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A modern, magical twist on the Gothic Romance and Girl Detective genres, this book will appeal to fans of both Beautiful Creatures and the Mortal Instruments series. Reviewers have praised the take-charge heroine and the spellbinding romance.
Bound together. Worlds apart.
Kami Glass is in love with someone she's never met—a boy she's talked to in her head since she was born. This has made her an outsider in the sleepy English town of ...
A modern, magical twist on the Gothic Romance and Girl Detective genres, this book will appeal to fans of both Beautiful Creatures and the Mortal Instruments series. Reviewers have praised the take-charge heroine and the spellbinding romance.
Bound together. Worlds apart.
Kami Glass is in love with someone she's never met—a boy she's talked to in her head since she was born. This has made her an outsider in the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, but she has learned ways to turn that to her advantage. Her life seems to be in order, until disturbing events begin to occur. There has been screaming in the woods and the manor overlooking the town has lit up for the first time in 10 years. . . . The Lynburn family, who ruled the town a generation ago and who all left without warning, have returned. Now Kami can see that the town she has known and loved all her life is hiding a multitude of secrets—and a murderer. The key to it all just might be the boy in her head. The boy she thought was imaginary is real, and definitely and deliciously dangerous.
"A sparkling fantasy that will make you laugh and break your heart." —Cassandra Clare, New York Times bestselling author
"A darkly funny, deliciously thrilling Gothic." —Kelley Armstrong, New York Times bestselling author
"Readers will laugh, shiver, and maybe even swoon over this modern Gothic novel." —Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author
"Breathtaking—a compulsive, rocketing read."—Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author
"Captures the reader with true magic."—Esther Friesner, author of Nobody's Princess
"A laugh-out-loud delight." —Publishers Weekly
Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author
"Readers will laugh, shiver, and maybe even swoon over this modern Gothic novel."
Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author
“Breathtaking, heartbreaking—a compulsive, rocketing read!”
Kelley Armstrong, New York Times bestselling author
"A darkly funny, deliciously thrilling Gothic. Unspoken kept me up late, turning the pages as fast as I could."
Esther Friesner, author of Nobody’s Princess and the Chicks in Chainmail series
“With a heroine who kicks butt without ever being a ‘Spunky Girl’ cliché, Unspoken captures the reader with true magic: alluring, dangerous, fascinating, and breathtakingly real.”
The Horn Book
"Witty, take-charge Kami reads a bit like a British Veronica Mars, and troubled Jared, uncovering his own dark legacy alongside her, is compelling. Brennan thoughtfully and thoroughly explores the implications of sharing a psychic connection; for Kami and Jared, it's by turns comforting, romantic, and agonizing. After this first installment-full of mystery, magic, and nods to both the girl detective genre and gothic romance-readers will be impatiently awaiting the next."
"A promising launch with a dark cliff-hanger of an ending."
“An enjoyable tribute for established fans of the gothic, as well as an enticing introduction for new ones.”
The First Story
THE RETURN OF THE LYNBURNS
by Kami Glass
Every town in England has a story. One day I am going to find out Sorry-in-the-Vale’s.
The closest this reporter has come to getting our town’s scoop is when I asked Mr. Roger Stearn (age seventy-six but young at heart) to tell me a secret about our town. He confided that he believed the secret to Sorry-in-the-Vale’s high yield of wool was in the sheep feed. I think I may have betrayed some slight disappointment, because he stared at me for a while, said, “Respect the sheep, young lady,” and ended the interview. Which leaves us with a town in the Cotswolds that has a lot of wool and no secrets. Which is plainly ridiculous. Sorry-in-the-Vale’s records date back to the 1400s. Six hundred years do not go by without someone doing something nefarious.
The Lynburns are the town’s founding family, and we all know what the lords of the manor get up to. Ravishing the peasants, burning their humble cottages. Fox hunting. The list goes on and on.
The Lynburns have “dark secret” written all over them. There is even a skipping song about them. Skipping songs may not seem dark to you, but consider “Ring Around the Rosy,” a happy children’s rhyme about the plague. In Sorry-in-the-Vale they sing this song:
Forest deep, silent bells
There’s a secret no one tells
Valley quiet, water still
Lynburns watching on the hill
Apples red, corn gold
Almost everyone grows old.
The song even talks about secrets.
