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?
Hardcover, 370 pages
Expected publication: September 11th 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Kami has always had a voice in her head. From her days as an infant, Jared has been in her head talking to her, comforting her and remaining her constant friend, and she has done the same for him. Her friends and family, over the years, thought she was crazy, so Kami hides the fact that she is never alone. Is she crazy? Then Kami begins hearing strange, eerie noises from the woods and the lights flick on in the abadoned manor on the hill. The Lynburns have returned. Who are the Lynburns? Their name is whispered about the town with dread. The Lynburns founded the town and have protected it for centuries. Why is everyone hesitant to discuss this enigmatic family? At school Kami meets two of the Lynburn boys, and things are never the same. Kami is nearly killed when she is shoved into a well. She discovers the noises in the woods lead to tortured dead animals. A killer is on the loose. Can Kami find the truth behind the voice in her head and discover who is behind the killings?
What I Liked:
- I liked the unique premise of Kami and Jared's connection. They are able to communicate with each other in their minds. I liked the strong bond between them and the revelation of the circumstances behind their telepathic communication. If you are looking for a book with a paranormal twist that is a bit different and unexpected try this.
- I adored the relationship that Kami had with her family. The hilarious, often flippant, teasing banter that her parents used was great. I loved so many of the funny lines her dad dished out. His witty lines were my favorite. I just wish that he had a bigger role. Her family is entertaining to say the least!
- This book has a gothic feel and small town, English setting which I liked. The town has layers and layers of secrets that go back for centuries. Every house, every shop was brimming with clandestine information. I always enjoy books that incorporate a gothic atmosphere. The gothic feel along with the town and its secrets provide the thick atmospheric tension that builds and builds until the reader, along with Kami, is completely confused about who the villains are and what everyone is hiding.
- I loved the quirky names of the town such as Sorry- in- the- Vale, The Sorriest River, The Really Depressed Quarry and The Street of Certain Doom.
- I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Brennan's writing. This book is filled with many detailed, rich and lovely descriptions that enriched the entire reading experience.
- I liked that all the girls: Kami, Angela and Holli are very capable and strong. All three of these ladies are interesting and entertaining. I especially liked that Angela's brother Rusty trained the girls in self defense. Angela and Kami can throw a punch and kick when necessary!
- I enjoyed the twists and turns this one flings at you, some of them were very surprising! I also liked that this book presents several intriguing mystery threads to unravel.
And The Not So Much:
- The pacing in this one was incredibly slow. It starts out fast, especially with how quickly the reveal regarding Jared and Kami's bond occurs. I was honestly expecting that mystery to extend on a bit further. After the first few chapters, the pace slows and plods along until the big climatic lead up to the ending. Once the book reaches the climax, it dashes toward an exciting end; then it culminates with a big cliffhanger.
- This book ends with a cliffhanger. Honestly, I am so disgusted with books with cliffhangers these days. It sometimes feels like a waste of time to read an entire book and then get to the last page to find you have to wait a year or so to get the answers you are looking for. Furthermore, my memory after an extended amount of time gets a bit fuzzy. If you are tired of cliffhangers, skip this one. Basically, the book crescendos with a dramatic climax only to end without resolution.
- I was disappointed that this book is without a strong male lead. Jared and Ash do not fit the bill for swoon worthy boys. Ash fades out and doesn't have much of a role in the second half. Jared on the other hand, is a constant conundrum. The reader and Kami never can fully gauge whether he is good or evil. He is enigmatic and for the most part you shy away from him because he just isn't very likeable. If you are looking for a romance, this book does not have one.
- Overall, the book lacked a bit of creepiness and the heavy, atmospheric tension that I love in books with a gothic setting. Yes, there are a few creepy moments, but not enough to generate the chills and thrills I was expecting.
Unspoken is a book that starts with a lot of promise but overall ended up being a bit flat for me. The creepy factor is low and the overall tension fails to impress. This book lacks likeable males and has no romance. Finally, the pace lags only to speed up with some dramatic revelations, and then the door slams shut with a cliffhanger ending that provides little resolution. I know many people out there enjoyed this book, but for me it was a bit boring and slow and the cliffhanger ruined it for me. If you are looking for a good series with a gothic feel, I highly recommend you check out The Caster's Chronicles.
"Sunlight, strained by autumn leaves, left a lacy pattern of shadows on her pillow."
"She'd thought she knew every shadow and corner of this town, but now the shadows were moving, and behind every corner waited another secret."
"I keep all sorts of things in my bra, actually, Kami told her. "It's always a bit of a shock when I've forgotten my phone is in there and it vibrates."
"Not doing the things you can do is the whole point of laziness. Not doing things you can't do is just sensible."
"Some people, Kami knew, had bedroom eyes. She was saddened to have to admit that Jared had filthy alley way eyes."
"I think it's probably me- kicking-your ass-o' clock, she said."
"Is this true, Kami? Are you going out on a date? Dad asked tragically. Wearing that? Wouldn't you fancy a shapeless cardigan instead? You rock a shapeless cardigan, honey."
"The wind rose up with a sudden shriek, the trees raking clawed fingers against the night sky."
"Kami could not just tell what Jared was thinking, she could feel it. She could not escape, could not untangle the strands of herself from him."
A big thanks to Random House Publishing for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.