Book Review: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

18309803Genre: 

Young Adult, thumb  Fantasy, and Paranormal

Pages: 

400

Part of a Series?:

The finale novel in the Lynburn Legacy

Release Date: 

September 23rd, 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

My Review:

While this review will have no spoilers for Unmade, there will be spoilers for Unspoken and Untold. Click on the titles to read spoiler free reviews of those novels. 

I have been anxiously awaiting this release for over a year now, since the release of Untold last year. I absolutely adore this series and love Sarah and the characters in these books and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book.

I was so glad when I finally did.

Sarah Rees Brennan managed to do what I think a lot of people struggle to do with finale books: she created a fantastic ending that was both happy and sad at the same time, bittersweet. She wrapped up the story, had such a great ending but managed to create loss, to break my heart. The people that we lost in the book, I felt so much, especially since I was reading this late at night and I was already fairly emotional. She makes the sacrifices necessary. She kills off a particular character (minor spoiler but really did you expect people NOT to die?) and I just lost it. I couldn’t believe that she did it. I can see why, and it was a great point in the story but it killed me. She was able to make these sacrifices that seemed so genuine to the story and yet still just broke your heart in pieces.

What I’ve always loved about Sarah is her characters. All of her characters are unique and real, and beautiful. Kami, Jared, Ash, Ten, Tomo, Jon, Lillian, Holly, Angela, Rusty, they’re all fantastic and you fall madly in love with each and every one of them because they feel so real. What I love about this book is that each one of their stories continues. Obviously we are focused mainly on Kami, Jared and the Lynburns but everyone has an important story line. You don’t forget who anyone is and I think that’s beautiful, to care about each and every single character and where they end up.

What makes me happy about this book is that it takes everything from books one and two and comes together in a beautiful and unique ending. Sarah stands out in this crowd of paranormal YA, because her stories are unique, her characters fresh, and her dialogue engaging and hilarious. I want to turn the next page without realizing that I’ve gone through 100 pages in less than an hour…She’s an addicting author to read and I am so sad that this series is over and I honestly can’t wait until I see a new book by her on the shelves.

Rating: 

5 out of 5 stars

Fandom Friday-The Lynburn Legacy

The Fandom Friday is a weekly feature, this site with each blog post written by a new contributor.

This is the weekly post where either myself, or a guest blogger, talks about a new fandom. See, I’ve had the experience in my life where I’ve been made fun or put down about my particular fandoms. And that has made me feel pretty crappy. But I’ve also put down other fandoms as well.

So I’ve decided to change that. I’m opening my world up to new fandoms, and the best way to do that is to bring people in to write about various fandoms. I’m very excited about this segment.

If you guys are interested in becoming a guest blogger for the Fandom Friday, feel free to email me at whatanerdgirlsays at gmail.com or contact me HERE

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The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan 

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What It Is: 

The Lynburn Legacy is a paranormal mystery series written by the immensely talented Sarah Rees Brennan.

The story follows the main character of Kami Glass, who lives in the tiny town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, where nothing happens, not since the mysterious Lynburns left town. Kami is an aspiring reporter, determined to get a story, and recruiting her friends to help her do it. Her best friend, though, is a boy named Jared, a boy who lives in her head, a boy who she doesn’t even know is real, until one day, she bumps into him on accident and she finds out he is part of a group of Lynburns that have returned to town. Now that the two are thrown together, their connection and bond and growing attraction to each other makes it incredibly awkward to be around each other. But there are more problems to contend with: brutally murdered animals are being found around town and when Kami starts investigating, she’s nearly killed as well. Plus there’s something a little…off about the Lynburn family that Kami is determined to find out about.

So far, there are two books in the series, Unspoken and Untold. Untold was released quite recently, in September, so it probably will be about a year, next fall, for the third book to release. This book is full of adventure and mystery, romance and magic. It reads like a murder mystery, wrapped up in magic, and humor.

