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review 2017-06-15 00:00
All That's Unspoken
All That's Unspoken - Constance Phillips What originally drew me to All That's Unspoken is that it takes place in my home state of Michigan. That may have been the instant appeal, but it turns out that Hailey and Nate were a life lesson. Ms. Phillips tackles subjects that are as heartbreaking as they are relate-able. Subjects like loss, grief, the dynamic drama of family and the hard choices like risking the heart and letting go of the past. Both Hailey and Nate have a great deal to lose but even more to gain, if they grab hold of the second chance fate has bestowed upon them. A beautifully presented circle of life tale that aims for the heart and scores a bulls-eye shot.
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review 2017-06-03 17:32
Unspoken: The Lynburn Legacy, by Sarah Rees Brennan
Unspoken - Sarah Rees Brennan

Kami Glass lives in a small town in the Cotswolds of England where the Lynburns, an old family with deep and mysterious roots in the community, have just returned. People are unhappy about it, including Kami's mother, but Kami doesn't care: she's an aspiring reporter on the trail of a story for her high school paper (founded by herself and reluctant best friend, Angela), which becomes even more fascinating (and dangerous) when she comes across an animal sacrifice in the woods.

 

Kami has a secret of her own: she has a sort of imaginary friend with whom she communicates in her mind. This (male) friend has his own problems, and the two "reach" for each other psychically in times of need. This friend, of course, turns out to be real and a Lynburn. I anticipated as much but was still surprised by whom it turned out to be and when the reveal was made. The two struggle with the reality that the other is an actual person; their strange intimacy is not always welcome. Their bond turns out to be magical in nature and tied to the Lynburns and Kami's family.

 

Threats in town escalate, and Kami's at the center. In the meantime, she's also at the center of love triangle involving the two Lynburn boys. The triangle isn't terribly emphasized, but Kami's relationship with her former imaginary companion yo-yos between easy repartee and angsty denial of feelings. It got old.

 

Somehow I didn't feel involved enough in the mystery, and the tension didn't come across as it should. In part this may be because, as in other YA I've read, the story is somewhat rushed or condensed, including the quicksilver of the characters' changing emotions.

 

There's some fine prose, one of the book's saving graces, and lots of banter. It's not quite as successful as Whedon dialog or Veronica Mars, but it can be funny. It also got to be a bit much.

 

Kami's also one of those typical YA heroines whose friends are gorgeous, and she's supposedly less pretty but still somehow at the center of a love triangle involving the new hot guy. One of the most sincere moments is when Kami observes how each of her younger brothers is a favorite of her parents', leaving her odd person out.

 

I like YA but am coming to find it has to be exceptional to even be okay for me. Or maybe I just wasn't in the mood!

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review 2017-01-10 03:20
Good Story and Characters
Unspoken - Brenda Rothert

Palmer and Georges are best friends but also business partners. Palmer is engaged to Brady and they are the loves of each others lives. Georges was helping Palmer with her wedding planning. Palmer has just been hired to design a nursery for twins- a boy and a girl. Both Brady and Palmer have to concentrate on their careers. Palmer’s older brother Danny has the mind of a four year old is in a wheelchair and is in his twenties. But Danny lit up Palmer’s life. Danny had to be lifted in and out of his chair and Palmer’s mom was always in a lot of pain from her back, she was to have surgery Then the x-ray showed a mass in Palmer’s mother's lungs. A biopsy shows it is cancer. Brady’s father had been a successful contractor and was in prison as he swindled his employees and his clients Brady has to go out of town for a job. One evening he was talking  to Palmer and he asks her about moving to Colorado as the job market was good there and Brady could start his own business and get out from under his father’s misdeeds and to get his brother from the bad crowd he hangs with. But Palmer said her business was where she is at and now her mother’s cancer and she has her brother Danny to take care of. Palmer mentions putting off the wedding for  awhile as she wants the wedding to be a happy time not a stressed out time. Brady blew up but calmed himself down and said they would talk when he came home again. After a lot of misunderstandings and not saying how they really felt Palmer broke the engagement which breaks both her and Brady’s heart. Brady had even accused Palmer of cheating. Brady has changed and is still bitter and angry at Palmer. Brady wants nothing to do with relationships he only wants sex from random women as he was determined not to get hurt again. Brady comes back to build as house  for a friend and his fiance a year later. He didn’t know Palmer was the designer and they had to work together every day Palmer is very stressed when she sees Brady again with the full care of her brother and mother and her business. But Palmer and Brady have a special bond neither could break no matter how hard they tried. Old feelings start to come forth and Brady and Palmer sleep together. But Brady is a mean butt afterwards.

