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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Final Thoughts on Unspoken | #WednesdayYA [1.2.4]

Here's our final segment in this "issue" of February's #WednesdayYA! Last week we had our twitter chat to discuss Sarah Rees Brennan's Unspoken, and lemme tell you: it was mixed bag. Because I fell like I said everything I needed to say about this book (and because some pretty good points were raised, and good times had), I thought I'd do this non-review in the form of a twitter-ish rant-filled talk with y'all. So. Click through if that's a thing that interests you.
(And really, why wouldn't it? ;P )

And now, Unspoken. Oh, Unspoken... You had your moments. We all praised the humor...
...even though that was sometimes hit and miss...
...and we tended to have that one character we liked in spite of themselves, and liked the lead characters, in general — well, sort of...
...but for the most part, we. were. disappoint.
Because setting aside the humor and sometimes lovable characters, the sad fact is, most of the time, the characters were caricatures. And THAT is a sure way to irritate the piss out of me. Which, if that's something you're going for... well, if that is what you're going for, we have bigger problems than the fact that Angela's identifying characteristics are that she sleeps seriously all the time, like, more than a cat and that she's
In fact, a lot of things bothered me when it comes to the way the story was written, the way it was developed (or not).
I really just could not get past how one-dimensional the characters were, and how much the writing skewed toward juvenile, "Hey, I'm writing a novel in high school, look at me!" and my god I hate to say something like that you have no idea, but there it is. I think that alone would have been enough to put this one on my don't list, which is a shame, because for the first hundred pages or so, I thought it was going to be firmly on my funk-breakers list, which is always a good thing.
But even if the characters weren't cardboard cutouts of themselves, and even if the plot and backstory weren't a little silly and murky, there was something that just...UGH, it made me seethe a little bit. And that, my friends, was the main character's treatment Holly, the town's monetarily-poor but bustily-rich "floozy" (and yes, the word floozy was used, though mostly (I think; I hope) in a joking manner).
The only thing (the ONLY THING) that kept me from doing something I've never done, which is to actually physically throw a book, was that I think (I think) this was a calculated choice on Brennan's part; she is at least aware that this is how she created Kami, and that it's not cool (or at least, if one offhand comment is anything to go by, she doesn't intend the reader to agree with Kami's behavior):
But it wasn't all negative...
...or, at least not totally negative. Even I said I might consider reading the second book. Might. Though, really, I think most of the reason I want to read it is because of a cheap ploy, so... maybe I'll not read it out of pure petulance.
Well, pure petulance and this excerpt of book 2 that I stumbled across, that makes me more than a little irritated, because WHAT IN THE EVERLOVING EFFS IS GOING ON HERE?
But really, in the end...
But enough of that. Let's talk about something we're bound to like (she says, hopefully). It's time for a look at our potential March picks! Liz and I decided when we started this whole thing that we wanted to change up the way books are picked each month, and that we'd get to choose the book we most want to read during our birth month. Well, I kick off the month of March with my birthday, so I get first pick! But I'm an indecisive creature by nature, so I need your help.
Below are three of the #WednesdayYA potentials that are most calling my name right now.  Take a look...

...and let us know in the comments or on instagram (or twitter, or wherever!) which book YOU most want to see in March, or think I'd like the most!


  1. I know you and I talked a bit about this on twitter, but Kami behaviour, especially towards Holly was beyond uncalled for throughout the story and I really took issue with that. Nothing made me more angry than her calling Holly all these names, yet here's this girl who's so sweet, friendly and kind, and has done NOTHING to her. I really just didn't see the point of that aspect except SRB being like "Here! Kami's a bitch! It's development, right?" and that bothered me. Like you, the characters didn't feel like characters, so a lot of the "development" just came across very one-way and there was no depth or understanding within the madness.

    While I loved that Jared calls her out on it, I'm equally annoyed that he just in a lot of ways allows Kami to behave the way she does, but doesn't act upon stopping her. He says but doesn't follow through which again I think is also problematic. The humor was cute and cheeky but it was also super excessive and saturated that I found myself wanting to smack the book repeatedly.

    I don't think it's a terrible book because I *can* see the appeal and how people could enjoy it, but I think after reading the twitter chat and the book two excerpt, I'm probably going to skip the rest of this series. Hell, I HATED Shatter Me, yet I will give Mafi all the credit, there's a part of me that wants to see how that series actually would end.

  2. "I really just didn't see the point of that aspect except SRB being like "Here! Kami's a bitch! It's development, right?" and that bothered me."
    I think that's my real problem with it. As I said, this is AUTHENTIC. We all know that girl - we know too many of those girls - who hate on other girls without ever really knowing a thing about them. It bothers me, I hate to see it perpetuated, but it's real, so I get including it. But it did feel like a throwaway, like she wanted to use Holly for Kami's personal growth, but then just let that thread dangle and never did anything with it. And I have a feeling from the excerpt of book 2 that I linked, that any progress Kami made is going to quickly be lost. =/

  3. Hmm. I didn't read along so I don't really have anything to say about Unspoken, but it sounds like it was a bit of a let-down. D:

    My birthday is in March, too, and I've been thinking about The Darkest Minds for some time now. I'd like to see what other people think of it, and get into myself if study allows! So that's my vote :)

    1. Happy birthday! A lot of people seem to be leaning toward TDM, which was what I was leaning toward, too. And maybe it's just my contrary nature, but now I think I'm leaning toward Slide... lol!

  4. My vote is Slide! I've had that one on my shelf forever :)

    Unspoken felt like it was purposefully trying to be silly and satiric. But maybe I was reading way too much into it. Nothing brainy, just brain candy and I laughed. But I don't think I'll move onto the rest of the series. I just don't care about the characters enough.

    1. Every time I post about Slide, I have so many people comment that they loved it or think I would like it. I think I might end up going with it.

      And I agree, I do think the silliness was purposeful. If it had pushed the envelope more, I could have bought it as a parody of YA PNR, but it was a little too on the nose for me to not think that was just the story she wanted to tell. And as such, it just came off as cliche and juvenile to me. But I can see why people would enjoy it, and it was funny enough in the beginning that I would still try more by her (which is a good thing, 'cause I already own The Demon's Lexicon...)

  5. I think I'm going to skip Unspoken now.

    I think Maech should be Darkest Monds.


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