physically. It’s so realistic with no insta-love because obviously you’d be in complete horror if this happened to you! The romance is different from other YA books which is both good and bad because I seriously didn’t know what was going to happen but the tension is delicious, you will not suddenly turn the page and find kisses and declarations of love I hate to spoil this but you hardly get anything from the first book! YES I’m already reading the second, Ooops. Jared = Hot, Broody, has a Deathwish, Bad Temper, Scars.. that it all ;)

So why not 5 stars? It took me a while to actually enjoy reading this book, slow starter however it quickly picked up towards the end and the cliffhanger which was just cruel will have you wanting more!

NOTE: Yes this may be 3 stars but I’m already half way through Untold and it is without a doubt 10 times better. You need this epic series! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?

Literary-ly Obsessed
Profile Image for Jennie Damron.
435 reviews57 followers
December 15, 2018
I love Gothic books. Hands down my favorite type of book to read. This book was a great Gothic read. The atmosphere, spooky house, and creepy woods were all on point. At times Kami got on my nerves. Her trying to joke or lighten a moment would be a mood breaker and disrupt the flow of the story. Set that aside, the book was great. The plot moved well and the characters likable. I will definitely be reading the next on the series.
Profile Image for Susana.
985 reviews240 followers
October 10, 2014
2nd Re-Read : October, 7th
Still as good as the first time I read it! :)
______________"_________________________
This book has one of the most intriguing plots allied with a vast, vast number of quirky characters, that I've ever encountered in a story.

In fact, I've never encountered such a number of strange, a little out of this world, lovable characters! It was great!

There's Kami, our fearless reporter: "Kami had been hearing a voice in her head all her life. When she was eight, people had thought it was cute that she had an imaginary friend. It was very different now that she was seventeen. Kami was accustomed to people thinking she was crazy"

Kami's best friend, Angela, who really likes to take naps “Nap,” Angela finished, in the reverent tones of a knight who has finally spotted the Holy Grail Then she may be considered as a little anti-social:“What are these people doing here, Kami? You know I don’t like people.”

Kami's dad, Jon who is just O.o :“Stay away from him. Stay away from them all until you’re of marrying age. Once you reach a nice, mature fifty-four, gentlemen callers will be welcomed here.” Great character! lol

Kami's brothers:

What Kami says about Tomo: “The current theory is that he is a lemonade vampire."

Then there's Ten( the poor kid is ten years old): “I am considering becoming a vegetarian,” he announced in a low voice.
“Not that this isn’t excellent and nutritious,” he told Mum, blinking worriedly. “But I might owe it to my conscience.”


Kami's friend, Holly: “I used to have an imaginary friend when I was seven,” Holly contributed. “A unicorn called Princess Zelda.”

Angela's brother, Rusty, who really likes the notion of free meals: Rusty collapsed back on the hearthrug. “Have fun, and don’t be home late. I get dinner out of babysitting, right?”

Then there's Jared: “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!”


Kami has known Jared for most of her life. He has been literally a voice in her head, since always. So when these two finally see each other in the flesh, the shock is of epic proportions...

Their reaction to one another felt too viscerally violent, at least to me it did...
They've known each other forever, and all of a sudden they can't even stand to touch one another (well, one of them..).


There was one thing I would have liked if it had been sorted out:
And then there was the attack on Or did I miss something?

Also could have done without the attempted love triangle. Ash was just...(I'm twitching my nose, and making scary faces...)

And then there was that FINALE....WTH???? I was not a happy reader when I read that last page(and although I understand it, it doesn't mean that I have to like it, though!)

And then there was that spoiler, that I read concerning the next book O.o ...you know what? I'm completely clueless, right now!
p.s. DON'T READ ANY SPOILERS THE AUTHOR GIVES YOU!!
BEWARE: THEY ARE POISONED....SPOILERS!!
Profile Image for S.J. Kincaid.
Author 12 books2,152 followers
December 29, 2012
What a fun, cute book. Although I think the magical world still needs some fleshing out (I trust that will happen in book two), I really loved the characters, and even the Kami/Jared relationship. It's very rare for me to appreciate romance in most YAs, so it's all the better to discover a great one here between two well-developed characters. I look forward to the next one.
Profile Image for Buka.
50 reviews6 followers
October 1, 2012
My relationship with Sarah Rees Brennan's books is like a see-saw. I liked Demon's Lexicon but was annoyed by Demon's Covenant, I really liked Team Human (written with Justine Larbaleister) and - once again - was really annoyed by Unspoken. This is Sara Rees Brennan of Demon's Covenant and everything irritating that I remember about it is here again.
It's one more book where everything - characters, pacing, plot, mood - can and will be sacrificed in order to deliver at least one more witty one-liner. And, unlike Team Human (which, I think, had even less jokes), this is not a satire. At least, nobody seems to think so. I checked.

