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August 21, 2012

Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Hardcover, 370 pages
Expected publication: September 11, 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers

ARC received via NetGalley

Goodreads | Amazon
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?

I really wanted to love Unspoken, but unfortunately, I didn’t. I didn’t hate it either. There were elements that I loved and some that really disappointed me.

First off, the blurb leads you to believe this is a romance. It’s not. If it’s supposed to be, the romantic elements were lost on me. I kept waiting for it to take that turn, but I didn’t see it. I’d call it a “mystery” more than anything. To say that Kami is in love with the boy in her head is either an exaggeration, or unconvincing writing. So I’d say don’t expect to be blown away by a romance, because I don’t think there’s really one there.

The beginning of Unspoken was rough for me. I almost gave up on it a few times. It jumped right into everything, and while that will be appreciated by some, it was annoying to me. I had no idea who these characters were yet, and I felt that everything was moving too quickly.  However, about a third into the book, I couldn’t put it down. It had me absolutely engrossed, despite the fact that it was still moving too quickly and yet I had no idea what was really going on.

I loved the characters. They’re all well written with strong personalities. The dialogue was very entertaining.  Kami and her best friend Angela made me laugh numerous times. The dialogue is enough for me to recommend it. That’s definitely something I *loved* about Unspoken. But (of course there’s a but) the way Kami and the boy in her head dealt with their relationship didn’t seem consistent enough to be believable. Their actions made absolutely no sense to me.

I hated the ending.

Despite not getting the romance we’re pretty much promised, the plot is still entertaining in its self. The Lynburns are a fascinating family and I look forward to seeing more of them. Perhaps if I hadn’t expected a romance, I wouldn’t have been quite so let down by it. As mixed as my feelings are about Unspoken, I would still recommend it. The story is worth reading and the characters are a lot of fun. I’ll be looking forward to the sequel with fingers crossed in hope that it fixes that ending.

3/5 Stars


  1. I would have thought it was a romance too. Thanks for the warning, it does sound intriguing but it might be disappointing when I want a happy ending

  2. Yeah, it sounds like a romance to me. I am surprised you were able to get through the book. When the beginning of a book doesn't capture my attention, I can't seem to finish the book. thanks for the review!

  3. This is exactly what I feel about this novel! It took me a long time to get through Unspoken!

  4. huh, I also thought it was a romance. Thanks for the review, I will still keep it on my wishlist as I am still intrigued with the plot, but will most likely hold off for a bit

  5. I have a friend that read this and she thought it was weird. I want to read it but it is not at the top of my list.

  6. After reading it, I too thought it was a romance. Thanks for the heads up! Thats good to know in case I get my hands on it.

  7. based on your review, i think my pal Marta will like this book.

  8. This doesn't sound like my kind of book. Thanks for the review.

  9. Aww, darn it. It really disappoints me that Unspoken didn't jive with you. It doesn't bode well for my own jiving with the book. And that makes me sad because I had high hopes for this one from the second I saw it. A lot of that, I will admit, is because of the cover which is just plain awesome. It is so nice to see actual artwork, instead of photography. Of a girl. In a dress. Looking into the distant. Frowning. Anyway, I am still going to try Unspoken if I get the chance, but I will keep the hopes down.

  10. Wow. That sounds really bad. i don't like to get into a book and then to end up all disappointed.

  11. Hmmm, definitely sounds like a romance to me. The story sounds intriguing, but I've been reading too many books that have enough problems for me to be annoyed with them, so I'll skip this one.

  12. I don't think that this is the kinda book I like but thanks for the honest review.

  13. Hmm, I had high hopes for this one based on the synopsis but it doesn't sound like it would live up to them. I'm sorry it didn't turn out to be what you hoped! I'm still going to give this one a go, but it is nice to know ahead of time not to expect too much.

  14. Darn it. I thought it was going to be another book to read--I love romances--but it doesn't seem to live up to expectations. Though the book disappointed, your review didn't :) I loved your honesty; thank you!

  15. This has been on my TBR list, but I think I'm going to pass on it. Thanks for the review!

  16. I think there not being a romance makes it more interesting to me, generally, unless the romance is the point of the book like a book that is all romance, I prefer to have any romance be very subtle or behind the scenes. For me it detracts from the rest of the story, be it an adventure or a mystery. Thanks for the review.

  17. I'm still going to read this sometime, but I really liked your review!

  18. I'm not into start up romances but I do like a little romance in my reads. I think I'll still read this one but I might wait until it comes out in paperback. Since it had great characters and entertaining dialogue.
    Great Review!

  19. I was intrigued by the cover and the description, but based on your review I'm not sure how quickly I'll get around to reading it. Maybe I'll wait to see if it makes it to audio and "read" in the car.

    Beverly AKA Booklady


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