May 16, 2012

Review: All Unquiet Things

By: Anna Jarzab
Published: January 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, 337 pages
First Reviewed: May 2010
Buy: Barnes & Noble//Books-A-Million//Amazon//Book Depository
Add it on Goodreads

Secrets got her killed. . .

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...

Rating: 3.5/5

So, I was pulled into this from the description on Barnes & Nobles's website. It sounded pretty interesting and I'm glad to report it didn't disappoint.

At first, I thought I was going to dislike the story once I started the book, but I ended up loving the plot. The first half moved a bit slow, though; that had to do a lot with the large info-dumps (many, of which, were unnecessary). But once the real mystery started to unravel, I couldn't put down the book. The entire time I just kept guessing who did it, which was fun on my part. Although I can't decide if it's a good thing that I guessed who it was, or if that means Jarzab didn't put enough twist into it....Maybe I'm just a really good mystery solver! Oh, that's it. Of course. ;)

Jarzab definitely created well-rounded characters. I felt for both of the main characters in the ways Jarzab wanted us too, which was good. My only compliant would be that, since this is a dual-narrative, Audrey and Neily's voices should have been different. They weren't--only in dialogue--and that kind of took away from the characters. She moves between Neily and Audrey only five times, so that gives a lot of time for the reader to really get a feel for a voice. However, each time the POV switched, it took me a long while to know that the character was different because the voice was the same.

However, Carly--yes, she's in the story--was nice. Jarzab made us care about her, love her, hate her, and everything in between. The minor characters were good and believable. I think, at times, though, they were slightly confusing on who was who. Sometimes, I had to stop and think for a moment to remember who a person was.

Ms. Jarzab is a strong writer. She wrote very believable dialogue and planned the story well; nothing was out of place. Her attention to detail was good, but (and that's a big but) she tended to pay attention to the wrong detail at times. And what also bothered me was the repetition and info-dumps. We're told at least three times that Audrey has blonde hair and green eyes and Carly has dark hair and blue eyes. And I think if she told me one more time that the bridge was the one Carly died on...I would have cracked.

Though, after I really got into this story, I was thoroughly engrossed. It's definitely something I'd like to re-read. Warning: There's some slight cussing for those of you who don't like that. Overall, this was a good, solid read.

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