Kami Glass is in love with someone she’s never met – a boy the rest of the world is convinced is imaginary. This has made her an outsider in the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, but she doesn’t complain. She runs the school newspaper and keeps to herself for the most part – until disturbing events begin to happen.
There has been screaming in the woods and the dark, abandoned manor on the hill 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. As Kami starts to investigate for the paper, she finds out that the town she has loved all her life is hiding a multitude of secrets- and a murderer- and the key to it all just might be the boy in her head. The boy who everyone thought was imaginary may be real…and he may be dangerous.
Kami talks to Jared in her head, it doesn’t seem strange to her as it’s always been that way. Others think she is a little strange she tries to hide her conversations with the boy she assumes is her imaginary friend. Then the Lynburn family return, the family that ruled the town in the past, the family that the town does not seem happy to see again, a family with a past full of secrets and mysteries. Suddenly the boy in Kami’s head, Jared, is in front of her and on face value seems to be the most dangerous Lynburn of them all.
Unspoken is a brilliant atmospheric, gothic piece, but at no point does it take itself seriously.The dialogue, especially that of Kami, can be wonderfully witty and sarcastic whilst staying on just the right side of feeling forced.There are some group scenes and misunderstandings that had me laughing out loud, not something that happens all that often to me when I read.
Sarah Rees Brennan has managed to find a perfect balance between creepy and comedy. The comedy halts any idea of the pretentiousness trap that gothic literature can sometimes fall in to.The humorous sections also break up the tension, but in a good way, I often don’t cope well with books that ratchet up the tension, the needing to know can often make me give up, but that was not the case here. I needed to know but could wait to find out.
Unspoken is mainly told from the point of view of Kami, though occasionally we see what is happening through Jared’s eyes.Though this isn’t made obvious the writing style changes enough that it is easy to recognise most of the times it happens. Kami and Jared are very definitely the main characters but that hasn’t stopped the author building up a set of very believable characters who are all very different. Even characters that aren’t seen often have definite individual characteristics. The ending didn’t leave me hanging to the extent that others books have, but I will be watching out for the time that the second book in the trilogy comes out.
Verdict: Creepy and atmospheric but at the same time laugh out loud funny. Believable characters and a very enjoyable read.
Reviewed by Alison