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How I Found It 

I met Sarah Rees Brennan back in March, when she was on tour with Cassandra Clare on her Clockwork Princess tour, along with Maureen Johnson. I thought she was absolutely adorable and she made me laugh, and she had the BEST taste in clothes ever. Seriously, Sarah, I don’t know where you get your dresses, but we need to go shopping together soon.

But I knew immediately that I wanted to read some of her books, her and Maureen. I knew if they were endorsed by Cassie, they had to be good. And they were just so hilarious.

I read Sarah Rees Brennan’s Demon’s Lexicon trilogy and I liked it, but this series is really the one that brought me in. I had heard of it but had been no rush until my own contributor Christina Marie recently read Unspoken and loved it so much that she just had to share it with me. I immediately bought the first book, and read the second book just the next day.

My number one fictional crush has been Jace Wayland for a LONG time now, and probably won’t change at all, but Jared Lynburn is now an incredibly close second place.

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Why You Should be Reading It 

I feel like I need ridiculous gifs from Tumblr to explain why you should be reading this series because words are hard to use to describe this series.

It made me laugh out loud. It made me want to scream and cry, and it made me scared and excited. It made me feel so many different emotions all at the same time.

And it was so NEW too. I tend not read too much paranormal romance YA because it starts to get repetitive and frankly, kind of irritating. Maybe that’s why it took me so long to read this series to begin with. Maybe I had that idea that it would just be the same thing again.

But its not at all. Sarah tells this story like its a mystery and like the magical aspect of it is just an added bonus. It literally reads like a murder mystery to me. Its exciting and did I mention funny? Kami Glass is such a brave and fun character and she makes me laugh so much. She’s so stubborn and determined and its not a wonder that she drives Jared absolutely bonkers. I kind of want to BE Kami Glass. Sarah has created this character that is incredibly relatable and at the same time enviable. She’s incredibly smart and clever and super witty, she has a sharp sense of humor. I love that no matter what crazy situations she gets herself into, she just pushes forward. She’s brave, and she’s loyal to those that she loves.

I also absolutely adore the fact that Sarah represents the world the way it is: she has mixed race characters, and characters that have different sexual identities. She represents what we actually see when we go outside. Kami is half-Asian, and there are friends of hers who are questioning their sexual identities and there’s just so many differences in it, and I love it. It shouldn’t be a problem but it is, and the fact that she does it so beautifully and subtly makes this book so much better.

Plus there’s just the fact that she’s a great writer. Its a fun story, with just enough awesome elements to keep you speeding through the book. There’s humor and action and adventure and mystery and romance and fun and amazing.

Seriously, read these novels. You won’t regret one minute of reading these books.

An original fan artwork of Cassandra Jean. I was so happy when I discovered she did art for this series, as well as Cassandra Clare's series.
An original fan artwork of Cassandra Jean. I was so happy when I discovered she did art for this series, as well as Cassandra Clare’s series.

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I hope you all enjoyed this edition of the Fandom Friday. I realize there aren’t many hours left in the day of Friday but I made it! Yay me!

I hope you all are able to check out this book series, you will NOT be disappointed.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan Review

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

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You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, viagra sale Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

My Review:

This review will not contain spoilers for the book Untold. However, there will be spoilers from the first novel, Unspoken. To read the review of that novel, please click here

I loved the first novel so much that I didn’t think it was possible in the slightest for me to like the sequel just as much, if not a bit a more.

The struggle with a first novel, and then writing a sequel, is that you have to worry about living up to what you produced in the first novel, and making it that much better. Sarah took the story she had built up so well in the first one, and really circled it around to where she wanted to be in the second novel. She took the cliffhanger she gave us in Unspoken, and left us panting through Untold as we tried to figure out what happened.

And she left us with more cliffhangers, more loose ends, and that’s a mark of a good middle book. She builds up this story in the first book, leads us down a dark and winding and confusing path of the second book, just to leave us feeling absolutely thrown off and we have to wait an entire year for the third book? How horribly delightful that is, and the mark of a good trilogy. The bad guys have to win a bit in the second novel, to make it seem like all is lost, there is no hope for a solution, for the good guys to win. She manages to do that in this novel, but in a way that you never expected. I was in shock at the end of the book, and I was also quite afraid for some particular characters because she leaves their fate hanging in the balance at the end of the novel.

