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Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.


Unspoken is out today, and I am so excited for people to read it! I have a Gothic Tuesday for you all, but first I have this short story present, MOST FANCILY on amazon!

Holly Black wrote an introduction for The Spring Before I Met You, mainly because she saw all my attempts at writing my own introduction, along the lines of ‘This story is written by a lunatic about another lunatic’ and took pity on me…

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.

Scroll down to find and read The Spring Before I Met You!


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 11th, 2012 04:22 pm (UTC)
Why are all of your short stories so good? Definitely made me extremely impatient to read the book. Thanks for posting it!

You do not know how much I swooned when the very first sentence revealed that Jared is actually Byron. You do not know.
Sep. 11th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you!

And you know, the moors make the man. ;)
Sep. 12th, 2012 02:48 am (UTC)
I was pretty much caught at that first sentence as well. I love that you've applied that phrase to a teenager in a modern setting, it works. He's got Byron's looks, too. Mmm.
Sep. 11th, 2012 06:08 pm (UTC)
Bookmarking this to read tonight, I just got the email from amazon saying it been sent off so I should have Unspoken tomorrow and I cannot wait!
Sep. 11th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
Hurrah! I hope you will enjoy both.
Sep. 11th, 2012 10:01 pm (UTC)
Exquisite, and I loved the characters ridiculously as always. I love that Mariel struggles with the students and also with herself as she tries to help people, and Jared's understandable, painful edginess, and the way he comes alive joking about literature and talking about Kami. I also love the glimpses we see here of his and Kami's relationship, with the way she seems to remind him to be kind. And I like that he also has to learn to focus on Mariel as a person without Kami, to find the decent human being inside himself. (And his family -- shudder.)

I also wanted to say how much I appreciate your message here of letting people make their choices and then helping them. And especially applied to bad relationships, where it's so true that attacking the person you disapprove of only makes the other person defensive, a message I don't think we get often enough. So thank you for that.

And thanks also for writing this and giving it away! My copy of Unspoken says it's scheduled to ship today but that it still hasn't actually left on its way to me, so this story is tiding me over.
Sep. 11th, 2012 10:47 pm (UTC)
I am so glad you liked! Jared is tricky from strangers' POVs but I had fun with him and with Mariel. ;) And I am glad you thought the message was of goodness--I don't really believe in saving people, but helping them, yes--and I will have my fingers crossed you like Unspoken.
Sep. 11th, 2012 10:10 pm (UTC)
Sarah, I just bought your book today! I am looking forward to skipping sleep tonight!
Sep. 11th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you! I hope the insomnia is enjoyable.
Sep. 12th, 2012 12:25 am (UTC)
Ooh yay, I have been looking forward to this! The big question will be if I can wait for the library to acquire it...
Sep. 13th, 2012 07:51 am (UTC)
I was all set to wait until I had a chance to buy this book somewhere that had a format I liked better than the Kindle app. But apparently reading this story => who minds Kindle? I can live with Kindle.

I've been looking forward to this book all year -- I enjoyed all of your posts, and I loved the glimpses of what you were thinking about with the book, the ideas and the subverted tropes. But another thing the two stories reminded me of is that I love the way you create characters, and complex relationships, so quickly. I care about everyone in both these stories -- I even care about Liz, even though we get a more limited look at her, and I absolutely care about Mariel. I'm excited (apparently, again, excited enough to skip my favorite ebook format!) to see more of the characters who get to cross over to the actual book.
Sep. 13th, 2012 09:40 am (UTC)
Aw, I am so pleased to win you over! And I am happy amazon hosted the story for me, so I am pleased for them too. ;) I'm a character girl myself, so the characters working for you is the biggest compliment I can have.
Sep. 14th, 2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
...And now I'm done, and I just wanted to say, it lived up to every single one of my expectations. All the ideas and all the subverted tropes and all the wonderful execution of them all, and I love every single character (...well, almost, some people were just never meant to be loved.)

Also, I'm experiencing this weird mix of burning resentment towards all trilogies and the people who write them and set publishing dates for them, and ungodly glee that the story isn't done here. I'm pretty sure you'll know it for the compliment it is when I say that the last time I felt this way was with Holly Black's White Cat trilogy.

Edited at 2012-09-14 03:22 pm (UTC)
Sep. 19th, 2012 05:11 am (UTC)
And this story is even better than "The Summer Before..." :) Glad I didn't read it before the book though; it was good to have the shock of meeting Jared outside of Kami's head after we'd already met him from the inside.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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