During this dauntless reporter’s lifetime, however, the only Lynburn in Aurimere House was Marigold Lynburn (now deceased). Far be it from me to speak ill of the dead, but it cannot be denied that Mrs. Lynburn was a ferociously private person. To the point of ferociously throwing her walker at certain innocently curious children.
Today, after seventeen years in America, Marigold Lynburn’s daughters have returned to Sorry-in-the- Vale. If the family does have any dark secrets, dear readers, you can have faith that I will uncover them.
Kami stopped typing and glared at the screen. She wasn’t sure about the tone of her article. A serious journalist should probably not make so many jokes, but whenever Kami sat down to the computer it was as if the jokes were already there, hiding behind the keys, waiting to spring out at her.
Kami knew there was a story in the Lynburns. They had gone away before she was born, but all her life she had heard people wishing that someone sick would recover, or a storm would bypass the valley, and in the same breath say, “but the Lynburns are gone.” She had spent the summer since she heard of their return asking questions all over town, and had people instantly hush her as if the Lynburns might be listening. Kami’s own mother cut her off every time, her voice equal parts severe and scared about her dangerously disrespectful daughter.
Kami looked back at the screen. She couldn’t think of a title besides “The Lynburns Return.” She blamed the Lynburns, because their surname rhymed with “return.” She also blamed the kids who were messing around in the woods beyond her garden: tonight they were making a sound that was almost howling. It went on and on, a noise that struck her ears hard and set her temples throbbing.
Kami jumped up from her chair and ran out of her bedroom. She thumped down the narrow creaking stairs and out the back door into the silver-touched square that was her garden at night. The dark curve of the woods held the glittering lights of Sorry-in-the-Vale like a handful of stars in a shadowy palm. On the other end of the woods, high above the town, was Aurimere House, its bell tower a skeletal finger pointing at the sky. Aurimere House, which the Lynburns had built when they founded the town, and where they had lived for generations, the masters of all they surveyed. There was no place in Sorry-in-the-Vale where you could not see the mansion, its windows like watching eyes. Kami always found herself watching it in return.
For the first time Kami could remember, every window was lit from within, shining gold.
The Lynburns were home at last.
The howling reached a pitch that raked up Kami’s spine and sent her running to the garden gate, where she stood with her eyes full of darkness. Then the sound died abruptly. Suddenly there was nothing but the night wind, shushing Kami as if she’d had a bad dream and running cold fingers through her hair. Kami reached out past the boundaries of her own mind and called for comfort.
What’s wrong? the voice in Kami’s head asked at once, his concern wrapping around her. She felt warmer instantly, despite the wind.
Nothing’s wrong, Kami answered.
She felt Jared’s presence slip away from her as she stood in the moonlit garden for another moment, listening to the silence of the woods. Then she went back inside to finish her article. She still hadn’t told Angela about the paper.
Posted September 11, 2012
The moment I read this description I knew I had to read Unspoken. It sounded unique and intriguing and I loved the idea of a psychic connection gone awry. Who does that? AND, does it well? Sarah Rees Brennan…period.
I could sum this review up in seven words:
This book rocks my socks.
…but I won’t…So what specifically did I love? The setting, for one thing. I’ve been to London (ok I was six so I don’t even remember it clearly). I’ve seen pictures of the countryside in England, Ireland, Scotland, etc. I know of its beauty but I’ve never seen it firsthand. Yet, somehow, after reading Brennan’s descriptions and the imagery she uses, I feel like I’ve visited the English countryside. I feel like I’ve seen the town and met it’s occupants. It’s gorgeous.
The writing. Within the first two pages I was hooked. I am a sucker for a good inner monologue and incredible banter and in this fantastic novel we get to hear the joint inner monologue of the main character, Kami Glass, and her not-so-imaginary friend, Jared. Top it off with Brennan’s quirky banter and you are set for an utterly hilarious read. Anyone can come up with a great line but to sustain dialogue and keep me captivated through every page is talent and flat-out art. There are no wasted words in this book. Brennan has carefully crafted the plot and it’s pacing to deliver each punch at just the right moment for the final knock out blow and…well we’ll get to that.
The secondary characters. Every character mentioned in this book has a purpose. I loved Kami’s family and the way that the other Lynburns are brought to life, especially Ash. Angela, Holly and Rusty are totally unforgettable. Brennan’s ability to make these characters human is exquisite.
