Review War: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

16 October, 2012 Review Wars 32 comments

The Players

Kat Kennedy vs. Stephanie Sinclair

The Reviews

Kat’s review | Stephanie’s review

The Book

Unspoken by Sara 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?

The War 

Kat Kennedy: It’s Kat Kennedy and Stephanie Sinclair back again after a longstanding absence from the Review War ring!

Stephanie Sinclair: We know you’ve missed this, but Kat and I share a brain, you see. And it’s hard to disagree with… yourself or other half.

Kat Kennedy: Unless you’re having an episode – so let’s get down to the contested book at hand: Unspoken.  I loved it with the fire of a thousand suns. Steph… did not.

Stephanie Sinclair: It’s true. For a while I thought I was on a really good path, but my soul has once again blackened to a crisp.
Here I am to prove Kat wrong again.
Such a heavy burden, I carry.

Kat Kennedy: Allow me to alleviate your of your burden. I, on the otherhand, feel no such compunction against whoopin’ your ass.

Stephanie Sinclair: LOL, Oh you!  Let’s get down to it: Unspoken made no sense.

Kat Kennedy: It made lots of sense. YOU make no sense. Excellent, debate over – I win.

Stephanie Sinclair: That’s what she said.  <—That’s not even applicable in this situation.  You’ve gone cray cray, Steph. -Kat<

Kat Kennedy: Name ONE thing that didn’t make any sense.

Stephanie Sinclair: Important things were happening, but the characters carried such a flamboyant attitude about it all. I was confused on how they truly felt.<

Kat Kennedy: Because they’re British – repressing emotions and being cavalier is like 85% of their national past times.  The other 15% is sport, drinking and waving to the Queen!

Stephanie Sinclair: Bahahaha, well I supposed that explains 90% of the novel. Let’s make out!

Kat Kennedy:  You know I want to –  but we need to hash this out, you crude American!

Stephanie Sinclair: I was being British and “repressing my emotions” like Jared and Kami did to one another.  You know, how they loved to “talk at each other” instead of “to each other.”

Kat Kennedy: You SO did not get their relationship –  Which was just amazing by the way.

Stephanie Sinclair: I think I understood a rock and toad’s relationship more than theirs…

Kat Kennedy: What wasn’t to be understood?  You have to read between the text and between what they say!

Stephanie Sinclair: What?!  If it ain’t there, it ain’t there. I’m no mind reader.  Especially for fictional characters.

Kat Kennedy: you don’t have to read minds. What I’m saying is that they’re not going to come out and say, “you’re more apart of me than I am – but if I touch you right now then there’s no going back” you pick it up from their actions, the things they don’t say.

Stephanie Sinclair: Admit it – you were drinking again while reading.

Kat Kennedy: It would be weird if I hadn’t been drinking.  But this doesn’t mean I’m not right.  I saw you complaining about the town name as well

Stephanie Sinclair: You’re right, it means I’M right. *smug*

Kat Kennedy:  Just because it’s not familiar to you, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Stephanie Sinclair: Yeah, I understood the town’s name by the end of the book, but at first I thought it was a joke or just being ironic.

Kat Kennedy: excellent – so we don’t need to debate about the town name?

Stephanie Sinclair: Well, now that I know it was a British town name and not just my eARC formatting playing tricks on me.
I think I’m okay on that.

Kat Kennedy: Good.
So why else didn’t you love this brilliant novel?

Stephanie Sinclair: The ending was… not good.

Kat Kennedy: How so?

Stephanie Sinclair: You’re telling me all those people could’t stop that one evil dude?

Kat Kennedy: Yup.

Stephanie Sinclair: Bullshit.

Kat Kennedy: That one super powerful evil dude?
Who, should I mention, IS SUPER POWERFUL?!

Stephanie Sinclair: He got his ass handed to him by a teenage girl with no powers and a freakin’ chain!

Kat Kennedy: Hey, I would not take her on on my best day!

