Author: Anna Jarzab
Published: January 12th, 2010 by Delacorte
Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School’s most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.I'd heard quite a few mixed reviews about this book, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I started it. I had nothing to worry about, though -- I enjoyed All Unquiet Things more than I expected to!
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.
I liked the alternating narratives between Neily and Audrey. I could distinguish Neily's narrative from Audrey's, and I really liked that. I think too often authors don't know how to write from the point of view of the other gender, and the result is a boy whose mind sounds like a girl's, or a girl whose mind sounds like a boy's. I didn't particularly like either of them at first -- they seemed somewhat aloof, despite them supposedly being in mourning for Carly. But I eventually warmed up to them and I found the narrators increasingly intriguing characters. Jarzab wrote Carly in a way that made me love her and hate her at the same time, and even though she's already dead during the events of the novel, sometimes I felt like she was the most alive of all of them.
The mystery element of All Unquiet Things could have been executed better. I felt like not much happened in the first third or so of the book, like it was more introducing the characters and setting up the backdrop without really getting into the mystery aspect. It moved really slow at first, but luckily it quickly picked up and I really got into it. I loved how it switched between time periods -- before Carly's death and after. I felt like those served to make us sympathize with the characters and understand them a bit better, and I really liked that insight into their pasts.
I thought that probably the best thing about the book was the writing. This book was written excellently, and I'm jealous of the way Jarzab is able to string her sentences together in a way that makes her characters sound brilliant and still young at the same time, if you know what I mean. Her dialogue was realistic and entertaining, and I think Anna Jarzab is definitely an author to watch.
Overall: 3 out of 5 stars
Cover: I LOVE this cover! It looks so sophisticated but so very attention-grabbing. At first I thought the girl on the cover was posing, but then I was like, oh…she's not lying on the grass, posing dramatically; she's dead. I thought that using that kind of surprise was extremely clever of the publishers!