Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: Unspoken (Lynburn Legacy #1)

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?
(Cover & Description from Goodreads. Source)
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: September 11, 2012
 
Kat's Review
 
Let's start by judging this book by the cover.  That is one beautiful book cover right there.  I sometimes write reviews of great books with crappy covers and encourage readers to look past the cover art to what lies beneath, but in this case, the cover is what initially attracted me to this book.  This is the first novel I've read from Sarah Rees Brennan, although I am familiar with her work.  The cover is what sucked me in.
 
There is so much else to love about this book.  I love that the main character isn't white, and it just is what it is.  Kami Glass is what my grandmother would have called plucky, or resourceful.  At times she can be a bit brash, particularly when she's doing something that scares her.  She wasn't always easy to like, but she was always courageous and determined, qualities I can admire in a main character.  The author creates a creepy world, and fills it with some equally creepy characters, each keeping secrets and telling lies, and Kami is in the middle, trying to unravel it all. 
 
Then there's Jared, the boy in Kami's head who turns out to be real after all.  The relationship between Kami and Jared is complex, because they've been a part of the other's life since birth.  I admire the way the author handled this relationship when the pair meet face to face.  Instead of falling into each other's arms, there was an instant wariness, a fear of what it meant that the other person was more than just a figment of the imagination.  I found the exploration of this relationship the most fascinating part of the book.  I won't spoil anything in the review, but I will say that when a certain something happens I found myself in tears. 
 
This novel does so many things well.  It manages to explore friendship and romance, sexuality, family obligations and betrayals, trust and fear.  It tests relationships and exposes the common underlying fear of being alone.  It masterfully weaves in the supernatural without resorting to it to conveniently tie up a plot point.  It introduces peripheral characters in a way that promises more in the books to come. 
 
Rating: All Consuming
 
Now I see what all the fuss is about this author.  Great story, creepy setting, fun dialogue and well drawn characters combine to make this novel a roller coaster of a read.  I can't wait for the next book.  I borrowed this copy from the library, but now that I know how good it is, I will be buying a copy.  I need that cover gracing my shelves.
 
Purchase:
 
Amazon US
 
Amazon Canada 

3 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good book. I will have to add it to my list!

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    Replies
    1. I really, really liked this one. Then I realized that the sequel wasn't out yet and now I'm waiting very impatiently for it to be released!

      Thanks for visiting the blog!

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  2. I read this one recently and loved it as well. : ) I admit to already being biased when it comes to Sarah Rees Brennan because her Demons Lexicon series stole my heart, but this one was fantastic for a host of different reasons. Glad you liked it! I'm also super-anxious for the sequel!

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