Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

By Sarah Rees Brennan
370 Pages
Published by Random House BFYR
Publication Date: September 11, 2012
Source: NetGalley

From Goodreads:

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.

4.5/5 Stars

Leave a comment


  1. I”ve heard great things about Sarah Rees Brennan! I’ll have to check out some of her works 🙂

  2. Glad you liked this! I just read another positive review of this book over the weekend too. 🙂

  3. I’ve been meaning to read some of SRB’s books. I’ve heard she’s a great writer. I’m a huge fan of witty authors/books. I think, based on your review, that I would like Unspoken. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  4. I haVen’t heard of this book or the author :/ but wow, I am intrigued!!! This sounds really interesting and that’s a great review. Books like that with make u arghhhh at the end drive me crazy for ages haha. I have just finished a bk like that n I was like nooooo I need answers hehe. Gonna add this o my TBR xx

  5. I have this one too. I love Gothic tales & like you the name Sorry-in-the-Vale definitely caught my eye (as did the cover, love it!) I recently got The Demon’s Lexicon by the same author and am looking forward to checking it out as well:)

  6. The only Sarah Rees Brennan book I’ve read so far is Team Human, so it’s hard to say for sure how I feel about her as an author since that was co-authorered. I have heard amazing things about her, and who doesn’t appreciate some wittiness within books? This sounds like a very interesting book and I do want to read some of her novels, but maybe it would be better to start with The Demon’s Lexicon trilogy, since that’s complete? I’ll have to see. Nice review, by the way!

  7. SO glad you liked this one, Karen! I have an ARC that I continually stare and drool over. I really can’t wait to FINALLY get to read it. I’ve kinda been obsessed with this one. I ADORE all things Gothic in literature so I’m like twitching to read this. Glad you enjoyed Jared and YAY times a thousand for no insta-love!


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