Courtney's Reviews > All Unquiet Things

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab
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's review
Dec 22, 09

bookshelves: 2009, ya-fiction
Read in July, 2009

I think there is nothing sadder than a book that has a beautiful cover and is not so great on the inside. Seriously, it bums me out. Whenever I see a book that is GORGEOUS to look at, I expect it to be GORGEOUS to read. I have been disappointed in this regard many, many times.

This, however, was not one of those times.

All Unquiet Lives up to its cover and goes so far to SURPASS it.

(Seriously, that's a really gorgeous cover. It's kind of like a beautiful lie. Look at it once, there's a pretty girl on the grass, look again and--HEY WAIT A MINUTE SHE'S DEAD. Ok, maybe that was just my response but.)

I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of All Unquiet Things back in July. My review then was these four words: "Wow. That is all." And you know, that's pretty much STILL how I feel about this book--wow--but I'm going to try to elaborate a little bit more now that it's closer to the release (January 12th, 2010!) and I can.

All Unquiet Things is the story of Neily and Audrey. They are both looking for closure after the recent death of self-destructive Carly (Neily's ex and Audrey's cousin). Neily is haunted by the phone call Carly made to him before she died and Audrey is determined to find Carly's murderer because she knows in her heart the prime suspect isn't who everyone else thinks it is--her father. Together, the pair become unlikely allies and in their quest for the truth, find out more about Carly and themselves than they ever expected they would.

All Unquiet Things is a really fantastic debut. The language is gorgeous and rich and incredibly transportive, which in my opinion, is essential for any mystery (slash-thriller-slash-bildungsroman). Jarzab takes us into Neily and Audrey's world so expertly, making it so close and so real, that you'd swear it's all you've ever known, and she does this to great effect as well--as this tightly knotted mystery begins to untangle, you feel every new development, every gut-wrenching reveal in your chest, like they're happening to you. Like YOUR secrets are on the line. And these secrets, these developments, are meted out perfectly as well. All Unquiet Things is on the longer side, just to look at it, but never once feels like a long book while you are reading it. It's nearly impossible to put down.

Perhaps my favourite thing about All Unquiet Things, though, are the characters and their growth, their stories. Audrey and Neily are two distinct voices. The book starts out with hurt, loss, pain. The kind that really goes deep. The rest of the novel is sort of like taking the bandages off very slowly and revealing the kind of wound that is not healing properly (ok this is a gross analogy but I really mean it as the highest praise) and you have to take a REALLY GOOD LONG LOOK AT IT before you can see what can be done, how to fix it. Anna Jarzab's take on this kind of pain, these kinds of emotional wounds, is unflinching and Neily and Carly's ultimate path to healing is satisfying. The trip down that path, for a reader, is incredible, at times shocking, and always unforgettable.

Keep your eye out for this one.
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07/01/2009 page 140
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by Courtney (new) - added it

Courtney Can't wait!!

Steph Su How did you come about a copy of this?!?!? You're so lucky!

message 3: by Courtney (new) - added it

Courtney The power of sparkles. ;) ~*mysterious sparkles*~

message 4: by Yan (new) - added it

Yan give me some of that sparkle Courtney! :P

message 5: by Courtney (new) - added it

Courtney :D

message 6: by Khy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Khy PLEASE tell me you will be doing one of your awesome blog reviews for this one? :D

message 7: by Courtney (new) - added it

Courtney Closer to the release, definitely. :D

message 8: by Heidi (new) - added it

Heidi LOVE this review. Now I'm even more excited to read. Have you read The Secret Year? Also, sort of unraveling after the death story and just lovely.

Sarah Great Review!

message 10: by Courtney (new) - added it

Courtney Heidi: Thank you! I am looking forward to The Secret Year. Also to this fantastic book called Sea, that I've heard about? Gawwd I have to update my To-Read list. Either way, 2010 can't come fast enough, IMO. :)

Sarah: Thank you!!

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