Introduction by Holly Black:Holly Black is a best-selling author of contemporary fantasy, including The Spiderwick Chronicles.
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.
This a short story told through the perspective of Mariel a teacher who became his guidance counselor. She noticed thngs that others never paid attention too and saw that Jared had not one person who saw him for him. Even when Mariel met his mother, not once did she get the feeling that he was loved. What was strange was that she saw he would always be to himself and even smiling as if he was talking not to himself but someone who was their yet not present. When Jared told Mariel about Kami that changed everything because she saw that quite possibly Jared did have someone who he thought mattered to him. But when good things happen something bad comes to past and she never saw Jared, of course she was asked if she had seen him by strangers, but nothing came out of it they all left and Mariel was left with more questions than answers. This was amazing because we saw that even though Jared didn't feel comfortable at home he found someone who he can share with like Kami shared with him.
5/5 Stars - Seeing Jared in a different light was amazing.