Stephanie Sinclair: Then the powerful people come along and they’re all, “Oh noz! What shall we do?!”

Kat Kennedy: She kicked ass!

Stephanie Sinclair: She was badass. Not a good idea to meet her in a dark alley.

Kat Kennedy: Okay, first, just because a girl handed his ass to him – doesn’t mean he’s weak.

Stephanie Sinclair: >_<

Kat Kennedy: He’s been human sacrificing up all over the place.
He had heaps of other witches etc for back up.

Stephanie Sinclair: *eyeroll*

Kat Kennedy: And don’t you think it might have been awkward to kill your own father/husband?
Wait – don’t answer that. You’re married to a man – of course you want to kill him often.

Stephanie Sinclair: Um… if he were trying to kill me? Survival of the fittest, byotch!

Kat Kennedy: Yes, we all know how much ass you kick.
But it was all kind of sudden for them.

Stephanie Sinclair: And they took the longest time to find Kami.
When her friends found Jared in less than a page.

Kat Kennedy: Are you really complaining about how long it took to find Kami in the middle of a bloody forest?

Stephanie Sinclair: They were running through those woods for like 10 bloody pages!  It was just unrealistic.

Kat Kennedy: Number of pages does not equal a valid unit of time.
Going by Twilight 4 mostly blank pages can equal four months!
It’s a forest! It’s confusing.
People get turned around, misdirected, lost.

Stephanie Sinclair: Okay, you. Then explain the scene transitions.
Did you find them smooth?
Sometimes I didn’t even know when the POV shifted.
Though… this could have been my ARC or an indication that I should have taken my meds…

Kat Kennedy: I never had a single problem with scene transitions.
I’m going with the meds thing.

Err… Stephanie?

Stephanie Sinclair: I was repressing my emotions once again.

Kat Kennedy: Trying to recreate a British atmosphere?

Stephanie Sinclair: Absolutely. Trying to make sense out of that novel.
Read between the lines!
And it still isn’t working.

Kat Kennedy: The novel made an abundance of sense.

Stephanie Sinclair: I guess we will just cut our losses and say I’m the winner.
It’s the only thing we can do at this point.

Kat Kennedy: Lol – no way.
You did not win that debate.
Not understanding the subtleties doesn’t equate to a win!
Okay – I retract that statement.
Strike it off the record.

Stephanie Sinclair: Not a chance for that kinda dance!
Explain why Jared couldn’t touch Kami.

Kat Kennedy: Look, they have been in each other’s minds since birth.
They have a deep, spiritual connection.
Then one day – without warning, they meet face to face.
He couldn’t touch her because it was just too much.
It would push him over the edge.
And then if he ever lost her, or she rejected him – then there’d be no coming back.

Stephanie Sinclair: FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS.

Kat Kennedy: And he was so wounded that he couldn’t bring himself to leave that kind of vulnerability.
You can’t just call something a first world problem as a dismissal without explaining!
That’s a cheap copout.

Stephanie Sinclair: Okay, as opposed to losing her even if he never touched her?
What’s the difference?
She is there whether he touches her or not.

Kat Kennedy: It’s not a physical barrier.
It’s an emotional one.

Stephanie Sinclair: My black soul does not compute these strange emotions.

Kat Kennedy: Because the only thing they’ve never shared together is physical space.

Stephanie Sinclair: Sharing is caring.

Kat Kennedy: What if their physical space is the only thing that separates them at all? Even a little bit.
There is no beauty in your heart.

Stephanie Sinclair: There truly isn’t.

Kat Kennedy: You can not be reasoned with or taught to love.
*weeps* <—- Baby, go on and just… cry me a river! -Steph<

Stephanie Sinclair: Just call me the “Tin-woman.”

Kat Kennedy: One thing I absolutely loved about this book was the depiction of female characters.

Stephanie Sinclair: I liked Kami when she was witty.

