- Date published: 11th September 2012
- Publisher: Random House Children’s Publishing
- Format: Hardback, 370 pages
- Series: The Lynburn Legacy, Book 1
- ISBN 13: 9780375870415 ISBN 10: 0375870415
- Categories: YA Fantasy
- Goodreads / The Book Depository / Booktopia (AU) / Bookworld
- Source: provided for review by the publisher
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?
Unspoken is undoubtably one of the most moving and wonderful books I have read in a long time. It’s incredibly powerful – something about the prose and the characters and the setting stays with you long after you’ve out the book down and turned out the lights.
Kami’s character carries the book for me – she’s absolutely amazing. Quirky takes on a whole new meaning around her: she’s got this way about her that I adored, but I can see how it could be off-putting to those around her, and also to some readers. Kami is incredibly blunt, a trait that makes her so successful as a reporter I think. Her friend Angela is also unique – she has a penchant for napping everywhere and is really funny as well. For once I got to read about a female YA character with healthy relationships with her family and friends, and I loved it. In contrast, despite Kami’s constant awareness of Jared, I felt like I didn’t know Jared that well. Much of this stems from the fact that he acts in opposition to what Kami feels from him, and like her, I was continually confused. His cousin, Ash, was a lot more transparent and I was exasperated that Kami couldn’t figure him out!
BetweenJared and Ash, I have to say I prefer Jared. I know he’s more unstable and unsavoury than Ash, but something about Ash, and his perfect glory, kept bugging me throughout. I feel Jared is more honest, overall. The other Lynburns freaked me out a lot, regardless of whom we’re talking about. The twin sisters, Jared and Ash’s mothers, are really creepy and closed off, and I didn’t like the way they treated Kami. I actually really liked Ash’s father, he seems really nice. I was sorry for the way his story developed in the book.
Sorry-in-the-Vale (a weird name, yes, but once I got over that it was okay) is brought to life by Brennan’s lush writing. I didn’t have any difficulties imaging the town, its inhabitants and the creepy influence the Lynburns have on it. I loved the writing style: there is something very frank and open about the way the book is written. I think the book is paced well too, a bit like classical music that begins slowly, unassumingly, and then builds up into a crescendo. Upon reading it for a second time I have discovered a lot of hidden clues which I hadn’t on the first read, and now I’m even more in awe of Brennan’s writing skills. The clues, about everything, are there if you know what to look for!
As you can probably tell, I loved everything about this book, except for the fact that it ended, because now I need more. You should be desperately wanting to read Unspoken, you should be coveting it. I’ve ordered in a physical copy to look pretty on my shelves, since I had an e-ARC, and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel as soon as I can my hands on it!
About the Australian/UK edition: