Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: Unspoken

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Page Count: 370
Would Appeal To: Fans of Maggie Stiefvater

Favorite Quotes:
"'Your soul is like the souls of a thousand monkeys on crack, all smushed together.'"

"'The photocopy machine overheated and broke down. I think I can still hear the sound of it sobbing and wanting to talk about its childhood.'"

"At first glance, Rusty was a masculine version of his sister--tall, dark, and incurably lazy. He had the same athletic frame, which he draped on walls and furniture as if simply too weak to support himself."

"He met her eyes, face calm. The oak leaves above him were already gilded, autumn coming to the woods like a king in a legend, touching all the trees with brightness."

Why You Must Read This:
  • Invisible friend come to life, anyone? Right from the start, this premise had me hooked. Kami has talked to Jared in her head her whole life, and sometimes she spaces out when having conversations with him. Her mom has always hoped she'd grow out of it, the kids at school used to think she was weird-- she even lost a best friend over Jared. But she's not willing to give him up. When he becomes a real person, one of the Lynburns who moves back to the spooky manor at the top of the hill, Kami practically has a mental breakdown. She isn't crazy, and she has to figure out how to live in a world that's scarier, now that he's an actual person she must interact with. 
  • I laughed out loud, in the gym! So I tend to start new books while I'm working out...let's just say I'm glad no one else was around. Within the first three chapters, I was cracking up. Kami starts a school newspaper in a cramped office with only her best friend Angela to keep her company. Angela's really only in it for the napping couch. Soon, the mysterious Ash Lynburn appears, a perfect interviewee for her story on "The Return of the Lynburns."
  • Magic. Not only are all of Brennan's descriptions magical and unique, but she weaves magic through the storyline in ways you won't even see coming until, BAM, they hit you!
  • Fun dialogue. I can't remember being this amused by dialogue since two years ago when I read Robin Benway's The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June. The characters' speech, from self-defense instructor (and older brother of Angela) Rusty to Kami's jokester of a father, brings the story to life and makes even the most minor characters sparkle off the page.
  • Kept me guessing. On more than one occasion, I found myself right there with Kami--unsure of who to trust. She is a reporter who needs to get to the bottom of mysterious events before someone--gasp--kills her! She only seems to be a little worried about the death part, thanks to her habitually curious tendancies. If you go into this story just knowing the invisible friend part (and the book jacket does an excellent job of not providing spoilers), you will be pleasantly surprised with the plot twists! Clever work, Ms. Brennan. I will be reading all of your other books.
  • Emotional. The plot wasn't all fun and games. I enjoyed the relationship between Kami and Jared. Kami's good at analyzing gestures and deciphering thoughts, but of course, she misreads certain cues, as does Jared. There was a surprising moment when the 3rd person POV switched to Jared, but I also liked getting into his head a little. I found myself rooting for the good characters but also sympathizing with the ones who are unsure of whether they can fully cross the line to what we might call "bad guy." I also had a strong dislike for Ash's mom. She made my skin crawl.  
  • Loved the ending. For once, abrupt equals AWESOMENESS! Your emotions might go haywire, but you will be pining for the next Lynburn Legacy book. 
What Bugged Me:
  • The only thing I can think of is that Ash comes from America and uses some British phrases, like "Can I offer you a lift home?" I haven't ever heard a U.S. teen say that particular sentence. This was not nearly enough of a discrepancy to make me deduct half a butterfly on the rating scale.
Final Verdict:
Unspoken showcases a cast of cooky characters with extreme loyalties whose adventures are both hilarious and nightmarish. A memorable mystery that causes eruptions of laughter and lack of sleep.   


Lisa said...

I loved Unspoken too. Between the mystery and and laugh out loud parts this novel hooked me from page one!

Bookworm1858 said...

There were so many funny moments in this book-those quips were my favorite part of the book!

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

I absolutely adored this book, Sarah's writing was beautiful and the story was amazing. All of the characters had these quirks that kept me interested, and you are completely right about the ending. I need the next book ASAP! Great review :)

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