Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: Unspoken

Unspoken (Lynburn Legacy, book 1)
By Sarah Rees Brennan
Expected publication September 11, 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers

Kami Glass has lived her whole life with a voice in her head. No, she's not crazy - just Jared has always been there, looking out for her, caring for her, and knowing her in a way no one else knows. So imagine her surprise when the voice in her head shows up at her high school in the form of a mysterious (and good-looking) bad boy, a lost member of her village's most powerful family. Kami may be getting much more than she bargained for...

So, this book came onto my radar through a combination of things. First, I read and absolutely loved Team Human, co-authored by Brennan (Rees Brennan? If I go by our library catalog, I think I've got it right with just the Brennan). Then, I read the summary for this book (which is, admittedly, better than the one I made up above). THEN, there was the cover reveal. I mean, seriously? Is this not the most beautiful cover? Absolutely sold on this. I was lucky enough to receive a digital galley from the publisher and I immediately started reading.

What I found was an enchanting book with a fantastic cast of characters and a gothic and eerie mystery sure to keep readers enthralled. I adored basically everything about this book. Let me start with Kami. She's our main character and let me tell you - she's amazing! Kami is clever and smart, funny, strong and vulnerable. She might be in love with her imaginary friend but everybody has their things, right? Only, Kami's imaginary friend turns out to not be so imaginary. I thoroughly enjoyed being on Kami's side throughout this story. And then there is Kami's supporting cast - notoriously napping Angela, peppy Holly, charming Rusty, adorable and sweet younger brothers Ten and Tomo, and then, of course, the potentially dangerous Lynburn boys. All these characters are so real and interesting - I wanted to know more about them. I wanted to be friends with them - well, maybe not the Lynburns.

What else did I love about this book? It's fun! I have to admit, as much as I love horror, I don't really go for the gothic. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier was one of my most despised high school English assignments. But this book - if all Gothics were like this, I'd certainly be reading more. As I mentioned before, Kami is funny. And so are her cohorts. There are definitely some laugh-out-loud moments, as well as some quieter clever jokes. What's even more impressive is that Brennan has managed to balance this fun with one of the creepier mysteries I've encountered in recent history. I loved slowly unraveling the secrets of Sorry-in-the-Vale alongside Kami and this book definitely has a very Gothic tone. Brennan has created a wonderful sense of place with Sorry-in-the-Vale; I felt as if I were there.

Needless to say, I'm completely in love with everything about this book - the characters, the mystery, the intrigue, the humor, the setting - I want more! I'm already eagerly anticipating the next book!

Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy via Edelweiss.

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