I would say that Unspeakable by Abbie Rushton is first and foremost a novel about the power of belief.
Megan, the main character, doesn’t believe that everything is going to be just fine; she’s not out testing the limits of life’s goodwill for the sake of an adrenalin rush. Instead, Megan believes she did something that makes the word wrong seem like candy, she believes it down to her core and she holds onto it as if it were the only truth she will ever know. The fear obstructs her throat and she’s not able to talk about it, she’s not able to talk, at all. Then she finds love… and her voice. What words will first come out, though? What consequences will they have?
“I try touching her arm, but she flinches like there’s poison dripping from my fingers.”
It was really interesting to navigate Megan’s mind. I believe Abbie Rushton did a wonderful job showing just how self-hatred can affect a self-portrait, how it can change every color, every tone, every stroke, blending the different layers into a dark blur that becomes the face of evil.
“[The moon] sits low, almost stroking the treetops, its shadowy craters clearly visible.”
Also, the twist at the end was something that I was not quite expecting and rather enjoyed. I mean, I was expecting a twist, just not one so… twisty. It made me wonder about the other characters, though, made me wonder how much richer the novel would have been if it had been open to other minds. Not just about the end, actually, but also about the relationship between Megan and Jasmine. It felt a bit… one-sided.
It somehow reminded me of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Here, though, something seems to be missing. I can’t quite put my finger on it.
All in all, I found it to be an interesting experience filled with moments of beyond charming writing.
“I loved the way her skin folded around her wedding ring, as if it had become a natural part of her body.”