Book Review: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Free from bonds, but not each other

It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

My Rating:  3.5 cupcakes

After the heartbreaking cliffhanger ending of Unspoken, I was expecting Untold to be filled with angst and torment, since Sarah Rees Brennan loves to torture her readers and all. Somehow, though, going into Untold with that mindset did nothing to alleviate the angst that was present throughout the entire book.

On one hand, Untold possessed many of the aspects that I loved about Unspoken. The writing was witty and engaging, and led to my e-copy of this book being filled with so many highlighter markings. The characters were quirky and loveable, and the addition of Ash and Holly’s perspectives added an extra layer of character development – to the point where I absolutely love Ash as a character, and I really didn’t think I’d be saying that after Unspoken.

Although I was captivated throughout Untold, in retrospect, the plot line was rather boring. There was a love triangle but, for once, my problem wasn’t that it existed; it was really well-written, and I found myself kind of enjoying it. Instead, my issue was with how much precedence the romantic aspects of the story held. Instead of being centered around Kami learning to fight back against Rob Lynburn and his band of sorcerers, there was little action and a lot of romantic drama – to the point where I found myself wanting more: more magic, more about the Lynburns… more of anything that wasn’t relationship-oriented, really.

Overall, Untold was not quite as strong as I was hoping it would be. The plot was not as compelling as that of Unspoken, however a combination of my immense love for all of the characters and that very cruel ending have left me eager to read Unmade when it is released later this year.

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Book Review: The Night After I Lost You by Sarah Rees Brennan

 

Set the night after the end of Unspoken, before all the action of Untold. You have to keep moving in a Gothic mystery. But sometimes you can take a night to be sad.

 

 

My Rating:  3.5 cupcakes

The Night After I Lost You is an excellent way to bridge the gap between Unspoken and Untold although it does nothing to alleviate the heartbreaking ending of the former – for a nine page story, this was surprisingly sad!

Through Brennan’s excellent descriptions, we are able to see (and feel) exactly how the events of Untold have affected each character. Instead of being inside Kami’s head like we were in Untold, we’re given the opportunity to see things from Ash’s perspective. It gives great insight into his character and past, showing how desperately he wants to belong and feel wanted. While it doesn’t quite excuse how he behaved in Unspoken, it definitely paints him as more of a sympathetic character.

Overall, The Night Before I Lost You was a really great addition to the series. I’m looking forward to reading Untold, even if it is probably going to break my heart further.

Book Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

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?

My Rating:  5 cupcakes

Unspoken was, quite possibly, the perfect book for me. It was the first of Sarah Rees Brennan’s works that I’ve picked up, and now I find myself wondering what took me so long to finally read it. It was witty, engaging, made me laugh out loud at so many points (garnering me a lot of strange looks from my family), and the originality behind the premise was certainly refreshing.

Kami Glass, our narrator and protagonist, is absolutely adorable. She’s quirky, hilarious, prone to saying her thoughts out loud without realizing it, and very determined to get the perfect story for her school’s newspaper. She’s a strong, fun female lead, who also has a vulnerable side, making her so easy to love.

From sleepy, people-hating Angela to Kami’s adorable younger siblings, the other characters in Unspoken are just as unique and likeable as Kami. And, unlike most YA novels, there is no missing parent syndrome; Kami’s family is an important part of her life, and her interactions with them aren’t glossed over. Jared in particular quickly won me over, largely thanks to our ability to see him through Kami’s eyes. Underneath his bad boy exterior, he’s vulnerable, insecure, and capable of great love and kindness. He’s dependent on Kami, and their relationship was wonderfully written.

The plot, which mostly focuses on the mysterious Lynburn family and their possible connection to the weird happenings in Sorry-in-the-Vale, is engrossing and unpredictable. While there were many occasions where it progressed slowly because of adventures that Kami has decided to go on, I never found Unspoken boring; instead, I was always either captivated or entertained by the story, and found myself not wanting to put it down for any reason.

I only had one problem with Unspoken and that was the ending. Sarah Rees Brennan sure knows how to torture her readers because that was one awful and abrupt cliffhanger – and it was made even more painful by the fact that I don’t have a copy of the sequel.

Overall, Unspoken was a fun, unpredictable adventure. I will definitely be purchasing and rereading it in the near future, and I can’t wait to see where Brennan takes the story next.