I truly liked this story a lot.Brady made it hard to like him very much but I did realize he was hurting. I loved how Palmer put others before her own happiness. I do think Palmer should have made Brady work harder to get back in  bed with her. But I also understood where she was coming from I did choke up at times and smiled at others while reading this which is a good thing. I felt like I was there with Palmer and Brady. This was well written and had a fast pace and I thought the plot was very good. I hurt for Palmer when she hurt so bad and everything else she had to deal with. But i liked the characters and i loved Palmer’s character. I loved the ins and outs of this story and I recommend.

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review 2016-11-19 18:40
If ever there was a perfect time to read this book, it would be now.
White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide - Carol Anderson

I thought this would be a good book to read after the election and it still is. But unfortunately the events that have occurred since then probably spins this a little differently.

 

The book is an overview of the journey and barriers African Americans have taken ever since the end of the Civil War and its reconstruction. Topics ranging from citizenship to the Great Migration to voting rights to civil rights to police brutality are all touched upon here. The book is engaging, although for my tastes it reminded me once again why I never cared to go into law with examinations of Supreme Court cases and legislation. This is a minor point and my own personal preference though.

 

Again, it wouldn't be surprising if this were information you were only vaguely aware of and/or never learned in school. It may present information that makes you uncomfortable. But it is informative. And it should probably be read in conjunction with other books as supplements. For as good of an overview this is, it's a slim book and can't cover everything in detail.

 

The book also reminds me that progress is very much a winding road filled with potholes and road blocks and rough terrain that needs repaving and sometimes you go through many detours or make a ton of U-turns. Which is not to be glib about the process since this often this ends in violence or death but all the same it's a reminder that paths like this are never easy ones.

 

Go into the book with an open mind. Despite the title (which, in retrospect I think is a bit provocative and I'm not sure quite adequately captures her thesis although I understand where she's coming from) it's an informative text that is extremely fitting for the moment.

 

Other books that I'd recommend as compliments to this one include Michelle Alexander's 'The New Jim Crow', Ari Berman's 'Give Us the Ballot', Isabel Wilkerson's 'The Warmth of Other Suns' and Ian Haney López's 'Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism & Wrecked the Middle Class'. Other, post-2016 election book lists would also probably be a good place to look ('White Rage' has appeared on few I've seen) too.

 

I borrowed this from the library but for the right person it would probably be a good book to keep on the bookshelf and it wouldn't surprise me if it shows up on college syllabi either, although it is not "textbook" in tone or writing style.

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review 2016-06-11 15:26
Unspoken - Sarah Rees Brennan

I loved the characters in this book! Everyone was smart, hot, quirky, funny and all around awesome. Loved it. Kami was a great main character, and I enjoyed all of her friends except perhaps Angela since she didn't have much effect on me. All in all a great read.

I liked the dynamic between Kami and Jared. The concept of your imaginary friend actually becoming real was a unique one to me, although the way this was dealt with was in a magical or supernatural sense.

Talking of magic, I don't think the description of magic in the book was that great. Not enough focus or explanation about it, really. People are like "oh there's some kind of luminous phenomenon coming out of the water" and that's literally all you get out of it. I would have liked a bit more on that.

The whole atmosphere sounded very Buffy or Sabrina the Teenage Witch, althoug the plot itself wasn't exactly unique. Nice plot twist at the end too.

And the ending was really, really sudden. I was like whoa wait no you can NOT do that. However, it set itself up for a sequel which I'm looking forward to read, although I don't think it's in my library.

About time we had a strong confident Asian female as our lead protagonist, I don't see many YA books that bother to do something like that. Her dad was awesome too.

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