Now on to Kami. She is quirky, smart and impetuous. She’s ridiculously brave and I absolutely adore the fact that she tromps through the woods in skirts and kitten heels. She’s a super awesome girl sleuth with fashion sense. I want to be her. She’s also hilarious and made me laugh more than anyone in the whole book. I also loved her honesty and depth. She is one seriously grounded individual who looks at things from all sides.
Then there is Jared who has the ability to be both endearing and swoon-worthy while at the same time disturbing and a little unhinged. He is complex and “other” compared to the other characters in the book. No one truly understands him, even Kami who is practically in his brain almost constantly. He’s broken and needs Kami in sometimes very unhealthy ways. So, while I adore him and want to hug away his brokenness and kiss his boo boos, he’s also extremely needy and could use a little maturity. Jared has this ability to leave you completely unsettled about him the entire story. Throughout the novel, I kept going back and forth: do I like him? do I not like him? I’ll leave you to decide for yourself!
Lastly, the conclusion aka the knock out blow. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. I wasn’t expecting it at all but it made perfect sense with the way Brennan set up her world. She keeps you just enough in the loop and just enough on edge that you never really know who to trust and who to hate. Unspoken is a beautifully spun mystery and an epic love story while never venturing into the trite or cheesy. I could not have asked for a better ending to complete this portion of Kami’s story and I’m so excited to see where these characters go next.
Unspoken is hilarious and charming while also being dark and unsettling. Sarah Rees Brennan has created a work of genius that delights and disturbs in equal measure. Absolute must read!
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Posted September 24, 2012
Not since ‘Potter’ has a book this good come on the market! This is one of those series that is fresh and new that speaks to readers on all levels, and then makes them seriously angry because…they want Book II right now!
Our leading lady, Kami Glass, loves the guy who lives in her head. Ever since she was eight she’s spoken with Jared, an imaginary friend who makes life more interesting. And, gosh knows, she needs interesting.
Kami lives in Sorry-in-the-Vales, England. She’s a teenage reporter who wants her dream of being the best journalist in the world to come true. But when you live in this town, you have to really scrape for a story considering how boring it is. For a town built in the 1400’s - all they seem to have is sheep and no secrets. Soon, however, the ritzy family who built this town and were once the ‘lord and masters’ of all they surveyed, return. They are the Lynburn’s, and after seventeen years away the Lynburn daughter’s have returned with their families and Kami wants to get an interview. She knows there’s something up with these guys and she’s going to find out what their secrets really are.
Angela - who is a truly hysterical character - is Kami’s best friend. She signs on when the school year begins to help Kami with her newspaper. The school gives them a wee little office to work in and Angela basically joins the team so she can nap on the couch that’s provided. As Kami begins running around like ‘1,000 monkeys on crack,’ to get things going, a Lynburn walks in with a camera around his neck and asks for a job - this is Ash - and he is absolutely stunning.
Although Kami has stars in her eyes for this guy, a cousin of his soon arrives at school who is a way darker version with more than one secret hanging over his head. The cousin’s name is Jared, and he is…the voice inside Kami’s head.
Yup - the imaginary friend is absolutely real. So how does that happen? Readers will be blown away by the plot this author has come up with. Chills from the past, ancient legends come to life, Jared and Ash and a family that has secrets that could ruin the town and create lots of dead bodies - everything is in this one!
Quill Says: Bravo to the author! And hurry up with Book Two!
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 19, 2012
Rating: 5 stars*
What do I like about this book? Hmm....
I think the better question is what DON'T like about this book?
Because that list is virtually non-existent.
I just cannot get over how fabulously the author tackled every aspect of this book that could have made it just another typical, clichéd YA novel!
Just the fact that Kami has been able to talk to this "imaginary" boy in her head for her entire life, this imaginary boy she's in love with, only to suddenly discover that he's real and they now go to the same school! Oh yes, the boy she's told everything to--every secret, thought, insecurity--this boy is not a figment of her imagination. I feel like this set-up could have easily turned into a major case of insta-love, but THANK YOU GODS OF LITERATURE for giving Sarah Rees Brennan a much more brilliant idea!
