Review: 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?

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I haven’t a clue why I’ve never read anything by Sarah Rees Brennan before Unspoken. From the first pages I was hooked on this newest offering from Brennan, causing me to wonder just what I’ve been missing all this time!


Kami quickly shaped up to be a  fantastic main characters… and perhaps a new favorite. Right from the start it was obvious she was a funny and whip smart… and she only grew on me as the story progressed. Even though she often takes risks, I never saw Kami as irresponsible or naive. Instead, she sees what needs to be done then goes out and does it.


Readers know from the description that Kami’s long time “imaginary friend,” that she’s talked to in her head for years, turns out to be a real flesh and blood boy, but uncovering why Kami and Jared can communicate telepathically – and all the complications their bond causes – turns out to be a rather delicious treat. I seriously loved that things aren’t easy for Kami and Jared, even though they’ve, in a way, talked and known each other for years. Having your imaginary friend end up being a real person might not be realistic, but the feelings and challenges these two characters experience ring true.


Another aspect of Unspoken that I particularly enjoyed was the relationship between Kami and her best friend. Too often, I find the best friend to be either a pain in the ass or a horrible influence, but Kami has a really kickass best friend. Actually, all Kami’s friends are really supportive and awesome. It is so, so nice to see a main character get the support she deserves. *happy dance*


I feel that I can’t go into much of a discussion of the actual plot without becoming spoilery, but I loved every twist and turn and, honestly, didn’t find Unspoken to be at all predictable. The mystery is pretty neatly wrapped up by the end of the novel, but there were enough loose ends left that there’s reason for a next book… which is awesome because I’m rather attached to these characters! 

Random House BFYR, September 2012, Hardcover, ISBN: 9780375870415, 370 pages.

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I was able to meet and chat with Sarah Rees Brennan (and Jennifer Lynn Barnes) at this year’s RT Convention in Chicago!


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