Thursday, May 13, 2010

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab

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.

This story is definitely quieter than some of the other YA available. Normally, I'm not a fan of quieter books because they are hard to pull off, and not many can do it well. But this story pulled me in right away.

The voice is soft and subtle, yet the writing is sharp and the characters are pretty clear. I really liked Neily. His voice and actions matched his character, as did his confusion and pain over losing Carly. I actually wish the entire story had been told from his perspective, because I didn't like Audrey. I thought her voice was too similar to Neily's (sometimes I didn't know who was speaking in an exchange of dialog), and her voice was too soft for her actions and personality.

At times, the dialog was sharp and fantastic. At others, though, it sounded too old for teens (some phrases would never be used by a teen, no matter how mature he/she was).

I thought the mystery started off very well. I love stories that feed me just a little bit of info at a time because I like to try to solve the mystery along with the characters. That said, I thought that Neily jumped too far too quick when he realized who the killer was. I had already suspected that person, but I still thought Neily was too sure, especially given the circumstance. As a result, what followed was a bit of a letdown. Though I do like how the story ends.

Still, this is a great story that I definitely recommend.


Margaret West said...

loved your review. really interesting.

Tabitha said...

Thanks! Even with its flaws, it's a great book. :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I've been so curious about this one. I'm going to have to read it. :-)

Mrs. DeRaps said...

I loved Neily. He was so very real to me for some reason. Great book! And, it was quiet. It takes a lot of skill to pull that off.

Tabitha said...

It sure does. I generally don't like quiet books because most people don't have the skill to pull it off. But Jarzab surely does. :) I'm looking forward to her next book.

Tabitha said...

Shannon - definitely give it a try! I really enjoyed it.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

You definitely made me want to read it.

There is a unique YA book out there. CHASING THE BEAR by the late Robert B. Parker.

In it, the adult Spenser, a private detective, is telling the love of his life, Susan {a psychologist}, of the incident when he was fourteen that shaped him into the man he is.

It goes back and forth from the incident in his teens to the present where the detective and the psychologist he loves ponder certain elements of his tale.

It is very short but powerful. I think you'd like it. Roland

Tabitha said...

Thanks for the recommendation!! I'll definitely give it a read.

Danyelle L. said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I'm going to have to check it out. I don't mind books that are soft and slow so long as the characters are vibrant and real. :)

Elana Johnson said...

I like the quiet books. I'm adding this one to my list.

Mary Witzl said...

I love quiet books, so this is another one for my list. And being a big Robert B Parker fan, I'll definitely have to add Roland's suggestion to it as well.

That list just gets longer and longer. Wish someone would give me some extra reading time!