Thursday, March 18, 2010

All Unquiet Things (YA Review)

Jacket description:
"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."
What a fantastic debut! It's so rare that a first time novelist really gets it, but Anna Jarzab obviously gets it. She knows the audience she's writing for and dives right into the YA mystery genre with an incredibly compelling story, well-written characters, and a plot that will keep your fingers flipping those pages as fast as you can.

The mystery portion of the book was done well enough that I had no idea how it was going to pan out (though once I did, I was kicking myself that it took me that long). All of the characters, though especially Audrey, were written realistically and in a manner that led me to really see how invested in her writing Jarzab was. You really want to know what happens to all of these teens and how their story plays out.
My one, teensy, criticism is about the last couple of pages. I don't want to give anything away, since that's the "big bang" of an ending, but I didn't quite believe in that part. It seemed a little rushed...the rest of the book had been slow to build (though in a good way) and the ending just happened so quickly, it seemed out of place. Other than that, loved it.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5
Hand this to just about any teen...boy or girl...and they'll enjoy it.

All Unquiet Things
Anna Jarzab
352 pages
Young Adult Fiction
Delacorte Press
January 2010
Review copy received from publisher

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