Instead of providing my own review here I’ll just add the introduction by Holly Black, because it says exactly what I feel about the book…minus the bit about having read Unspoken. The fab five star review of the novel Unspoken by Lee @ Rally the Readers got me curious about Jared and Kami, so when I discovered these two freebie prequel novellas, I simply had to read them.
Introduction by Holly Black
I had the privilege of reading this story many months ago and swooning over it almost as much as I swooned over Unspoken, the first book of Sarah Rees Brennan’s gorgeously crafted modern gothic trilogy. Sarah’s writing is incredible in that she is able to write these witty, lush scenes that have you smiling along until suddenly, in a single sentence, she reaches out to break your heart.
This story introduces us to one of the main characters of Unspoken, Jared Lynburn. Seeing him as the broken, dangerous, closed-off teenager that he appears to be from the outside allows us to anticipate all of the insight we’ll have into his character when we get inside his head–which we will, since he’s the heroine’s “imaginary friend.”
I enjoy the contrast of Jared’s loneliness in the rough streets of Hunters Point/Bayview in San Francisco and the small, strange English town Jared is headed toward, and the girl he is about to meet. But most of all, in this story, I enjoy Jared himself, a character who is a study in contrasts–pushed to such extremes of despair and fury that he’s truly capable of anything and yet capable of vast kindness, gentleness and humor.
Available Free on Amazon as a PDF, here.
The Summer Before I Met You (The Lynburn Legacy 0.5)Take care of your spirit, Kami,” said Megumi. “And don’t burn the place down.” Kami grabbed both the suitcases and headed for the cabin she was sharing with Liz and Angela. Liz walked with her, and on their way Kami stopped. “My Sobo was exaggerating,” she said earnestly. “There have been very few fires
There’s no intro to this one, so here are my thoughts. The story is as beautiful as The Spring Before I Met You, and focuses on Kami. Although Kami is considered ‘weird’ much the same way as Jared, I saw straight away that they have very different personalities. Jared keeps to himself, while Kami is brimming with life and wants to be in the middle of everything. She’s also not afraid to try at relationships and has a strangely sweet friendship with a very cutting and memorable Angela.
I’m even more curious about Unspoken now because there are so many intriguing little hints in these novellas. What’s up with the hints of fires? Clearly, Kami and Jared are each other’s ‘invisible friends’ but how did that connection happen.
These novellas are a super introduction to Sarah Rees Brennan’s wonderful storytelling. They’re both well worth a read.
Available on Oblong Books as pdf, here