Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

four out of five dragons
four out of five dragons

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The truly witty banter of Unspoken sets it apart from other YA’s. I laughed out loud at different points while reading. The writing voice was great with literary style thrown into the descriptions. This is one of the few YA books that balances being funny and literary without overdoing either and making it feel fake.

“The oak leaves above him were already gilded, autumn coming to the woods like a king in a legend, touching all the trees with brightness.”

Their relationship had so much more depth than I expected. You would imagine that finding out the voice in your head belongs to a real life person who just moved to town would be a dream come true, but you’d be wrong at least in this case. They can barely stand to touch each other because the connection is so strong. The reader only gets told that Kami and Jared are close rather than being shown it through any conversation they have in the first thirty or so pages. All their conversations are two seconds long and funny but not showing a connection necessarily. It isn’t until later that we’re shown that their emotions also make their way across the bond. But like I said once things got going the relationship was much more nuanced than I expect from most unknown YA books. Definitely no insta-love here.

Having said that I didn’t really like Jared. I mean he does come across like a controlling dick if you can’t read his mind. The reason I didn’t detract stars for that is because Kami doesn’t put up with his crap. She’s strong without being annoying and she doesn’t do completely stupid things (mostly) just because she’s strong. When she does something dumb it’s at least explained in the book with a justifiable reason. Jared is also whiny and needy. He doesn’t want to lose Kami so he ignores what she wants and she wants to at least look into her options and ignores his controlling bs. There is one point in the story where he literally uses her to gain power in a fight and she puts a stop to it in seconds. Honestly Kami, Angela (the original best friend) and Holly (the new friend) made this book what it was: an entertaining, funny, light read worth recommending.

There were some time jumps without any buffer that were occasionally jarring, but for the most part there weren’t issues with how the plot moved forward. I do agree with what other reviewers have said regarding the length of time to solve the case. This could have been solved earlier in the book and some of the fights came off like filler, but in its defense it’s written so cutely that it’s easy to forget those things until after you’ve read the book.

I immediately checked if my library had a copy of the next book, Untold, and they totally do (as an ebook, but still) and so it is now on my phone waiting to be read. It’s like a compulsion I swear.

I would recommend this for fast readers of YA, people who love witty conversations more than tight concise story, and those who love a strong female protagonist but aren’t as concerned about the male protagonist.

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