Random House Books for Young Readers
September 11, 2012
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THE RETURN OF THE LYBNURNS
by Kami Glass
Every town has a story, one day I'm going to find out Sorry-in-the-Vale's.
The closest this reporter has come to getting the scoop is when I asked Mr Roger Stearn (age seventy-six but young at heart) to tell me a secret about our town. He confided that he believed the secret to Sorry-in-the-Vale's high yield of wool was in the sheep feed. I think I may have betrayed some slight disappointment, because he stared at me for a while, said, "Respect the sheep, young lady," and ended the interview."
(pg 3 Unspoken)
There since the day she was born, Jared's knows all her secrets and she his. But telling everyone in her quiet English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale about her imaginary friend when she was younger - the one who hasn't left her head even now that she's a teen - has ostracized Kami.
Something not about to be made any better when the Lynburns return to town.
Owners of stately Aurimere House built centuries before and overlooking Sorry-in-the-Vale, the Lynburns have been gone for years - something no one in the town was at all sorry about.
With the twin sisters, along with their two teenage boys back, everyone is insisting Kami steer clear. It doesn't matter that Ash has been nice from his first day. Or that his cousin hasn't posed any threat to her, either.
With the deadly, bloody happenings in the woods, secrets everyone seems to be keeping from her - her own mother included - a reporter's instinct to find out the truth behind it all, and her imaginary friend suddenly flesh and blood - but maybe not quite as trustworthy as she thought, Kami is determined to get to the bottom of it all.
Whatever that may be.
As the Beautiful Creatures series prepares to take its final bow - with Beautiful Redemption out in October - we find the Lyburn Legacy series waiting in the wings to replace it as the (maybe not Southern) Gothic series whose next release you'll be anticipating.
It has just the right mixture: a seemingly sleepy town, a main character who thinks she knows all about it (and they know all about her), the great friends - with some new ones introduced, the newcomers who throw a wrench into everything (upsetting the norm, showing some people's true colors, introducing danger), and the questionable characters and maybe romance.
Kami having a voice inside her head that turns out not to be so imaginary? Kind of love that. Not only because it's something that I either have not read before or don't remember reading before , but because of how it was handled, as well. It wasn't something she was entirely able to keep secret and it's not something she didn't worry at all over, yet it also didn't wreck her entire life. For Unspoken Brennan has found a great balance.
The characters in Unspoken are just about perfect. Like with Jennifer Lynn Barnes' Raised by Wolves series, I love, love that these are characters who had just as much development and life and action through the story as if it were a contemporary story. I like my paranormal book characters to be as strong as contemporary characters (i.e., if you took the characters away from the paranormal story line they would still be strong, able to stand on their own characters; the 'other' in the plot shouldn't sustain the characters).
The relationships between the girls in this book was fantastic. Not only did it seem incredibly true to what actually happens, it also touched on some things that don't seem that often addressed, at least, in the books I'm reading. They were little, almost sneaked in things so that they were just part of the conversations. I think this not only added to their story, the novel as a whole, but made them stronger, more influential aspects of Unspoken than if they'd been crazy noticeable.
Without giving, hopefully, anything away, I'll say that the ending just about killed me . . . but it brings me back up to the start of my review - it definitely leaves you waiting for the next Lyburn Legacy book!
*I don't usually quote beginnings of books, but a book that starts out setting things up so well - and, "Respect the sheep"? How can you not want to keep reading a book that starts out like that?
thank you to Random House and NetGalley for my egalley of this title