So here I am, staring at a page full of gushing 5 and 4-star reviews, wondering is there something wrong with me? I mean, I like humor. One of my very favourite fantasy authors (she's Russian, so I don't shelve her books here on Goodreads) writes mostly humorous novels. I love heroes who are not all about aaangst and serious bsns. But as for Unspoken, well... for instance, I don't think Kami's father had said a single sentence that didn't have a joke in it.
A mother leaves her daughter alone in bed with a boy for the whole night and doesn't even check on them - all so they can be caught in the morning by the father which results in a whole torrent of witticisms. Am I only one who sees problems with that whole scenario? Or, a more spoilery one:

One more really annoying fact about Unspoken is how awfully convenient it was when author needed it. You know that mystery novels where everything is neatly solved because the criminal left a huge incriminating piece of evidence right at the crime scene? Unspoken is one of these stories. Our supposedly hyperactive and nosy main girl - the self-appointed investigator - not pursuing a couple of leads that were dangled in front of her for days? I just can't buy it. Or

I really wanted to like this book. I love "telepatically speaking to each other" idea. In fact, I wish, there were more about it in the book. But it seems, for every good thing Unspoken has going for it, there are a couple of bad or annoying ones. It's a page-turner that turns anticlimatic in the end. It's all about girl power and her deciding for herself. Yep, and rather than shown, it's shouted at you IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS.
I told myself: look, self, it's so funny! So humorous, it's humorous even in serious moments, epic moments, creepy moments which often promptly felt pompous, small-scale or nothing special because, you know, funny can do that to a scene.
But, argued self, but it defies some tried to death genre conventions, like "mystical karmic connection = soulmates". And it also has a Love Triangle of Doom, a Tortured Hero and "oh no, there is no way he loves me, even though everything is pointing to it".

I don't know if I'll read the sequel, although the cliff-hanger in the end will do it's damnedest to make sure you'll do. Right now I don't really want to but, judging by my luck with Sarah Rees Brennan's books, I'm bound to like the next one.
Profile Image for Anna (Enchanted by YA).
360 reviews353 followers
November 7, 2015
For what I’d consider a “well-known book”, I’d heard surprisingly little going into Unspoken and with such a vague synopsis I was intrigued… After the first few pages I was hooked.

The mystery aspect was done so well in that we get enough information to keep the momentum going, but not enough to feel satisfied. There never failed to be something more to come which I loved. Most of this led up to (several) big reveals where the pace really picks up until it’s impossible to stop reading. That ending though… Not okay!

Moving on before I abandon this review and either start screaming or looking for the second book (possibly both if I can’t get it straight away), let’s talk about the characters. I have to say Sarah Rees Brennan is exceptional at writing people who you instantly feel something towards (I don’t say love because with a certain bad boy *cough*Jared*cough* I was constantly going back and forth between wanting to punch and kiss him).

Every character is so unique with their own personality quirks and my favourite parts in the book were scenes with many together because the dynamics are brilliant, and often hilarious! The main protagonist Kami has great humour and is very relatable with a strive to get answers, be it for her school newspaper or herself, trying to figure out what the hell was going on in town and how she fits into it.

There’s no doubt in my mind that I’d recommend you pick up Unspoken. With its supernatural mystery, eclectic cast of characters and entertaining dialogue it was my perfect read – maybe it will be yours too!

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Posted on: http://enchantedbyya.blogspot.co.uk
Profile Image for JAIME.
378 reviews237 followers
November 14, 2015
This was great, if somewhat predictable. The angsty-ness felt a little pushed on me when otherwise the feeling of the book was mysterious with an a dash of wit. In saying that though, I think the angsty-ness was well thought-out. Soooooooooo.

Angela is me.

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