Sunday, October 7, 2012

Free-For-All-Reading: Unspoken

Oh dear god.

It's been awhile since I've been rendered so flailingly speechless by a book (okay maybe since The Raven Boys). There was about ten minutes of stiff armed flailing and squeaking before I could even function.

I am in love with this books. Love. I need another copy stat (mine is signed and it makes me nervous). I want to curl back up and reread it right now and if my roommate wasn't already irate that I've put The Night Circus off so long I would do it.

But, seriously.

This book is amazing.

It's part fairytale, part love story, part self story, part mystery and excels at each part. Initially I wanted to have finished it before the signing but that, sadly, didn't happen. (Though that might actually be for the best because I might have just sputtered incoherently at Sarah Rees Brennan instead of talking to her). I hadn't read much beyond the first ten pages before yesterday, at which point I devoured it. I had to negotiate with myself that if I went to bed at five (AM) I'd actually set an alarm (on a day off) to get up and keep reading. It was a struggle and it took me nearly an hour to get myself calmed down enough to actually sleep (I should have just finished it).

I found myself so engrossed in this story and the relationship between Kami and Jared. The way they interact is flawlessly painful that I was in love with them and worried about them and concerned about them. Sarah Rees Brennan so expertly delves into their concerns and orchestrates these fights that always, achingly, end in them reaching back toward each other, counting on the one stability they've had their whole lives. She weaves this tale of two people who are so connected that they think of each other as part of their own soul. But what kind of cost does that come with? What kind of relationship can they have? It seems like it might start to resolve into something workable, through baby steps made by the characters, fleeting touches and longer looks when she, of course, shatters it all.

At the book signing Holly Black said she wished she could be a little more like Kami and less than halfway through Unspoken I completely agreed. She is wild and wonderful. I love her wit and how everyone responds to it. It's a rare moment when Kami loses her stride once she's started going. The relationships she has with the other characters all make me so happy. She and Angela have that best friend, I'm-just-humoring-you thing down pat. With Holly it's that awkward almost friendship. Ash interests her but I love that moment where she's not sure if it's him or that he looks like Jared. She's fierce and has a wildness to her that I think reacts and opens up in contact to the wildness in Jared.

And Jared. I love broken boys. Jared is about as broken as they come. For so long Kami has been the one thing he has clung to. She's the only stable thing he's known, even when he wasn't sure she was real. He's fiercely protective of her without stopping her from doing what she wants or feels like she she has to. The scenes of desperation are so heartbreaking to read because he feels like he's never done anything right and is so desperate to hold on to Kami. Especially the scene where he says that no one has ever been happy that he's around.

I absolutely adored the contrast between their deep emotional connection and their inability to touch each other. It illustrates how tricky their bond has made things. Their relationship is messy and complicated. They say repeatedly that they belong to each other and its true. They are so entirely parts of one another. It's what made the ending particularly painful.

Angela makes me undeniably happy. She has that same dislike of everyone I often feel. Her protectiveness of Kami is amazing. Plus, who doesn't want to nap anywhere and whenever they feel like it?

Another thing I thought was so amazingly done was seeing how the language of love, the phrases that people use were so completely turned on their heads. Kami is right that people use these all encompassing phrases of being complete and connected but it's not literal, not really true. Kami isn't sure she's in love with Jared but he's a part of her soul. They're soulmates in the literal sense. It actually reminded me a little of Cassel from Holly Black's The Curse Workers remarking that the language of love is possessive.

There's something about this book that reminds me a little of Maggie Stiefvater, something heart aching and poetically emotional. It connects with some base emotion that you feel in your core (as dramatic as that sounds). It's like a full body ache. It particularly reminds me of The Raven Boys. The feeling of fate, and loss, and being lost, and an involuntary connection. They both have that old, legendary sort of beauty to them. I wouldn't be surprised if both series left devastation in their wake.

I also fully expect this series to break my heart. I'm not familiar enough with Sarah Rees Brennan's work to even start guessing if any of the theories in my head are even remotely close. But I'm a bundle of nerves, waiting to see what happens.


I fell so totally in love with this book that I almost wish that I had waited until closer to the release of the next one, Untold.

Unsurprisingly, I give this a rating of Beyond Epic.

What did you ducks think of Unspoken? Love it? Sort of like it? What did you think of the end?

Well, I suppose I'll start The Night Circus and not pick up Unspoken again...until I buy my other copy and then all bets are off.

I don't want to sound forlorn about The Night Circus because I've heard so wonderful things but I'm not ready to be done with Unspoken. But I also know that the best way to get over a book hangover is to just launch into the next one.

So, until next time.

-A.M.Y-A

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