All Unquiet Things
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.
Pushy: This story starts out with one very messed up boy, Neily Monroe. Haunted by the death of his ex-girlfriend, Neily is not sleeping and avoiding the help he clearly needs, preferring to return to the place where he found Carly’s body nearly a year before. Filled with questions about the reasons for her murder, unable to fully accept the official account, that Carly was murdered by her uncle for her inheritance, Neily embarks on a mission to find the truth as his senior year of high school begins.
This is one of those books that snuck up on me. I was listening to it on my iPod and really enjoying it. I loved Neily’s voice. He’s definitely got some issues with his previous girlfriend but he’s wry and interesting and I found him to be definitely accessible as a character. But when the end of my free time came and I had to pause the story, it wasn’t a problem. I knew I’d catch up with him later. Then somewhere around where Audry’s point of view takes over, I became hooked. I-couldn’t-put-the-book-down hooked. I’m-dangerously-close-to-having-DCFS-called-on-me-for-neglecting-my-kids hooked. HOOKED!
It’s just that the mystery that is at the heart of this book is SO INCREDIBLY good!!! I pride myself on being that annoying friend/wife that always figures out who did it whenever watching or reading a mystery. But All Unquiet Things kept me guessing, and it was a delicious experience.
The writing is definitely well crafted, the characters are well formed and layered and there’s nothing I can fault about it, but I found I couldn’t even think about those things as I was listening to this novel, it was just took me away to another world, which in my opinion is the hallmark of good literature.
Heather: When Pushy invited me to the author’s book signing, I didn’t hesitate to say yes even though I had no idea who she was or what she had written. After listening to Anna read several passages from this book, I knew I needed to read it right away. I bought my copy right at the book store, had it signed, and started reading it the next day.
I was hooked in the read-it-through my normal train nap time and at work when I should be working way. I loved Neily’s point of view. Anna writes from a boy’s point of view quite believably. When she switches to Audrey’s POV, the voice is entirely different. Each POV is well written and enjoyable to read.
As Pushy said, the mystery of who killed Carly is the heart of the story. I usually figure out who the murderer is way before the author reveals it, but this book kept me guessing until the big reveal. I definitely didn’t see it coming! Even the smallest characters are well developed, and the rich kids remind me of the ones from the movie “Pretty in Pink” revamped for modern times. After reading many young adult books in the last year, I was struck by how adult this book was. There is a fair amount of sex and a lot of foul language. I didn’t expect a young adult book to include as much as there was and still be called young adult.
This is one fantastic mystery that will keep you guessing all the way to the end!
All Unquiet Things is nominated for YALSA’s Best Fiction for 2010! Which is a HUGE accomplishment! Congratulations, Anna!!!!!
And…..We enjoyed All Unquiet Things and getting to meet Anna Jarzab so much, that we purchased an extra, signed copy! You know what that means, right??? There’s a give-away coming soon! So check back for more details on Monday!