So much of YA these days is just riddled with angst. All the characters are depressing and devoid of hope. They struggle through a morass of apathy, taking life so incredibly seriously. The fantasy is just as serious: someone has a job and that job must be done, or else the world will fall. And in the meantime, it would be a crime to laugh.
Imagine my absolute surprise and happiness, then, when Unspoken made me laugh while reading the first page. The phrase “respect the sheep” should definitely be used in conversation more often. Brilliant.
My immediate love for Kami Glass, the heroine of Unspoken, did not diminish throughout the book – it grew. I found myself sending quotes to my sister almost once a chapter. The book has a great plot, fabulous characters, and is just plain funny without losing any of the tension or mystery.
And here’s a huge bonus – it’s written in third person past tense! I didn’t even think they did that any more with YA fantasy! Every now and then I just found myself being so happy that I was reading a third person (PAST TENSE!) narrative! It was BEAUTIFUL. Thank you, Sarah Rees Brennan. Please, go forth and tell your comrades in writing to emulate your choice!
The story itself is great. It’s paced well, with just enough information being revealed at just the right moment. Besides loving Kami, I also loved all of her friends and reluctant gang. Despite the fact that the synopsis of the book sounding like things might be weird, Brennan makes everything feel very plausible.
Another plus? Kami’s parents actually like each other. What a concept! Even better?? They like Kami, too! Wow.
It’s not that Kami is perfect, or that her life is perfect. But Kami is intelligent and the perfect balance between someone who takes charge without being obnoxious. I love that she has aspirations of being a journalist, and is working towards that goal, but also realizes that she’s still in high school, so it’s not like every moment of her life has to be devoted to her craft, or if someone doesn’t take her completely seriously, it’s probably because she’s a kid, not because she’s a girl.
I was just completely in love with Kami’s upbeat and industrious attitude. She didn’t sit around bemoaning her fate or waiting for something to happen. She went out and got shizznizz done. Instead of sitting around wondering what people knew, she went and asked them questions, straight up. She consistently did what she thought was best, and didn’t spend a lot of time dithering. I loved her quick, analytical mind, and the way she saw what needed to be done – and then did it.
In short, this book is delightfully low on angst. Instead, the characters work through their complications, come together as a team to problem-solve, and in the end are pretty badass. I totally loved this book and am super excited about reading the rest of the trilogy.