Kat Kennedy: Kami owned this novel.

Stephanie Sinclair: I like that she was independent.
Ran circles around those bustas.
I’ll give Brennan that. The characters themselves weren’t bad.
I just felt it was overall hard to relate to them because of their mannerisms.

Kat Kennedy: *facepalm*

Stephanie Sinclair: *plays with things she understands… lightsabers*

Kat Kennedy: And I think that just about sums up that debate.
We’d better put an end to this before I strangle Steph.

Stephanie Sinclair:

Kat Kennedy: At least you found something shiny to play with to keep you amused.


What do you think? Who’s right and who’s wrong?

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

32 Responses to “Review War: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan”

  1. Sugar & Snark

    Lol I loved this review war!
    I am on both sides, one I think Kami is a kick ass and a FANTASTIC character!! I loved the world Sara Rees Brennan created! But what was that ending?!? It is as if the characters just decided that they didn’t want to be themselves anymore and off they went for a drink leaving the the book to just unfold.

  2. Kara_M

    I loved this book. And Kat clearly won the debate. Though I have to give Stephanie points for openly mocking Kat to her face. That takes cajones. She has sharp teeth! LOL.

  3. mariecarmela_ocampu

    Ahahahaha! Loved it. And the Hitachiin Brothers too! You girls are so badass, I can get emotional right now. xD

  4. Neyra

    #LaughingForDays! Smh. I still haven’t read this book, but watch me be confused now  >.< lol thanks. I’ll have to check it out then come back to announce the winner xD LOL

  5. Leah @ The Pretty Good Gatsby

    Sorry Kat, but I have to give this round to Stephanie. Unspoken was great during the first half, but that ending…yikes. & I didn’t understand their relationship at all. I wanted it to work, I really did! But their absolute refusal to touch confused me to no end.

  6. Leah @ The Pretty Good Gatsby

    Sorry Kat, but I have to give this round to Stephanie. She pretty much summed up my feelings about a book that started out GREAT only to completely lose me at the end. As for their relationship, I wanted it to work, I really did! But their absolute refusal to touch confused me.

    • KatKennedy

      @Leah @ The Pretty Good Gatsby Nooooo!  So many people to disown after this Review War!  😉

  7. Amy Turn the Page

    Its ok Steph – I didn’t understand it much either. I swear passages didn’t make sense. Like random light or shadows coming… from a pool? And Jared picking up… what was it? Bone and glass?I thought it was a smashed helmet?! Look I don’t know what the hell was going on most of the time. And the whole not touching think bugged me as well. <i>Why</i> can’t he, or won’t he, touch her!? Because he does touch her when he isn’t angsting over it – like when he (don’t ask me how) threw himself down a well after her or something.

  8. AnimeGirlAlex

    I admit’ I only stopped on this post because I saw a picture of the Hitachin twins and wanted to know the context in which it was being used 🙂 
    But the rest of the post made me laugh so hard 😀

    • KatKennedy

      @AnimeGirlAlex Come for the twincest – stay for the bust up.  I like your style.

  9. AditiGupta

    Before this debate I thought I was deeply in love with Unspoken. Then I began agreeing with Steph. And I yet I loved the book – I now realize that’s what they call true love.
    ps. I don’t know what meds you take – but they make you ridiculously awesomely hilarious!! 😀

  10. Lexxie

    Awesome fight! And I completely agree with Stephanie! A lot of things did not make sense, and the political correctness peeved me. So, there! Even if I still love SRB, I did not at all love Unspoken.

  11. Allie

    Being as how I started this book 3 weeks ago and have started and finished four other books since then and have had no desire to go back to it, I’m with Steph on this one. Totally.

  12. HelenaFerreira

    Sorry Kat, I love your reviews and was super excited to read this book after your glowing praise, but Steph is right. I just couldn’t keep myself from rolling my eyes at Kami and Jared. Midway through the book I just wanted to punch them and say “great, now touch already”.

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