Book Review: Unspeakable (Abbie Rushton)


Publisher: Atom
Pages: 279
Release Date: February 5th 2015

Summary (From Goodreads):

 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?


This is the second book I’ve read this week about someone being unable to speak due to a traumatic event (the other being If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch). Both were very different but enjoyable.

I enjoyed the slow build of this book. While I can’t claim to have exactly guessed the ending, I had a pretty clear idea of why Megan wasn’t talking, but that didn’t bother me. It was an enjoyable ride to see the friendship with Jasmine blossom and be teased with the hints of the events that led to Megan’s silence.

The thing I like the most about this book was the fact that, while it contained an LGBT relationship, it wasn’t solely what the book was about. While I do think it”s important and helpful to have books that focus on someone coming out or exploring their sexuality, I love it when it’s just a natural part of a book. Because why shouldn’t it be?

This was another book where the little details really added up to create a beautiful, clear picture of characters and settings. I felt that Megan living on the scummier side of an otherwise lovely village added to the isolation that her muteness caused. Megan’s mum was a really well fleshed out character with all the signs of a mother putting her foot in it even as she tries to help and do what’s best for her daughter. Jasmine as a character may seem a little larger than life, but as a drama type myself (though not quite such a chattery, flamboyant one) I’ve come across Jasmines in real life before and know what a breath of fresh air they can be. Their relationship might seem like a convenient one (the chatterbox and the mute) but it grew organically and they felt suited to grow close as friends and more.

This is a slow burner that I didn’t want to put down, and one that I would have loved to read as a teen (and one I’ll be passing on to my younger sister to read). I’m trying to read more diversely this year and this book the first, enjoyable step in that direction.

My Verdict:

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