BOOK REPORT for Unbreakable (Legion #1) by Kami Garcia

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Cover Story: Grunge Big Face Meets Gothic Big Letter

BFF Charm: Yay

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

Talky Talk: Grimoire for Dummies

Bonus Factors: Supernatural

Anti-bonus Factors: Love Triangle, Cliffhanger

Relationship Status: Hunting Buddies

 unbreakable

Cover Story: Grunge Big Face meets Gothic Big Letter

There is a lot going on here. Big Face makes an appearance, but she’s half-hidden by her hair. Then there’s a big letter overlaid on top. And some grungy type. And the colors that look like someone got a bit heavy-handed with the Toaster Instagram filter. Peek a little closer and there’s even some faint Latin-looking inscriptions. It’s a lot to take in.

The Deal:

Kennedy spends most of her time with her mother, her best friend, Elle, and her cat, Elvis. She goes to school, hangs out with friends and is a talented artist. She’s a bit afraid of small, dark places, due to an incident from her childhood, and her dad left her mom and her when she was young, but on the whole, she’s got a good life.

Until the night she finds her mother dead of apparent heart failure. And the night, a few weeks later, during which she wakes up to a possessed Elvis sitting on her chest and twin exorcist brothers Lukas and Jared Lockhart come bursting into her bedroom with crazy stories of demons, angels and secret societies.

BFF Charm: Yay

BFF-9

Kennedy has a really hard time thinking she’s special. She’s been left behind by more than one important (male) person in her life, so she’s a little damaged. And yet she can roll with most punches, and tries her hardest to make her efforts and actions count when she can. She’s definitely a teenager—overly dramatic and a tad whiny—but I like her. And High School Me would like her even more.

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

Kennedy is immediately attracted (natch) to both Lukas and Jared—and vice versa. Lukas is open and warm; his smile is infectious and when he converses with people, he listens like he really cares. Jared is an MLD; he acts like he’s carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, but can make you feel like you’re the only thing that matters. He’s also a bit broken, and Kennedy sees him as a kindred spirit.

Because Kennedy is afraid of getting hurt again, she tries to keep her distance from both boys, but eventually she's forced into a situation in which she loses control. It’s definitely swoony, but the “We can’t be together! But we can’t resist each other! We’re no good for each other! But we mustn't give in!” (cue dramatic faux faint) back and forth nonsense that follows gives me heartburn.

Talky Talk: Grimoire For Dummies

Kami Garcia’s writing is familiar if you’ve ever read any of the Beautiful Creatures series novels (which she co-wrote with Margaret Stohl). It flows nicely, but can be surprising at times. In Unbreakable, Garcia brings that element of surprise to a paranormal world that deals less with witches and more with supernatural evil. Her ghosts are downright creepy, and her descriptions of characters and events draw you into the story.

Unbreakable brings together familiar elements in an interesting way. At times, I found myself laughing when I probably shouldn’t be, but I enjoy the silly parts (intended or not). The book is very much the first in a series, however—although we were introduced to many ideas, the story didn’t really flesh them out.

Bonus Factor: Supernatural

Supernatural Show

I’m a huge fan of the Brothers Winchesters and their crazy demon-hunting, angel-befriending, death-defying ways. While reading the book, I was definitely picturing Sam and Dean as Lukas and Jared (I mean, Jared? Really?), never mind the fact that they’re twins. They’re demon hunters exorcists doing the family job who travel from town to town in a black Impala van. When they meet a crotchety old guy with a penchant for trucker hats and a snarky demon with a British accent in a future book, I won’t be surprised.

Anti-bonus Factor: Love Triangle

Love Triangle

Sigh.

Anti-bonus Factor: Cliffhanger

Cliffhange

Cliffhangers frequently appear in YA series, but this one came on me unexpectedly. Perhaps it’s because I was reading the book via an e-reader app; perhaps it’s because we’d barely passed the climax of the plot and I was expecting more. Either way, it worked once I thought about it a while, but it felt very abrupt at first.

Casting Call:

Madison McLaughlin

Madison McLaughlin as Kennedy

Brock Kelly

Brock Kelly as both Lukas and Jared

Relationship Status: Hunting Buddies

Sure, Book, you were familiar to the point of giving me giggles, but I enjoyed you nonetheless. I look forward to going on more paranormal hunting adventures with you in the future. I’ll stock up on salt and holy water. You bring the shotguns.

Unbreakable is available now.

Mandy lives in Austin, TX, where she's an editor/writer for an educational non-profit by day and a pop culture junkie by night. When she's not ensconced in a book for Forever Young Adult, Mandy can be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.