Sunday, August 12, 2012

Review: The Unquiet

Title: The Unquiet
Author: Jeannine Garsee
Genre: YA Contemporary/Paranormal

See it at Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Rinn Jacobs has secrets: One, she’s bipolar. Two, she killed her grandmother.

After a suicide attempt, and now her parents' separation, Rinn and her mom move from California to the rural Ohio town where her mother grew up. Back on her medications and hoping to stay well, Rinn settles into her new home, undaunted by the fact that the previous owner hanged herself in Rinn's bedroom. At school, her classmates believe the school pool is haunted by Annaliese, a girl who drowned there. But when a reckless séance goes awry, and terrible things start happening to her new friends—yet not to her—Rinn is determined to find out why she can’t be "touched" by Annaliese...or if Annaliese even exists.

With the help of Nate Brenner, the hunky “farmer boy” she’s rapidly falling for, Rinn devises a dangerous plan to uncover the truth. Soon reality and fantasy meld into one, till Rinn finds it nearly impossible to tell the difference. When a malevolent force threatens the lives of everyone she cares about--not to mention her own--she can't help wondering: who should she really be afraid of?

Annaliese? Or herself?

The Unquiet didn’t wow me as much as I’d hoped. I went into it with probably too high of expectations. The premise is strong and enticing. The cover is gorgeous. But from the start, I felt disconnected with the characters.

What I did like here was the mystery, but the slow build-up of the story caused me to drag along into it and feel like I wasn’t getting anywhere. I love ghost stories. I love stories that focus on a character with a possible mental instability because there’s a lot to be developed in this. But it was the minor and side characters that perhaps ruined it a bit for me most of all. They were conceited and shallow. I hated the dialogue. I wanted to know more about the ghost story so I kept reading, but it took too long to get to that part, and by then, I was already detached. I didn’t care anymore I guess. This is more focused on high-school drama than on the ghost story and that’s not what I went into this book hoping to get so as it went further along, I became a bit disappointed to be honest. And with that disappointment, came the lack of interest in the characters and any more of the story. On a side note, if I hadn’t been so excited I guess for the ghost story, I probably could have enjoyed it more as the contemporary read of a high school drama revolving around a girl with a mental disorder.

I didn’t like the personality of Rinn. Even her mental illness isn’t an excuse for it. Often, she was a brat, boring, or angry at everyone for no reason. I couldn’t find anything likable about her. I don’t remember reading about any interests she may have been into--which bothers me somewhat because that seems to take away even more of a possible personality. The friends she picks up are equally as bad, if not worse, and she lets them treat her and others around her like dirt because they’re her “friends” in this new town she’s moved to (which she magically made within a few minutes the first day she arrived). When I just look at the high school drama and character interactions, it didn’t feel realistic to me. And I’ve been the new girl a few times in life so I do know what the experience is somewhat like.

I liked the back story of Rinn and her grandmother. I liked the ghost story (when I finally reached it) and the details that surrounded the possessions. I just wish that there’d been more to the paranormal aspect of The Unquiet that I’d expected whenever I’d first read the premise. I’m quite sure there’s still going to be a wide range of readers that will love this book, but if you’re going into it expecting a paranormal ghost story, you’re going to get more of a contemporary with only a slight paranormal backdrop instead--in my opinion.


1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry it disappointed you. I love a good paranormal story. Ghosts especially. :-)


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