Friday, 17 January 2014

Review - Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)
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?

Amazon UK

I really enjoyed the Demon’s Lexicon trilogy, so I was keen to pick up Sarah Rees Brennan’s latest book. And Unspoken was even better than I expected!

Kami is a wannabe-journalist who sees her chance for a great story when the infamous Lynburn family return to her hometown of Sorry-in-the-Vale for the first time in seventeen years. But the last thing she expects is to meet the ‘imaginary’ friend she talks to in her head in real life: Jared Lynburn. Soon she’s caught up in a mystery that no one seems to want her to be involved in, concerning the town’s history, dangerous magic, and the Lynburn family.

It’s incredibly difficult to describe this book because Sarah Rees Brennan is brilliant at reworking clichéd ideas in a completely different way. For instance, the idea of an imaginary friend turning out to be real, a hot guy with whom the MC has an irrecoverable connection…it isn’t what you’d think! In fact, it’s downright embarrassing and awkward for both Kami and Jared to suddenly discover that the voice in their head is a real person! As a character, Kami is curious, independent and brave, and the supporting characters were well-developed and unique. Jared has the typical bad-boy image that the other characters mercilessly make fun of, and Kami’s interactions with her family are hilarious. I felt like the author has put a lot of time into crafting these characters and making them believable. The same goes for the plot, which has plenty of twists and turns and a real cliffhanger of an ending!

The plot is fairly slow to unfold, but there’s enough mystery and intrigue to keep the suspense building. I like the Gothic creepiness of the town and I tend to love a good supernatural-focused mystery, so this book was right up my street! The easy writing style, the humour, the great characters – everything about Unspoken was spot-on. Five stars!

Rating: *****

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