Originally posted at Paperback Wonderland.
First of all I should say the author was incredibly kind to send me this book - more accurately, my cat won this book for me, but that's a long story involving scratches, and forcing pets to wear little wire-framed spectacles.
The fact I was sent this book by the author does not affect, in any way, my review.What does affect it, is that I've been following Sarah Rees Brennan's writing since way back when, and she has never, ever, disappointed me. So now here we are, the ~dreaded~ 2nd book of a trilogy. In my possession (I may have called it "my precious once or twice...") before it's even out.
Obviously I freaked out. Not in a "This is so great, I am so lucky! Yay!", but in a "Omg, what if I don't like it?!"
It's terrible when you love an author's work and then they write something and you hate it! What now?! What if I hate it?!
This brought me back to when my bff had a baby girl. I know you're supposed to say nice things the first time you see someone's baby, but the more I put it off, the more I stressed out over it: what if the baby was HIDEOUS? What if, when in the presence of that abomination unto the Lord all I could come up with would be something like, "Oh, she has... she has very hirsute whiskers!"
So I put it off and I kept training saying nice things in front of a mirror for a week straight. But finally I could put it off no longer and I had to go see the baby. And the baby was SO FREAKING CUTE!!! So cute I actually turned to the parents and expressed my relief on not having had to lie about her looks. Never do this, by the way - I’ve since learned it’s a social faux pas.
Much the same situation happened with Untold. I was freaking out! I was composing polite ways to critique a disappointing book, because I love the author, and I love everything she writes, but maybe she would read my dreadful review and go, "This is it, the last drop! I shall never put pen to paper again, not even to sign my own name!"
But joy of joys, Untold was much more amazing that my bff's baby. Don't tell her I said that! I mean the kid is really cute, but it just stayed in her crib, sleeping, which I admit, she did rather well... but...
Untold, however, starts kind of like this: Murderous scarecrows! Girl Power! Hot boys! Hot girls! And chocolate pasta: which I did not even know was a thing, if anyone can get me some I'll be yours forever.
Seriously, this is Sarah Rees Brennan at her best!
I read some reviews expressing displeasure at her use of humour, particularly during dramatic moments. That's what makes it work for me! You know how when you're with someone who'd been so important to you but now is not, and for a fleeting moment there's that spark where the old friendship is there and alive, and everything is well and we're all so happy- BUT IT'S NOT, because it was just a moment, and now it's back to bleak reality. Tell me that doesn't make the situation that more poignant: the juxtaposition of sadness and humour, it makes one so much sadder, the other so much more precious... It's genius writing, that's what it is!
And major props for girl friendship! Passing the Bechdel test left, right, and centre!Plus intrigue, and girl sleuths, creepy magic, and awesome portrayals of family interactions.
What more could I ask for?!
Make-out scenes, of course - but those are in there as well!!
So, I know I talk (well, write) too much, and I usually don't make much sense, but if you take anything from this review it should be: GO READ UNTOLD AS SOON AS YOU CAN GET IT!!!