UnspeakableAuthor: Abbie Rushton
Genre: YA Contemporary, LGBT
Published: February 5th 2015 by Atom
Purchase from: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
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?
Unspeakable has a really interesting blurb that immediately drew me in. A main character that doesn't speak? How is she going to narrate the story? Very intriguing. Also, this is my first book with lesbian main characters so I was really excited to dive in.
I liked the story and the way it was written. The prose is great and it has a smooth-flowing pace that I really enjoyed reading. The words have a dramatic quality to them that are common in contemporary novels with tough issues. The mystery factor also added spice to the story. I wasn't aware there was more to Megan's secret than what she believed, and it was a shocking surprise when the truth was finally revealed.
While I enjoyed and liked the story, I wasn't that invested with the characters. I understand that Megan was dealing with her grief and guilt over what happened to her best friend and that she felt like she had to punish herself. But sometimes she was just unreasonable. Yeah, her mother wasn't Best-Mother-of-the-World material, but she tried to reach out to Megan. Yet all Megan did was push her away. She refused to accept help. I didn't understand that. On the other hand, Jasmine was this perfect, too good to be true, beautiful new girl. I just didn't get her. How did Megan fall in love with her?
The romance aspect was kinda underwhelming. A lot of times it felt like it was only one-sided. Maybe it's due to the fact that the story was narrated by Megan, but I would've wanted more love from Jasmine. I was also expecting some huge, shocking coming-out moment of revelation for Megan, until I realized that Megan's not really a lesbian, per se. She just happened to fall in love with a girl like her. The character growth that she went through was also remarkable. From a grief-stricken and guilt-ridden girl, she came to accept the truth, forgive herself and let go. I guess that's what love really does.
(There's something bothering me, though. The first parts of the story suggest that Megan has OCD tendencies, but it wasn't really explored throughout the novel. I'm sort of going OC over this bit, but oh well.)
I wasn't super impressed, but Unspeakable is definitely a good read. It's a well-written and provocative story about dealing with loss, guilt, love and acceptance. You have here a noteworthy debut, people.
Meet the Author
Abbie Rushton was a winner in 2010 Undiscovered Voices, a writing competition run by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She has a degree in English Literature with Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, and currently works as an editor at a leading educational publisher. Unspeakable is her first novel.
Follow her on Twitter: @Abbietheauthor