Monday, March 11, 2013

Review: Unspoken (Sarah Rees Brennan)

Series: The Lynburn Legacy, Book 1
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Random House BYR
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy Mystery
Told: Third Person Omniscient, Present Tense
Content Rating: Teen (some sensuality, mild violence and gore)
Format Read: Hardcover (library)
Find OnGoodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | TBD

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?

*          *          *

Although I was under the assumption that this was Young Adult, it read more like Middle Grade with younger-minded characters and rather childish and cheesy romance. I've read Sarah before and she can do excellent older teen, so I have no idea what went wrong here. 

The story started really well, but due to rollercoaster emotions it became hard to follow about a quarter in and lost momentum near the middle as the flow became choppy, stepping in and out of scenes and skipping over important bits in between. Also, the odd Third Person POV occasionally jumped heads mid-chapter without any warning, causing unpleasant confusion that forced me to read several paragraphs twice. The story did regain its momentum after a while though, and while the power angle was pretty basic it had some points of originality. Also, while the writing style could be a little hard to follow at times, it held my attention enough to keep me reading with few breaks.

Kami was an interesting enough main character, but every time she investigated anything she sounded (and acted) like a grade-school Nancy Drew. I liked Jared, but only because he was so obsessively attached to Kami (I have a thing for that in stories ;). I despised Ash from the beginning so no love lost there; Angela was probably my favorite - her and her brother, Rusty. And Holly was pretty awesome. Ergo the sidekicks rocked, the heroes not so much.

Conclusion: While I struggled with the rollercoaster story and writing, I found it a relatively engrossing read and really liked the sidekick characters. I'll give the next book a try, just to see where Sarah takes this.

Scribble Rating
3 of 5 Scribbles

(Earlier draft previously published on my former review blog, Black Kitten Reviews.)

1 comment:

  1. I have this one because so many people said good things about it, but I haven't read it yet. I keep hearing what you're saying though, now that the hype has died down. I can't wait to dig in and see what I think. Maybe I'll get to it soon! Great review!