Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan


Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Release: September 11th 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Magic, YA
#1 in the Lynburn Legacy trilogy
Sequels: Untold (#2), Unmade (#3)


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 was tempted to give this a 1.5 star rating at first, but.. it did have a certain level of entertainment, so I felt I had to give it at least 2.

Sigh. I had very high hopes for this, since one of my favorite reviewers claimed it as one of the best books she had ever read, and I trust her opinion. Unfortunately, though, this was, as a famous proverb says here in Germany, a "grip into the toilet." 

Fun fact, I actually did start this whilst sitting on the toilet. I grabbed it from my bookshelf with the intention of planting myself on my bed, when I noticed I had to go pee and since I was already holding the book anyway, I just brought it with me. 

Ah, but I digress. So, why did this fall through with me? Well, there are a lot of things that irked me, all of which I will lay out in front of you later, but the first and foremost thing that absolutely killed Unspoken for me was this: It made absolutely no sense. None. At all. I was constantly confused as to what was happening, or why the kids were doing this and that, and how things came to be. Nothing was ever explained, at any time, and while I was still standing in the same spot, trying to solve the issue, I was roughly grabbed and dragged through the dirt on ahead, being told to "shut up and keep up." 

I only ever started getting some answers on page 240, which is way too late into the story, and even then, some reasons for things were never seen to me. Why is Ash even a character? What is his purpose? He never made sense to me except to be a challenge to Jared, be a pawn in the villain's evil schemes and to be part of this painstakingly unnecessary love triangle. Which, by the way, the reason for that was never seen to me either. Nor were the dynamics of it, because while Kami clearly expressed her lack of feelings for Ash, a week later (or something) he still kisses her (while she kisses him back?) and then leaves her standing in the hallway. While, before that, they hadn't uttered a single word of their feelings toward each other for a long time now, and after that kiss, nobody ever talks about it again as well. WHY WHAT HOW? Why even include that kiss if it has absolutely no importance, no impact on the storyline? Yes, Jared and Kami fight a bit after that, but that's not important, too. I AM JUST SO CONFUSED ABOUT THIS BOOK'S INTENTIONS.

Ugh, characters. The only character I ever came close to liking was Angela, because her constant hate of people in general and her laziness appealed to me. However, while her hate of humans didn't extend to her small circle of friends, for me it did. Kami came across as extremely immature and naive, while I loved her adventurous side, I just couldn't deal with her half of the time. Holly was even worse, and I think the only reason she was included anyway was to act as love interest to Angela, which, by the way, I have seen her homosexuality coming since, I don't know, page 80? If I notice this as early on as that, and Brennan pulls this out on page 260 or something like a shocking reveal to Kami, I don't know what that says about her being a good best friend. So, much like Ash, Holly didn't serve any real purpose during the events of Unspoken. Jared was flat as a board and why never wanted to touch Kami was never revealed, which annoyed me so much, especially since he was the one that didn't want to sever the connection. So, why flinch away from her touch? Ugh this book is just a giant question mark and is so not good for my headache.

I don't have to go into romance anymore, because it was just terrible. While I did like Jared and Kami's connection somewhat, their relationship was extremely strange and weird, him barging into her room one day after they have officially met, being all like "LET'S DATE" and then being angry at her for refusing, but not being able to touch her for the entirety of the whole book? What? WHAT? After they had so many issues and so much back-and-forth my head was spinning, they simply started to annoy me hugely and by the end of Unspoken, I can safely say that I wouldn't wish them on anybody else and please, just get together for the sake of putting an end to all the drama. Ash and Kami's relationship lacked chemistry and credibility and the whole romance thing was just a big, fat, ugly mess. Huh, now I did go into the romance thing anyway, even though I didn't want to, that's how upset I am!

Writing was somewhat nice, however, I did catch a lot of repetitions (how did her editor not notice this?!), and I've literally had it up to here with metaphors and similes that have to do with the word "glass" just because Kami's last name is Glass (which is, if I may say so, a pretty fucking stupid last name.) Also, I cannot stand to hear the name Lynburn ever, ever again. 

Uggghhhhh I am so happy I am through with this and can ban it into the last nook of my shelf and don't have to worry about having to drag myself through this anymore, to be quite honest. This wasn't good. I should have known, when I read the blurb and it said the girl was "in love with someone she's never met." That first sentence already set all of my alarm bells ringing, but no, I just had to go ahead and burn myself! Stupid, stupid me! 

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