05 November 2012

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

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?

From the very first page I fell in love with this book.  Kami is a wonderful character and I enjoyed being in her head.  I also really liked her connection with Jared and ((dude, most obvious spoiler EVER)) their shared mind-talk.  It was really nice to see how being a mind-reader made it HARDER to have a connection with a person, not easier.  The cast of characters around Kami is diverse and well fleshed out as individuals.  The book also had an amazing voice.  I thought it was hilarious that I was actually reading half the characters' dialogue in an English accent . . . it felt that real to me.  This is probably because the setting is very vivid and made me feel like I belonged on the English countryside (who am I kidding, I always thought that).  It's really good that this book has such great characters and setting, because the plot is seriously lacking.  Although there's a breathtaking conclusion the beginning is really slow and the pacing is atrocious.  The first half of the book seems to be "figured out something bad about Jared, Jared is blocking me out, can I trust Jared, find out what Jared's hiding, Jared is blocking me out . . ." ad nauseum.  It was so fun to learn more about Kami and Jared that I excused all these problems, but I can see how some people would be very annoyed with them.  Finally, just as the plot gets going there is a big crash-bang ending and then . . . nothing.  Talk about the mother of all cliffhangers!  I was left clambering for the second book, which I'll probably read in one setting just like I did this book.

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