Kami and Jared are pretty freaked out at discovering the other is 100% real--understandably so, I might add--They're not sure whether they should be friends, girlfriend-boyfriend, or enemies. They spend a fair bit of time resenting the fact that the other person isn't imaginary and I LOVED IT.
Their relationship is just so unique in the world of YA--confusing, strained, frustrating, yet at the same time, their chemistry is undeniable. It's just crafted wonderfully and very realistically.
Now let's just take a moment to appreciate the sheer awesomeness of Brennan's characters. Seriously. They. Are. Magnificent. Not only are they all very distinct, personality-wise, but they're all gifted with impressive wit. I wish I could be funny like Kami and Angela--no actually, can I just be BFFs with them??? Angela was a personal favorite of mine. I mean, how often do you meet a character who loves naps, is super lazy, can seriously kick butt, and hates people? I was like, "let me love you!" Kami was sassy and super witty, very much like Veronica Mars. I fell in love with Kami's character from the moment she made her first joke. Another thing about these characters that was so refreshing was how sensible they all were! Especially Kami! She thought things through, was courageous but not stupid, and didn't let her emotions take over! The best way to describe her would be this quote:
"She didn't want to be the girl who just believed in the guy she liked, no matter what extenuating mind-reading circumstances existed. She didn't want her feelings to blind her. She didn't want anything to blind her. She did not know what her feelings were, or what his were, or how to separate the two. She did not want to drown in what was between them and lose control, or lose who she was."
If you hated Bella, I think you're going to love Kami. Heck, even if you liked Bella, you'll still probably love Kami because she is just made of awesomesauce.
All in all: This. Book. Is. Freaking. Amazing. There is a supernatural element present in the book--which I won't spoil for you--but I can honestly say that Brennan's take on this is quite unique and honestly? I did not see it coming. At all.
*I was provided a copy of this book by Netgalley and the publishers in return for an honest review.
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The was one of the better books I have read.I was instantly immersed into this fantastic story.
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Posted September 12, 2012
I am utterly and completely in love with not only this book, but its author Sarah Rees Brennan. Unspoken is amazing! I have never read a book that was anything like it or even about the same topic. An imaginary friend who ends up being a real person? How amazing! And scary at the same time, I know I would be freaked out. I loved every single second of this novel, including (after coping) its huge cliffhanger ending. The characters are all amazingly well developed and I loved every single one of them. I couldn't find a single flaw with this book. I encourage everyone who loves YA to give this novel a read, and I will definitely be continuing on with this series and anything else Sarah has written!
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Posted February 6, 2013
This book is clever, funny, snarky, mysterious--and it will rip your heart right out. A must-read for any fans of Veronica Mars or The Golden Compass.
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Posted March 5, 2014
Posted November 19, 2013
So I finally, finally finished this book. I'm not sure what I can say about this story, I was expecting so much more. The book
started off at a good pace, but for me, it started to falter right around the time Kami (our intrepid investigative journalist)
encounters Jared for the first time, in the flesh, at the library. After that initial meeting when they realized who each of them was,
the story seemed to sort of slow down to painful crawl. I know the story was supposed to be about finding out about the
mysterious Lynburns and their return to the town, but a good chunk of the book was dedicated to Kami's and Jared's feelings
toward one another. What was with Jared not wanting to touch Kami anyway?
The story really seemed to pick up speed after the pub incident with Holly, and even more so with Nicola. It was interesting
learning about the connection with Kami's mother and Rosalind and how that formed the connection between Kami and Jared.
I wasn't surprised to learn who the sorcerer was, nor was I surprised when Holly told Kami what happened with Angela. I was,
however, shocked with Jared's behavior toward Kami after all was said and done.
All I can say is that I'm glad MY teenage years weren't quite so angsty and drama-filled!
Posted October 12, 2013
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Posted May 17, 2013
Before I say anything else, I have to talk about the actual, physical book: the cover is truly eye-catching and just plain interesting. I love the intricate design of the gate and the leaves at the top, the font at the beginning of the chapters and the different quotes scattered around at the start of all the parts Unspoken is divided up into. To me, it just screams "read me!" When I looked up the sequel, I was truly horrified to see that the covers of this series has been redesigned so it looks exactly like every other paranormal YA book. It's so disappointing. But anyway, I'm getting past my bookish vanity and moving onto the content of the novel.
