11 November 2015

Unspeakable by Abbie Rushton

Don't judge a book by it's cover. Except it is someones job to design covers (and damn, did they do a lush job this time around) I'm ashamed to say that this is a book that appealed to me because the cover was beautiful. I know, I know.


"Megan doesn't speak. She hasn't spoken in months.

Pushing away the people she cares about is just a small price to pay. Because there are things locked inside Megan's head - things that are screaming to be heard - that she cannot, must not, let out.

Then Jasmine starts at school: bubbly, beautiful, talkative Jasmine. And for reasons Megan can't quite understand, life starts to look a bit brighter.

Megan would love to speak again, and it seems like Jasmine might be the answer. But if she finds her voice, will she lose everything else?
"

Like with a lot of new young adult books I've been reading recently, I picked this one up not sure exactly I was going in to. I'd read reviews and had seen words like "heart-breaking" and "breath-taking" crop up so that piqued my interest. To be honest, I didn't enjoy this book a lot, at one point I put it down and was never going to pick it up again (until I realised I was almost halfway, and what if it was just about to pick up, you know?) so it was able to grip me a little, but literally only just.

I enjoyed the mystery, and there is a lot of mystery about this book, a lot of information that slowly comes to light as you plod along through the story. The biggest mystery of all, the secret behind why Megan doesn't talk, isn't revealed until the end in a dramatic fashion. To be honest I didn't like how it all went down, the entire narrative felt like Megan saying she won't talk because she didn't want to tell anyone her secret, but then dangled that in front of the reader for the majority of the book. Just tell me already. Imagine if we'd been allowed to really get in to Megan's head from near enough the start and we knew what Megan did but no one else in the novel did. I might have been more sympathetic with the her internal beating-herself-up and understand where she was coming from a little more. Instead, I felt very littler for Megan, but I think it's because she's so different from me (but let's not get in to a psycho analysis of me)

The character's were okay, a nice set of main and supporting that had me guessing as to who the antagonist terrorising Jasmine was (I was pleasantly surprised in the end, that was a good twist). Actually just want to say here how much I love Jasmine and Megan. They really had their moments and my heart did flutter a few times for sure. I was invested in their friendship, their relationship (are they friends? More than friends? Will this be a thing?) and my heart went out to Megan, trying to understand her feelings. It's frustrating when the main character can't talk so a lot of arguments felt the same or conversations reached a point where they literally couldn't go any further because the characters couldn't fully build up or communicate in those high pressure intense moments their thoughts and feelings. This probably can't be avoided with a mute character, and there was internal dialogue from Megan for the reader, but still.

Back to the other characters; mothers, other school friends etc. A lot of it felt like characters would do something and be like, I don't know why I just did that, or we'd pry another small bit of information out and someone would overreact and leave. I know teenagers can be emotional but it felt like there were a lot of people reacting and overreacting over almost nothing. Not all the time, of course, but some times I was just like suuuure

It's a lovely read and I liked it enough to finish it, but it's one of those ones that won't stay with me for a long time afterwards. That's not to say I wouldn't pick something else up by Abbie Rushton again, I think, as an author, she's got potential with a nice writing style making it an easy read, her debut is unique in itself so I'd be interested in seeing what she writes about in the future, just this one didn't hit the nail on the head with me I'm afraid, hopefully this won't make you not pick it up. It's definitely original and if you're a fan of contemporary this might be a good one for you.

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