Unspeakable by Abbie Rushton
This review comes with the disclaimer that I know the author and have done for many years, however the proof was provided through a third party and the review isn't paid for or sponsored in any way.
Electronic proof provided by Netgalley.com
Good teen fiction that doesn't feature the supernatural seemed to be on the decline recently and then came the wonderful John Green with The Fault in Our Stars and happily good quality teen fiction with real characters is back on the publishers' agendas.
Unspeakable had me gripped from the start. A traumatic event has seen Megan lose both her best friend and the ability to speak and the start of the new school year is not going well. Along comes Jasmine and all of a sudden things are starting to look up, however the secrets surrounding the events that left Megan unable to speak are causing more trouble than can be imagined...
The book was a fast paced read with elements of a thriller, a teen 'problem' novel, and a love story all of which combine wonderfully and do not conform to expectations - the first love isn't what you think, there are no miracle cures and mental health issues aren't always what they seem.
The book has a nice well finished ending that leaves you wanting to know more about the characters but without a sequel at all being needed or hinted at - hurrah, I love stand alone novels!
It has a really nice British feel about it, without being full of over description, I could see all of the characters and locations clearly. The issues that teenagers face - peer pressure, school pressure, drinking, parental problems, etc. - are all just a natural part of the plot not the focus of a preachy novel.
I did spot the slight twist coming which is unusual for me but I did follow the red-herring for a long time so this was well done.
The major downside is that the book isn't published until February 2015 and you'll all have to wait to share my happiness that is Abbie's fantastic book!