Kami Glass has always been somewhat of an outsider in her sleepy village of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Most kids outgrow their imaginary friends, but Kami still hears the voice of a boy in her head. Despite this oddity, she tries to maintain somewhat of a normal life.
But all that changes when the Lynburn family returns to Sorry-in-the-Vale. Throughout her life, Kami has noticed the town’s residents refer to the family with reverence and fear. Suddenly strange things start happening in the town and people start disappearing. As a budding journalist, Kami is determined to find out the truth.
But when Kami meets the Lynburn boys, she realises one of them is the boy whose voice she hears in her head. Now that her imaginary friend is a real boy, does Kami still love- and trust- him?
So Unspoken has been on my radar for quite some time. I don’t know why I hesitated this long to pick it up. Just from the cover copy, it sounds exactly like something I would love: an unusual girl, a gothic, English setting, imaginary friends, and magic.
And love it I did! It was so different from any other YA book I’d picked up recently, that I couldn’t help but fall in love with Kami, Jared, Angela, and the rest of the town.
Kami was probably one of my favourite parts of the story. Enthusiastic and bright, she is no stranger to being an outcast in her small town. Not only can she hear a voice in her head, but she is of quarter Japanese descent, which makes her and her family outsiders in their small English town. This aspect of trying to figure out where she fit in was something I highly enjoyed since it was relateable. But Brennan doesn’t just make Kamai the token outcast heroine. Kami is much more than that; she is naturally curious and doesn’t shy away from researching. Unlike other heroines in YA fiction, she doesn’t love danger for the sake of becoming a damsel in distress. She’s resourceful and uses everything available to her to protect herself.
Brennan’s voice is hilarious, especially in the moments when she describes Kami’s thought-process. I found myself grinning and even chuckling out loud at Kami’s suppositions and thoughts. It wasn’t in-your-face humour, just good ol’ British sarcasm and dry wit, which I loved.
The mystery is also one to keep you on your toes. Because we can hear Jared’s voice in Kami’s head, we know that it can’t be him who’s behind the murders, but everything points to him. As Kami begins her investigation, she realises there are more secrets burried here in Sorry-in-the-Vale than she’d ever imagined.
Jared himself was a fascinating character. Like Kami, he isn’t the token bad-boy, although he appears to be initially. I enjoyed knowing more about him, and his childhood as well. When Kami meets him for the first time and realises it’s the boy in her head, it was interesting to compare the way he acted in front of her and how his ‘voice’ matched that. He tries to be an over-protective boyfriend to Kami at many points in the story, but she isn’t having it.
The romance itself was unconventional. I assumed that once Kami and Jared met they’d run into each other’s arms, but instead, there’s fear and reluctance on the part of both. There’s a warmth in the relationship, given the fact that they’ve ‘known’ each other since birth, but then there’s also the anxiety of someone knowing all of her innermost fears and thoughts. It was fine when they remained in each other’s heads, but once Kami and Jared become a part of each other’s lives, it’s difficult to reconcile those two feelings. And because of their unique relationship, the romance is unique as well.
The ending pretty much tore my heart of my chest cavity and stomped all over it. There’s a lingering question throughout the story and throughout the mystery over whether Kami and Jared should continue to share their connection, if they can get rid of it, and the way Brennan answered this question in the end pretty much just broke my heart and made me want to read the sequel.
Full of mystery, a cast of quirky characters, romance, and a heroine and hero who can’t admit they love each other, Unspoken was an absolute treat to read! And lucky for me, I don’t have long to wait for the sequel. 🙂 Untold comes out September 24th!
So for that: 4.5/5.
Thanks for reading,