Mark Reads ‘Untold’: Chapter 3

In the third chapter of Untold, Kami learns some shocking news about Jared and her mother. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Untold.

Chapter Three: Broken Homes

I really shouldn’t be surprised that this book is already making me upset. I have a tender area in my heart entirely devoted to the idea of broken homes because I came from a rather tumultuous and chaotic family, one where I wasn’t always sure I was loved or cared about. (I was, for the record, though my parents had questionable or downright awful ways of showing that. It took hindsight and getting years and miles away from where I grew up for me to fully understand my upbringing.) “Broken Homes” is a neat little examination of how both the Lynburn and Glass families are beginning to fall apart.

It’s clear that Ash is going to be fucked up by what Lillian has done, and his moodiness in this chapter is probably not going to go away, though it isn’t fair that he takes this out on Kami and her paper. He does that thing where he assumes that once someone does one thing, it is impossible to do anything else. It’s not mutually exclusive to run the story and do something else, and it’s later proven that Kami’s article did work to her advantage. Still, I understand Ash’s reluctance to commit to any sort of action that won’t guarantee taking Rob down a notch. There’s a more immediate desperation to his motivation, you know? He wants some semblance of normalcy and structure to his life, and how is a single article going to do this?

Before we found out how, I noticed that Brennan was including all these little moments that address Kami’s new struggle to be by herself. Just in terms of character building, it’s fascinating to me because Brennan’s got to think of all the ways Kami used Jared to cope with her life. How does she deal with those things now? In one specific case, Kami was used to Jared providing her comfort whenever she was uncertain about… well, anything really! She could reach out to him, and he’d validate her, or he’d provide her with emotional support, or he’d offer up advice. So what does Kami do without this outlet or this source? (Oh god, now I’m totally interested in a reading of Jared as Kami’s source of emotional certainty. THEY WERE ACTUALLY SOURCES FOR ONE ANOTHER. Discuss.) I’m glad that Brennan isn’t ignoring this, and I think it’s going to provide an interesting new dynamic to the book.

Anyway, Holly has to be the messenger of unfortunate news: Jared’s ran away from home. WHICH I DIDN’T EXPECT. On her way out of school, she accidentally plows into Amber Green, WHO DOES ANOTHER THING I DID NOT EXPECT:

She made a move to go past Amber, but Amber’s hand shot out and grabbed her wrist. Her grip was tight enough to let Kami know she really meant it.

“Rob says he doesn’t want any more of your pathetic li –” Amber swallowed the word, and Kami felt an obscure sense of satisfaction – “your pathetic stories about him in the paper.”

SEE? THERE WAS A POINT TO THAT ARTICLE: IT HELPED KAMI IDENTIFY ONE OF THE SORCERERS. Who is Kami’s age, for the record, and the implications of that are kind of horrifying. Oh god, are there younger sorcerers? Is it a family thing? See, this reveal alone was satisfying enough, but then Brennan goes and drops another bit of fun in my lap: MS. DOLLARD.

“So…” She tried to think of the best way to phrase Are you a minion of evil? If so, please don’t give me detention! “Whose side are you on?”

“I like to think of myself as a free agent,” Ms. Dollard said.

OH MY GOD, I LOVE THIS. MORE MS. DOLLARD IMMEDIATELY. PLEASE. Who else in this town knows what’s going on? I love finding this kind of shit out, y’all. And it really is why it’s so great that Brennan chose to make Sorry-in-the-Vale such a small town. The feel of the place really fits the story, and I don’t think it would have worked quite as well if she’d placed it in London. (Though that’s why parts of The Demon’s Lexicon series are so fun. I love the scope of the tale!)

I’m interested to see if Brennan is going to include a Jared POV section because I kind of need to know what’s going on in his head. His treatment of Kami in this chapter is downright horrific. I get that he resents Kami severing the link between them, but I can’t believe Rob Lynburn here. I can’t accept the idea that the link was the only reason Kami and Jared had any sort of emotional connection. Hell, even Kami asserts that if this were the case, then why does she still feel so strongly towards Jared? It doesn’t make sense!

But Jared doesn’t appear to be making much sense, at least not to Kami. He intimidated his way into a job, he’s avoiding school, and he refuses to come to terms with his friendship with Kami. Still, if what he tells Kami is the truth, then the readers knows that Jared wants nothing to do with being the heir to Aurimere House. Still, does that mean he has to say this?

“I wouldn’t come to you for anything. Not for any reason.”

Jared’s cruelty just hurts, and it makes my heart ache for Kami. She doesn’t deserve this treatment. You know, despite that I instantly empathize with any runaway, given that I am one myself, I find that I’m far more protective of Kami in this case than Jared. She severed the link to avoid death and because she wanted to explore a life without Jared being inside of her mind. I get that it’s incredibly difficult for both of them, but Kami is still trying to do the right thing here.

Of course, it only gets worse from this point. Upon arriving home and learning that her younger brother is sick, she is shocked to find that the notoriously standoffish Ten is… being affection with her. Oh god, y’all. Oh god.

“I was never sick,” Ten confessed in a low, reluctant voice, trying to lean into and shrink away from Kami at the same time. “Mum asked me to pretend to be sick, so we would all stay inside for the Scarecrow Trials.”

Oh no. Oh no. Kami’s mother is still lying and now asking her own son to lie to hide what happened all those years ago. But how long can this last? How long can she shield her husband and her sons from the strangeness of Sorry-in-the-Vale? It also provides an interesting parallel between Lillian and Kami’s mother. Both of them are doing what is in their own self interest, even if that means involving their children in complicated and discouraging behavior. It’s so deeply disappointing to Kami because she doesn’t know how much longer she can keep these secrets from her father! Ugh, this just hurts, y’all. It hurts, and it’s the third chapter. Meaning it’s going to get so much worse because this is Sarah Rees Brennan.

I’m trying to be prepared. I swear I am. And for what it’s worth, I am going to do so by finding and then consuming chocolate pasta. It’s going to happen, and you can’t stop me.

The original text and the videos below contain uses of the words “insane,” “lunatic,” and “crazy.”

Part 1

Part 2

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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