This book is so much darker than the previous one, probably because it is the middle book, where things have to be at their worst. Rob Lynburn is building up his own army, in order to perform a sacrifice, and take control of Sorry-of-the-Vale. Lilian and Ash, and Jared, and Kami, and Angela and Holly are all determined to take him down, but they can’t work together. Lilian Lynburn refuses to work with anyone that she doesn’t see as having a point, anyone without magic, and Kami, Holly, and Angela are all without magic, especially Kami without her connection to Jared. Of course, that doesn’t stop Kami Glass, that determined firecracker, and she gets all the young ones, including Ash and Jared. But the two groups working separately can only make things worse, and can only end in explosion, which it kind of does.

But there is still that humor, and adventure element to the novel. You aren’t spending the entire thing, in a world of despair and hopelessness and wondering if things will EVER get better. Kami is the light in the novel, the one who can make a joke, a sarcastic remark or brighten up the hope in the room when everyone else is feeling down, or like they’re going to give up. Pair her with Jared or Angela, and you get a banter of wit and humor and you find yourself smiling even though Sorry-of-the-Vale is in a whole mess of trouble.

As an addition too, Sarah also succeeds in making me, and probably the rest of you readers, fall even more in love with Jared Lynburn that you were previously in Unspoken. I still didn’t think it was possible to adore a fictional character as make as Jace Lightwood from the Mortal Instruments series but Jared is quickly catching up.

And can I just say that the cliffhanger of THIS novel left me incredibly upset, in that wonderful way that a book can upset you? The decisions that were made by Ash and Jared and Kami and all of them, and the place that they are left in at the end were not what I expected and left me feeling hopeless and upset with all of them. I wanted to cry, no lie, because I have so much hope that things will work out the way I want them too, in the third book, but I have to wait, feeling these awful feelings for these characters that I’ve grown to love. Every time I think of them, I will think of all I left them, and it just makes me feel sad all over the again.

So I’m ready that the third novel, Sarah! And I wouldn’t say no to an advanced copy ;)

Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

Book of the Week-Unspoken

I am SO excited to share this week’s Book of the Week with you. I had originally planned on featuring Gayle Forman’s Just One Year, story even though I try really hard to stay away from sequels as the featured book. It just doesn’t seem fair to feature a sequel when some of you may have not even read the previous ones. I’ll only do that with big series like when I feature Allegiant next week.

But I hadn’t read a new book that wasn’t a sequel at all so that’s kind of the choice I had to make…until I picked up Unspoken on Monday night. And finished it in a matter of hours, and immediately went searching for a copy of Untold, because I knew that I had found something incredibly special.

I will say more than once in this post that with this book alone, Sarah has become one of my favorite authors. This book was amazing, an escape, a laugh house, a thrill ride. Read on to find out why!

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

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GoodReads / Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository 

Genre:

young adult, paranormal, fantasy

Part of a Series?:

Yes, the first book in the Lynburn Legacy, followed by Untold, and the unreleased Unmade

You May Like if You Liked:

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Angelfall by Susan Ee, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Age Recommendation:

This is a new feature on the Book of the Week. As most of the reviews I do are YA, and YA is starting to break apart into YA and NA, and that sort of thing, I will be recommending an appropriate age for the books. Keep in mind this is MY personal recommendation and it varies on the maturity of the reader. 

