My library set up the Blind Date with a Book stand again this year. To my slight dismay, I was able to identify five books by their dating site profile blurb. But I eventually found one that interested me.
“Paranormal, Gothic urban fantasy seeks romantic reader to join teen girl uncover the mystery behind a secretive family and bloody deeds in the depths of the woods. When her imaginary boyfriend gains a physical body, can she still love him? Can she trust him?”
Pretty great right? Sounds like my kind of thing. I opened it up and found Unspoken, a book I’ve looked at a couple times and dismissed, and only recently had recommended to me by my book soul sister.
Figured it was time to take the plunge.
- Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
- Publisher: Random House
- Year: 2012
- Shelved in: Teen paranormal romance
- Genre vibe: Definitely not urban fantasy, I’m not sure who thought that. More southern Gothic paranormal than anything.
- At a glance: Kami Glass likes journalism. She has an imaginary boyfriend. Turns out he’s not so imaginary. Old family returns to small town and things start to happen. Magical things.
This book is so aesthetically pleasing. The cover is beautiful, the inside flaps are probably the prettiest I’ve seen in a while, and the heading pages for the different parts of the book were incredibly stunning.
It’s just, really beautiful.
But aside from that, there’s really only one other thing that I really enjoyed about it, and that’s the magic setup.
The way things were explained was really cool (if not exactly eloquent) and the Lynburn magic and their ties to the town was super interesting. I loved the feeling through the whole book that there was more going on than met the eye. The revelation that it wasn’t something paranormal so much as something vaguely fairytale-like was an interesting one and probably one of the most engaging things that happened throughout the whole thing.
Unfortunately, I don’t have much to say about the characters. I’ve said before and I’ll probably say every single time, I’m not really a middle-grade person. I like my characters to be fifteen or over, preferably over. It’s just personal preference.
But Kami read like she was fourteen, and I couldn’t get into it. She said some things that were so funny I couldn’t take the rest of her seriously. I’m not a fan of books that consist mostly of snark and witticisms, because while those things are great and some characters exist on a core of them, they take away from the story and more importantly, the atmosphere.
This was supposed to be a paranormal romance, right? Certain things go along with being told that. At least a little bit of darkness, and, you know…romance. The amount of laugh-worthy banter stole away whatever darkness could have been there given Kami and Jared’s situation and mental connection. And while the banter and sarcasm was well-written, not stupid, and in character, it just didn’t seem necessary, and it made Kami seem…really immature.
This book suffered from something like atmosphere schizophrenia or something. I was never sure if I was supposed to be laughing or taking this all seriously. And that kind of frustrated me a little at times.
And so I was disappointed. Not completely, because there were good parts. But as far as actual enjoyment goes, there wasn’t much.
- Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
- Recommended to: People who would enjoy something along the lines of “Nancy Drew plus magic”, people who like paranormal but like laughing better.
- Lasting impression: That look you give your friend when they say something really strange, and the taste of dust.