The concept is awesome. An imaginary friend turned real? Who wouldn't want to meet their made-up childhood friend? I loved how Brennan wrote out the whole thing; I think it could have easily turned into a very messy and unorganized plot. But she made it seem very real with descriptions of Kami and Jared feeling each other's emotions and sensing each other's thoughts. Their connection was easily one of the best highlights of the book; watching them interact and get to know each other a bit after finding out their "imaginary" friend isn't quite so imaginary.
I loved how slowly the mystery gradually progresses in Unspoken; it's like it just creeps up on you without you even realizing it. The Lynburns are a family to be feared, and the natural sinister vibe that surrounds them adds a compelling element to the plot. After spending so many pages hinting about the Lynburns, what they were and how frightened everyone was by them, it wasn't all that surprising to find out what they could do. The idea is not exactly a new one in the big picture of things, but in my opinion, any overly-used concept can remain awesome if done well.
From the beginning, I absolutely adored Kami. Her quirkiness, sarcastic humor and overall charisma were apparent from the very first page. I can't count the amount of times something she thought or said made me smile or chuckle (though, maybe I was a little jealous of her, because I'd love to be a journalist but I don't really have the persistence necessary for the job). The side characters, Holly and Angela, were both very amusing in their own ways as well. I identified with Angela a lot for not really being a people person.
But honestly, I do feel extremely conflicted about the romance. On one hand, I like Kami and Jared together. I think they would be an awesome couple - even without the mind-reading thing. And while I appreciated that Kami didn't go all insta-love on me and slobber all over Jared because of their connection, I did get a little tired of her constantly pushing him away, especially in the second half of the book. She admits to herself a few times that she has feelings for him (though at the same time is a little wary of his motives), but then she goes on a date with Ash and rebuffs Jared all the time. I felt like they had a good friendship for the most part, but I just wanted to feel more . . . like they wanted to be together? Like I said, my thoughts on this are still a little unclear.
I applaud the twists in the last few chapters - I really did not see them coming. I really enjoyed the storytelling in general throughout Unspoken, and I'm really looking forward to its sequel, Untold. I feel like I got a good sense of closure in one way, but in another (the Kami/Jared way), I was left completely in the dark. I couldn't believe Brennan chose to end it like that! Sadly, I won't be able to continue this story until August, when the second book comes out.
Posted April 30, 2013
Posted March 25, 2013
This books is a great read. The ending is sort of sad ish. Because of what this guy say to the girl.anyways i think she is better of with the guy with the colorful and amazing eyes.who liked her from the begining without having to read each others mind. Anywho is you are done reading this book, you should check out the expert for the next one because it sort of was unexpected.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 19, 2013
I was wondering around the library
At my school and found this book. So hey why not, looked interesting...i got it......i could barely put it down wihout going crazy! Im now going to search for the second book (at librarys) to devour that too...ppl looked at me like i was crazy! I couldnt stop laughing at parts!
Posted January 18, 2013
Posted January 16, 2013
I actually bought this book on accident (I won't go into details on how I managed that) so it sat on my shelf for a while before I finally buckled down and read it; and oh my word did i devour this book when I finally cracked it open!
I had never read anything by the author before but if all of her books are this amazing I'll defiantly have to start. The main character, Kami, is quirky and funny and all the characters are lovable in their own way. The plot was perfect and interesting.
The main reason that I loved this book so much was because it was just plain hilarious. Sure there are serious parts and parts that might rip your heart out but all that's nestled between parts where people are bound to look at you and think "Why is that person laughing at a book?"
Posted January 9, 2013
I like the beginning of the book and I like how the villain was someone you didn't see coming. I would say I enjoyed this book up till about 65% of the way through, but then things started to get a bit too confusing. I would have liked a little less jumping from one hing right to a total, opposite other. I did feel like the author did a great job building all the characters, I love each one of them... BUT... This author did the one thing that really turns me off of a book, completely change everything about a characters personality. that is that after the main girl does... Well I won't give any spoilers but needless to say, after the climax of the situation, the main guy's personality and behavior did a total 180 in the blink of an eye. It was like he was an entirely different character and I hated how he was. I get what she was going for but it was very poorly executed. I am not sure if I will read the next book because right now I am at a point where I don't care to see how it turns out.
I wouldn't say don't read this book, but just be prepared for the flaws of an otherwise decent ya novel.
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