Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Series: The Lynburn Legacy #1)
Genre: Contemporary/Mystery/Gothic/Magic
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Kami Glass loves someone she's never met... a boy she's talked to in her head ever since she was born. Having an imaginary friend has made fitting in hard - but that's never bothered Kami. She has her best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is just the way she likes it.

But all that changes when the mysterious Lynburn family return to Kami's village, along with teenagers, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami...

As life as she knows it begins to unravel, Kami is determined to get to the bottom of every mystery. 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?

And can she trust him?

She tore a page from her notebooks and wrote her parents a message: "Dear Mum and Dad, I hope you don't read this, but if you do, you should know that I haven't been kidnapped or abducted by aliens. I had to run an errand that can't wait. I'll be home before dark. Kami."

It didn't take me long at all to absolutely adore Kami. There's so many things about her that I just love. She's strong and capable, but she admits when she needs help. She isn't afraid of admitting she can't do it alone. She's driven, but not to the degree she runs roughshod over everyone else.

She knows self-defense and does have a tendency to 'leap before she looks.' She isn't the most beautiful girl around but is best friends with said girl. And she has an awesome sense of humor. Kami Glass is like a perfect cross between Nancy Drew and Veronica Mars.

"Your soul is like the souls of a thousand monkeys on crack, all smushed together."

This book is a mystery - and I will warn you, it's not a tame one. In fact, I almost put the book down early on when animal mutilation cropped up. If I'd liked Kami any less, I probably would have because I am a seriously soft touch when it comes to animals. So, if you're like me at all, be warned. Beyond that, the book isn't afraid to show gore and violence, but it doesn't dwell on them.

The structure of the story actually reminds me of this anime show I've seen. (Persona 4 the Animation, for the curious.) Everything starts off normal, this is just a small sleepy little town, the kids go to school and everything is perfectly normal. Then everything isn't so normal. This book has a definite element of the supernatural to it, and I think I love it even more for that.

While the plot is pretty wonderful, the characters are where it's all at.

"What  do you mean, the police were suspicious because you weren't wearing enough clothes? Where were your clothes?"

Besides Kami, we've got her best friend Angela. Angela is the type of person I always love. To quote her she 'hates people.' She's lazy and snarky and absolutely gorgeous. Holly is their new friend and she is super pretty but doesn't have any girlfriends because she is super pretty. It's a sad commentary that that is totally realistic, but these girls are great!

They have each others backs and while there might be a little envy, they are friends and as soon as that thought crops up it is quickly quashed. As soon as any of these girls is messed with, the other two would be there to rescue her. Although, that's not to say she'd need it, because these girls are no shrinking violets.

Then there's the two guys, Jared and Ash. I honestly like both of them, even though they are both more than a little screwed up in the head. (I think that's the Lynburn factor.) However, they do fill out the group perfectly and it's an absolute joy to see how these five very different people react to each other.

And that group is what I love about this book so much. The way these five people interact with each other and the humor they each bring with them. And this is an author that certainly knows the stress relieving benefits of a good joke at the proper time. 

"I've been scared all my life. I've thought I might be crazy all my life, and you did it to me."