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?
This is my first Sarah Rees Brennan novel and apparently I’ve been missing out. I have to say, I really enjoyed this book so much. Granted, the premise sounded really interesting to me – imagine having a voice in your head that turned out to belong to a real person. How freaked out would you be? I mean, having it turn out to be a hot guy your own age might slightly ease the pain a little as opposed to having it be, say, an old dude or some crazy lady living in a house full of cats, but still…weird. No way around it.
I really liked the descriptions of Sorry-in-the-Vale. And I liked the name of Sorry-in-the-Vale itself. Along with the very pretty cover, it was actually the first thing that attracted me to the book and it fit the story perfectly. It also has a creepy old house on a hill. And! The creepy old house is filled with a creepy old family chock full o’ family secrets. So many things that I love all packed together in one novel, joy! Overall the book had a very gothic feel that I liked a lot. That said, it was funnier than I thought it would be. Not necessarily laugh out loud funny – it’s not a humor book, after all – but witty.
As far as the characters, they were likeable enough. Kami is fine, but Jared is the more interesting of the two. He’s more layered. On one hand, he’s the sweet guy Kami has always known who really cares for her. On the other hand, he’s understandably freaked out by finding that the voice in his head belongs to a real girl and he’s struggling with his place in his rather bizarre family. It sometimes makes him act in ways that would make you like to strangle his face, but mostly you just feel empathy for him. Or at least, I did.
There is no insta-love here so YAY FOR THAT. In fact, I found myself actually rooting for there to be a little more romance, which like never happens.
One thing I will mention – there’s some slight animal violence. Nothing explicit but enough for the overly sensitive (like me) to get a little squitchy over it. It’s quick, though.
The book ended on a mega cliffhanger/heartbreaker and I was like NOOOO. I’ll definitely be looking for the sequel.