Wednesday, July 14, 2010

BR: All Unquiet Things

by Anna Jarzab

I picked this one up mainly because an author I really admire, Courtney Summers, absolutely raved about it. How could I resist? (plus add the fact that there is a character named Audrey, haha) I read it as I waited 4 hours when the plane was delayed. Also, sorry for such a long review xD


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.

My Expectations: Despite the Summers’ stamp of approval, I’ve read some other more lukewarm reviews. I honestly thought it would only be so-so.

Delivery: Exceeded my expectations! Probably my favourite YA book I’ve read this summer, had a lot of different layers.

Put-down-ability: Low! I read it as I waited 4 hours when the plane was delayed, and it kept me very occupied. 3/10

My Thoughts

Despite the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of the novel, I’m just going to skip ahead to things I didn’t like, then go back and impersonate Ms. Positive xD. First, the alternating narrations of Neily and Audrey really didn’t work for me. It was difficult to feel distinct voices so Neily ended up sounding more feminine, and hard to differ from Audrey. It took me a while to get into Audrey’s character because more than once, during her narration, I thought she was Neily.

Second, I couldn’t really sympathize with Carly, the dead girl, because even though the majority of her actions could eventually be explained, I still thought she did some really cruel things. It would take a lot of heart to love her, but I think that’s why I ended up liking Neily. He’s the bitter, angry ex-boyfriend who puts all his efforts into hating her because he cared so much about her, making him a more complex and real character. I could feel the remorse and guilt he brings with him everywhere, and honestly, I thought he was an awesome protagonist.

I really loved the mystery aspect; I loved the fact that this is a decent YA mystery novel that doesn’t feel the need to be over-dramaticized and full of romance. It could just be what it is without adding the ‘what-the-heck, just add it in’ love interests (the ones that are there were well written). There weren’t moments where I was rolling my eyeballs at the predictability or the way characters acted which is always a plus.

I thought the way the pieces fell together, however, was a bit quick. However, I could justify it saying that the way it was written made sure that less people could fit together the pieces, making the ending a completely surprise (call me the slow one, but I never put it together, haha). The exciting climax was well-written, with just the touch of unravelling and desperation required to make it uncheesy (although it was a bit reminiscent of those crime dramas).

The flashbacks that each narrator (constantly) has could be disorienting because they hop to different times in different years, so read carefully! Also, although this note is kind of unrelated, I just wanted to say that I thought the epilogue was pretty solid, one of the better ones I’ve read recently.

Parting Thoughts: I can’t wait to read another Jarzab work, this YA mystery novel was excellent!
Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations

9/10 – because I loved the mystery aspect, and the whole premise (let’s solve the mystery!) was a mix of unoriginal and original. I loved the relationship Neily and Audrey had with Carly, not perfect but very real. The switching narrations didn’t work very well, but it was a great technique to get into each character’s mind. I would love to learn the origin of the title, anyone know? A definite recommended read to YA lovers hoping to try a great contemporary mystery book. A

PS- I had a dream about Harry Potter that I don’t remember, but I’ve got a sudden urge to read HP now…. I shoulda brought it with me! I think I’m gonna reread the series again, lol.
PPS- I miss Canada :( and my books. I really want to reread some Melina Marchetta books to feel better… :(
source: random house publishing


  1. great review! i wasn't so sure if this would be something i'd like, but your review convinced me to check it out :D

  2. Great to know that All Unquiet Things was an enjoyable read! I'm interested in reading it, so it's always good to know that a book isn't crap. :) I must go and read it!

    Thanks for the great review.

  3. this book sounds really good Audrey! got me curious now:D i love how your reviews are detailed yet break things down, keep it up! we missez youu :)

  4. Interesting! My library is getting this, so I definitely plan on checking it out. :)

  5. I've been wanting to read this for a while now! It looks great, and I'm glad that you liked it because I've read some so-so reviews as well.

  6. Great insight! I'm 100 pages into this book, and I didn't even realize that it was alternating perspectives. Also, the title has to do with a quote at the beginning of the book...

  7. I was so excited about this book's release...and then I forgot about it. Your review has re-sparked my interest, though. I've been on a mystery kick lately, although I've been much more impressed by the Adult mysteries I've been reading than the YA ones. Hmm...

  8. Oh gosh, all these comments honestly make my day!!! xoxo times a million!

    Erika- thank you! I hope you like it, it's a bit different from most YA books I've read recently.

    Cass- I hope you can try it! I've read a bunch of more average reviews too, so I was surprised by how much I liked it.

    Aly- aww thank youuu! I missed you guys tooooo! plus, you've got a ton of *awesomesauce* books to read first :P (i'm very jealous, lol)

    AJ- okay, I know this is random, but like blueicegal is aly and you're aj. Aly and AJ :P...i *think* that's the name of the band right? lol, I hope you like it!

    The Golden Eagle- :D yeppers!

    The Library Lurker- Yeah, I really hope you can try it! Can't wait to see what you think :)

    PeechieKeen- Yeah, that was a part I liked, each section/narration was a lot longer so you could get used to it. Not constant flipping, lol. Ohhhhh I see :P I must've missed it!! thanks so much hun xD

    Kris- I know what you mean, that happens to me all the time :P I agree, I don't read that many adult mysteries, but the ones I do read are usually pretty intense. Any reccommendations? And YA mysteries aren't that common, which is why this was refreshing :)

  9. I've got recs!! :D Ok just read a great YA mystery, actually, so I'm uber excited to pass it on: Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell. Less than 200 pages but awesome setting, mood, and spine-tingling ghost mystery. As for Adult mystery, If you're up for a nitty gritty, holy-cow-did-that-just-happen-type writing, allow yourself to experience the amazing talent that is Gillian Flynn. This woman will GET INTO UR HEAD. No YA mystery can stack up to her mind tricks, I'll tell you that.


for those who are confused, it means "Don't forget to be AWESOME". *hugs*