Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan is an Unspeakably (*cringe*) good book. Despite my horrendous pun, I really enjoyed it. At first I was a little wary. The cover, although beautiful and mysterious, along with the summary on the back, gave me the impression of a middle grade novel striving for YA status. And, in truth, it did have a few middle grade writing style quirks, but they just enhanced the uniqueness of the book, not hindered it. It gave the story an almost fairytale quality. The story itself was mature and very interesting.
Kami has had an imaginary friend for as long as she can remember. Whenever lonely, afraid, or just plain bored, she talks to the voice in her head, and Jared talks back. She’s open about Jared, and had to deal with some of the consequences. She’s happy, though, running the school newspaper and interviewing everyone she can about the reclusive Lynburns, who are returning to their extravagant mansion after disappearing for years. People are wary to talk about them, however, but Kami is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. Then, who should sign up for the school newspaper, but Ash Lynburn himself, who just moved in with his parents, aunt, and cousin, Jared. Kimi’s life goes even more topsy-turvy when she comes face to face with her imaginary friend, who turns out to not be quite so imaginary after all.
The payoff in this book separated it from most others. In this case, the book expertly utilizes dramatic irony to enhance the reader’s experience.
irony that is inherent in speeches or a situation of a drama and is understood by the audience but not grasped by the characters in the play.
This book masterfully weaves dramatic irony in between the pages like Chuck Norris jokes turn people off. Which is to say, very successfully.
I was literally sitting in my bed at two in the morning, leafing through the pages and giggling in frantic anticipation, not having enough strength to put the book down and go to bed. Until that final glorious moment when Kami discovered that (censored) (censored) (censored)!!!!! I reread that passage five times, jumping up and down and grinning. Then I fell asleep. Now, don’t get me wrong. Unlike other books who’s ditzy main characters meet hot guys who only come out at night, are freezing cold, sleep in a coffin, and never eat, and wonder what they could possibly be, Unspoken’s characters aren’t like that at all. We may know something that the character doesn’t, but it’s not due to the character’s stupidity, but the author’s wonderful writing. This was a book that was just as hard to put down as it is for Chuck Norris not to be epic. Which is to say, impossible.
Review by Annalise