If Nancy Drew Had An Imaginary Friend: ‘Unspoken’ by Sarah Rees Brennan

Even though people recommended Unspoken to me, and even though I saw good things about it all over the internet, and even though I actually own a copy, I kept putting off reading it. It has a super-cute cover and I’d heard it was funny. So why did it take me so long to actually read it? Well, I’m pretty sure I somehow knew it was going to totally break my heart. AND I WAS RIGHT, YOU GUYS.

Don’t get me wrong…Unspoken is a great book! I loved it, and you’ll probably love it too. That being said, the ending had me ordering the next book in the series as soon as I read the last page. Sarah Rees Brennan isn’t killing off everyone like George R. R. Martin or anything (not that I’ve read or watched Game of Thrones…I just make my husband tell me what happens so I can pretend like I know what’s going on in conversations), but it still took me by surprise.

But let’s back up a bit, because you’d probably actually like to hear about the plot of the book, right? The novel is set in Sorry-in-the-Vale, the town where Kami Glass lives with her family, her BFF Angela and her imaginary friend Jared. He’s nothing more than a voice in her head she’s talked to ever since she was born. Kami’s a total Nancy Drew type who loves to investigate anything suspicious, so when the mysterious Lynburn family moves back into town, Kami can’t resist trying to figure out what, exactly, makes everyone think they’re so special. But when she realizes that one of the Lynburns is named Jared (insert Twilight Zone music here), things start to get a little weird.

You might have noticed that I tend to read YA that’s more on the contemporary romcom side. Even though Unspoken is more of a mysterious Gothic romance, it totally caught my attention. First and most importantly, it’s funny. The dialogue always sounds fresh and realistic, even though the characters are much cleverer than anyone you know in real life. And it’s exciting—seriously, when I got to the second half of the book I was reading at a superhuman speed because I just wanted to know what was going to happen.

“But what about the romance?” you ask, because you know that every book is better when there’s a romantic subplot. Well, even though I wouldn’t necessarily call Unspoken a romance, there is sexual tension so thick you could cut it with a knife (but maybe don’t use a knife, because this book is also sort of violent and you don’t want to creep yourself out).

Go pick up a copy of Unspoken! Halloween might be over, but it’s still a perfect time to read this creepy, mysterious and awesome book.

SOME HIGHLIGHTS -One of the reasons I finally picked up Unspoken was because Cindy Pon recommended it to me when I interviewed her and Malinda Lo last month (I’m working my way through the rest of their suggestions). I wanted a romance that featured diverse characters, and Unspoken delivered. Not all of the characters in Unspoken are straight and white, and this is all presented in a matter-of-fact way that’s really refreshing.

-If you don’t sort of want to be Kami Glass by the time you finish this book, then there’s something wrong with you. Kami is smart, funny and a total boss. She isn’t scared of anything, she cares about her friends and even when she’s emotional, she’s still logical enough to make what she thinks is the best decision.

-Luckily, Unspoken has a sequel, Untold. I can’t wait to read it!

What about you guys? Have you read Unspoken and Untold? Did you love them? And what did you think about that cliffhanger of an ending? Let me know in the comments! And, as always, I love to hear your suggestions for books to feature in Young Adult Education. Leave a comment, email me at youngadulteducation@gmail.com or find me on Twitter @KerryAnn.

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