September 6, 2012

Title:  Unspoken

Series:  The Lynburn Legacy

Author:  Sarah Rees Brennan

Published:  September 11, 2012

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?

***Note:  This book was provided to us by Net Galley but that did not in any way influence this review.

Ana and Celeste will put Unspoken on the lower shelf.

Our Review:

The storyline:
Ana:  There really are two plots in this book and both are quite unique.  The first is the fact that Kami’s “imaginary friend”, the one she’s been communicating with in her head her entire life, turns out to be real.  He’s flesh and bone and, all of a sudden, living in her town.  This storyline could be a book on it’s own.  There’s so much to explore in this pretend relationship turned real.  But, it shares the limelight with another story…the story of the Lynburns.  The Lynburn family has a long history in her town and it appears it’s not a good one.  As we learn about why they are back, strange things begin to happen and Kami finds herself investigating a mystery.  Things are not what they seem in this town or in these relationships…there is a very tangled web that needs to be straightened out.
Celeste: The book was going in 100 different directions all at the same time and I wasn’t sure what to focus on. I was definitely intrigued with Kami and the voice in her head, although it just seemed so random initially. There was a moment (in the elevator) when I thought that I would love this book. Another storyline was about the family of Lynburns returning to Sorry-in-the-Vale. It didn’t make sense to me, or why Kami even cared. But maybe she cared because she wanted to be a journalist? It just wasn’t clear.

♥ The characters:
Ana: Kami was a strong hero in the story.  She didn’t let little things like the law stop her from getting what she needed (now don’t be concerned, she’s not a career criminal or anything…she just goes after the information she wants).  She’s independent and strong and has a great analytical mind.  This is different from so many main characters in YA these days.  Jared is the imaginary friend turned real life guy.  He’s the “bad boy” in the book and believes himself to be broken because he’s related to some (in truth) very crazy people.  His cousin Ash is his polar opposite…soft where Jared is hard, light where Jared is dark.  The secondary characters, which included the Lynburns, Angela and Holly, and Kami’s family (yes, they were actually involved…a shocking twist for a YA novel), all played their parts well. But, unfortunately, it’s in the characters that I experience one of my concerns with this book.  Although I liked the characters, I didn’t fall in love with any of them.  Not even Jared.  I found him to be needy which is not a good “bad boy” quality.  And that made the book put-downable (yes, I’m making up words again) for me.  And, I didn’t see the chemistry I wanted to see between Kami and Jared.  You all know that I love love so this was disappointing for me.

Celeste: I’m tough to please this time around. The only character I liked was Jared…but I really, really liked him! The rest of the cast were just luke warm for me. Kami was the heroine who thought she could fix and solve everything, even though she kept risking her life because she was impulsive.  Ash Lynburn was a pretty boy, Angela and Holly were Kami’s cute bff’s, and her parents were absent. I felt like Kami’s emotional range didn’t go far, and her feelings didn’t run deep for anything. She claimed she wanted to be a journalist, but it seemed more like she was just nosey, not that she thought whatever she found out would affect her family. Jared, on the other hand felt profound emotions about Kami. He was the brooding bad boy, except we all know that he had a very kind heart. And let’s not forget he was tall and muscular.

The twists and turns:
Ana:  Lots of twists and turn and “I didn’t see that coming” moments.  The plot was fast moving.  The characters surprised me several times in their reactions and their actions which added to the suspense of the story.
Celeste: Many twists and turns but I don’t think all the dots connected smoothly. Too many things were going on at once so instead of feeling surprised I think it let to more confusion.

The ending:
Ana:  Well, I didn’t see that coming….on either front.  As I mentioned above, there are really two stories happening here and both managed to surprise me in the end. Although only one of them made me sad.
Celeste: I have to say, I too felt sad, but was so annoyed with Kami. I only felt badly for Jared. The other story was just too much.

Overall thoughts
Ana:  This was a book with lots of potential and it met it in some of the ways.  The suspense was well done, the relationships were well cultivated, there was humour in many areas to lighten the mood and Kami was a great main character.  But, in other ways, it felt a bit disjointed to me.  The book jumped from storyline to storyline and, at times, from location to location and conversation to conversation, too quickly.  In all honesty, I was reading a galley which probably had not been formatted correctly yet and that probably affected the flow of the book.  I hope that with a bit of editing that may not be as big an issue.  I just wish I’d been able to connect with the characters more because I know that is what was missing for me.  Overall, it had good potential with unique storylines and likeable characters, I just didn’t get what I expected or wanted from this book.
Celeste: The storyline with Kami and Jared was great, even though I didn’t love Kami I really liked the connection the two of them had. On that note, I think the storyline of the book has great potential, but needs a serious rehaul. It needs to flow better and build up more slowly. As I said earlier, it just went in too many directions at once. The basic outline was great but delivery just didn’t work for me. However, I checked out other reviews and people are loving it… so don’t just take my word for it. It just didn’t work for me. Will I read the next one? Probably not…unless Ana reads it first and tells me the style has gotten better.


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