14+

Plot Summary:

From GoodReads:

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

The Bad:

This is probably going to be SO lame, but the description of Kami’s clothes drove me up the wall. It was hard for me to picture Kami as this kickass, amazing character sometimes when the clothes were being described. I had an issue with her kicking butt in these dresses. I mean, don’t get me wrong: I totally wanted her wardrobe. It sounded like she had a seriously awesome wardrobe, and after meeting Sarah Rees Brennan and interviewing her, I know awesome clothes is definitely part of her life. I definitely want to steal her wardrobe. I just kept getting distracted by her clothes. I know that’s SUCH a lame reason but it really was. I don’t know if authors feel the need to say that a girl can like pretty clothes and be a badass, but its also completely distracting when it seems to be making a point of it. I don’t know if that was what Sarah was trying to do, but I get distracted by wardrobe descriptions, unless its important to the scene or the story.

The Good:

That being said, I’m officially in love with Sarah Rees Brennan, this series and Jared Lynburn. Sigh.

First off, the diversity that is in this novel is fantastic. It shouldn’t be notable when this kind of thing happens. It should just BE that way, but we have to be aware of it because it just doesn’t seem to be obvious, especially in young adult. So much of the main characters in YA are Caucasian girls. There aren’t a lot of different ethnicities going on. So I was excited that Kami was Asian, and that she was a mutt too, half Asian. I’m a mutt (half Irish, half Mexican) too so I really liked that. I liked the mix of British and Scottish and American, and the varying looks. I also liked that there was LGBT themes in there as well. Very excited about the diversity.

But there was just the story alone. From page one, I was addicted. I finished this book in about three hours. I had just finished writing up the interview with Sarah Rees Brennan when I thought, you know, I really need to read Unspoken. People keep telling me its good, and our very own contributor, Christina Marie, has read it recently and loved it. I thought it was absolutely horrible to have interviewed Sarah about her book and not having actually read it. I was addicted right away.

The thing that I love about this book is the characters. Each character is so unique and real and it was so easy to love each and every one of them. None of them felt fake or forced. I loved all of them. Kami, Angela, Holly, all of them. I even love Ash, even though I had been thinking of that as a character name for my zombie novel, and now I can’t use it because I’m going to think of Ash Lynburn. But each character is so real. I even like the characterization of Lillian and Rob and Rosalind, though you’re not really supposed to like them.

But oh, that Jared Lynburn. I was madly deeply crazy in love with Jared Lynburn from the moment that you hear his voice in Kami’s mind. I was pulling for Jared from page one, because I was already hooked. He was sweet, and protecting but he has that bad boy attitude, and he has that sarcastic attitude that is so irresistible. I honestly never thought a fictional boy would drive me as insane, in all the best ways, like Jace Wayland Morgenstern Herondale Lightwood, but apparently I was terribly wrong about that. Sigh. So in love.

I swear though, I’m going to talk about the story too. The story is great, a great mix of paranormal fantasy, friendship, romance, uncertainty, growing up, all of it. It reads like a paranormal mystery, and you have no idea what is going on. And Kami Glass is super adorable, with her trusty notebook tucked in her bra, trying to solve these crimes, even when people are obviously trying to kill her. So many paranormal stories are starting to feel repetitive and starting to feel like something you’ve already read before. This story is fresh, and unexpected, and you have no idea what’s going on and when you get to the end, you’re so surprised. She keeps you captivated til the very end. Its a wonderful mystery but there is so much humor in it as well, and the sarcasm is to die for.

OH! And that cliffhanger! What a horrible, terrible, wonderful cliffhanger. I swear, if Untold wasn’t already released, I would have DIED at that cliffhanger. NO way.

Rating:

5 out of 5 Stars

Recommended or Not?:

Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes. I’m not kidding. I finished this book in three hours, and then spent my entire next day reading Untold, in between class and work and stuff. I am not lying when I say that she has become one of my favorite authors from these two books alone, and I’ll be anxiously waiting the release of the third book. She’s a wonderful writer, and this story is incredibly addicting. More people should be reading these books!

In a couple days, look out for a review on the sequel, Untold!

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s featured book! Definitely buy this book; you will NOT regret in the slightest. This is an other book that I am definitely going to start pushing on people, big time.

Don’t forget that you can check out previous Book of the Weeks here, and check out my interview with Sarah!

Happy Reading everyone!