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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Book Review: All Unquiet Things by Ana Jarzab


Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 352 Pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (January 12, 2010)

Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School’s most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.

Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn’t answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can’t get the image of her lifeless body out of his mind.

Audrey: She’s the reason Carly got tangled up with Brighton’s fast crowd in the first place, and now she regrets it—especially since she’s convinced the police have put the wrong person in jail. Audrey thinks the murderer is someone at Brighton, and she wants Neily to help her find out who it is.

As reluctant allies Neily and Audrey dig into their shared past with Carly, her involvement with Brighton’s dark goings-on comes to light. But figuring out how Carly and her killer fit into the twisted drama will force Audrey and Neily to face hard truths about themselves and the girl they couldn’t save.

Both shocking page turner and heartbreaking mystery, All Unquiet Things explores themes of love, loss, family and friendship. The language is rich and immediately transports you into the world of upper class private schools, where privileged teens play by their own set of rules.

The events leading up to Carly’s murder and the aftermath of the tragedy are all laid out for us from the perspective of the two people closest to her- ex-boyfriend Neily and her cousin Audrey. Before I started All Unquiet Things, I assumed that there would end up being a romantic subplot between Neily and Audrey. It was refreshing that the novel didn't follow any formulaic plan and constantly kept me on my toes. I loved how Audrey and Neily were more of a team, working together to solve the murder. I could understand their desire for closure and peace in the aftermath of such a tragic, shocking death, and came to care for them both.

Through Neily and Audrey's reflections on the past, Jarzab was able to paint a vivid portrait of Carly, both the good and the bad. With his sarcastic style, Neily was hard to get used to at first but within no time at all, he quickly drew me in. Here's a guy dumped by his ex in just about the most disgusting, cruel way possible, and yet he still cares enough to find her killer... well, a guy like that is alright in my book. While Audrey and Neily's mutual frustration, guilt and anger sometimes made me lose track of who was narrating, the complex plot line and murder details really drew me in right from the start.

I had a list of suspects in my mind as I made my way through All Unquiet Things. Time and time again I thought I had narrowed the killer down, but I ended up being so wrong. The end completely blindsided me and left me reeling. Later when I reflected back on all the clues, it made me realize how impressive Jarzab wove her web of lies and truths together, making for one delicious read!

Read an Excerpt of All Unquiet Things HERE.
Purchase All Unquiet Things HERE.

Anna Jarzab grew up entirely in the suburbs, first outside of Chicago and then in San Francisco's East Bay area, where All Unquiet Things is set. She graduated from Santa Clara University, earned her Master's degree from the University of Chicago, and currently lives in New York City.

To learn more about the author, visit her official website and blog.


The Book Owl said...

Oh my gosh! This sounds amazing. What a wonderful review. It's been such a long time since I've read a mystery. -sigh- I need to!

Tales of Whimsy said...

Sounds interesting. Wow the author looks so young :)

brizmus said...

I love it when I have ideas in books and then am wrong. It's so exciting. Now I've really got to check this one out!

Sara said...

Great review! This book sounds soo good!

anotherpageisused said...

I just finished this book and posted my review as well!

I totally agree with everything you said, I loved this book soo much!

You wrote a great review and I would really appreciate it if you checked out mine as well.

-Lexi (:

Unknown said...

Boy does it sound good. I need to read this one. Thanks for the review and for keeping it spoiler free!

prophecygirl said...

This sounds so good. I can't wait to read it!

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

Great review! I can't wait to read this one :)

Donna Gambale said...

This is a fantastic review that completely won me over! Seriously, great job!

Violet said...

Looking forward to reading All Unquiet Things! Thank you for sharing your great review! :)