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The Unquiet Past


3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,407 ratings  ·  194 reviews
You can only hide from the truth for so long.

Tess has always been tormented by waking visions that make her question her sanity. When the orphanage she lives in burns down, she decides to face her fears and find out once and for all what is wrong with her. She believes the truth must lie with her parents, and so, armed with only an address and phone number, Tess travels to
Paperback, 264 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Orca Book Publishers
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Sriya No. The book's story is far too mature, and it deals with things such as perverts and visions that make the main character question her sanity. I…moreNo. The book's story is far too mature, and it deals with things such as perverts and visions that make the main character question her sanity. I think it would be okay for mature 6th graders, and definitely fine for 7-8th graders. (less)

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 ·  1,407 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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Much better than Small Bones. I read this book in a couple of hours, that's how hooking it was.
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 stars

I love Kelley Armstrong. So I knew that I had to read this book. It is part of the Secrets series (a bunch of authors each write a book where there is a secret involved).

The Unquiet Past is a YA historical mystery with paranormal elements (ghosts/visions/psychic elements).

The book is set in 1964, mostly in Montreal and rural Quebec. The narrator is almost 17 year old Tess. She is in orphan trying to uncover the truth about her parentage.

When the book begins Tess is in Hope Ontario.
John Sloan
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book. I would go as far as saying its may be my favorite of Kelley Armstrong's Books. It was really awesome to read one of her books that is finally very Canadian centered rather than Americanized. It was a great insight into Canadian history, I loved the frequent French in the book, and the experience of someone who didnt speak French but was trying seemed very real. Inclusion of somewhat of a history of the Metis people was also very interesting. It was a very compelling ...more
For more reviews like this one, check out my blog, Reading Recluses

Meh. Too much like the darkest powers series.

One girl who sees 'ghosts' meets a jerkish, smart, slightly rude boy. They argue, eventually become friends, and then have that one kiss. Plot wise it was similar, with a betrayal and many secrets.

Also the book did not feel like historical fiction. The writing was very modern as were most characters

I liked Jackson. I liked Tess. I just didn't love the plot, or lack there of.

It had lots
I enjoyed this! Fairly classic Kelley Armstrong. It's part of one of those series a bunch of authors write books in, but it stood alone. (At least, I didn't feel like I was missing anything.)

Did not feel like it was set in the 60's, but that didn't bother me.
Apr 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: to-swap
Took a long time to get good - have to wait until McGill.
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was so preachy and cute.
Don't discredit yourself!
Don't make excuses for creeps!
Don't think you know everything about someone by a first impression!
Don't assume you know things about a different culture!
Friendship is great!
Honesty is important!

I loved it.

I'm totally down for this Secrets series, and I love that every author was encouraged to write in their own preferred genre. Even Kelley Armstrong, queen of my heart and also of the paranormal.
This is one of 7 books in the “Secrets” series, all written by different authors. The premise behind the series, as a whole, is that, in 1964, an orphanage in Ontario has burnt down. The oldest kids are sent off on their own with only a small piece of info given to each of them about their past.

In this one, Tess is given only a phone number (but it’s out of service) and an address in a town in Quebec. The address leads to a large abandoned house. Tess has visions, and has never told anyone
Cassandra (Thebookishcrypt)
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was so good, predictable at almost every turn but enjoyable nonetheless.
I loved Jackson so much!!!
I can't wait to see where the other girls ended up!
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Read it straight through from start to finish. Could not put it down. Amazingly written. This was my first Kelley Armstrong book and it won't be my last
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Kelley Armstrong is one of my turn to authors when I'm in a bit of a slump so when I saw that she had released this one last year I had to read it. I didn't get to it until January of this year and it's a shame that it's taken me this long to write the review for it.
I picked this one up because I was in a slump and wanted to read one of her YA titles but wasn't really in the mood to go right into one of her many YA series at the time. The Unquiet Past is set in a series but the series is
Kayla (Kayla's Book Nook)
Yay! Finally a paranormal book I was able to get along with!

After receiving The Unquiet Past for my birthday back in June, I put off reading it- not because it made me feel intimidated, but because I just wasn't in the mood. But then I finally was, and I'm very glad I picked it up, despite it not being my favourite book in its Secrets series.

The Secrets series is a set of 7 books all written by different Canadian YA authors which all centre around teenage girls finding themselves and their
Shyla Colt
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
*sighs This started with a bang, as Tess sets out on an adventure to discover her past, and then it starts to fall short.

Tess has grown up in an orphanage where she focuses on fashion and saving every dime she can to leave once she turns eighteen. When a fire closes the orphanage, she's set out into the world on her own with a clue from her past, a telephone number, and an address. So she gathers her things, hopes on a train, and begins a new stage in her life.

I don't want to give away too much
Andrea Heltsley
I am a huge fan of this author. HUGE FAN! This book . . . Hmm . . . it was one of the strangest books I've ever read. I can't say that I have an opinion good or bad about this book. It was just average, but definitely different. The author was going for creepy, but I found it more to be bizarre. Overall, a different read, but okay.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Well I read it for the second time and I liked it a lot more than the first time around. I don't know why but maybe I wasn't in the mood for it before. Though it wasn't fantastic but I liked the mystery element and the supernatural powers of the main character. The insta-love was a bit of a let down but other than that I liked the story.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
It was quick and interesting. A little mystery and two teens learning about each other. Light romance but more get to know you, you lied to me stuff. A little creepy with the visions and subject matter.
Easy yet entertaining!
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Creepy enough to keep me up all night reading - or maybe that was the coffee. This book is geared to young adults, and in places felt formulaic, but i enjoyed enough to read it in one sitting.
Kristina Lenarczyk
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-read, own
This novel was so engaging, I read it in a day off from work. I was hooked on the plot, and the many psychology references just continued to enhance my reading experience. I was so interested in this young girl who had a psychic ability, but showed itself in creepy ways. An abandoned mental hospital and she can still hear the screams of the patients? Yes, please!

As much as I loved this, there were a few reasons that I couldn’t give this novel five stars. The biggest reason for my dropped star
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In 1964, after the orphanage she's living in burns down and closes, 17-year old Tess has to find her own way in the world. She receives a box from a woman who worked at the orphanage containing an envelope that was left with Tess when she arrived there. Inside the envelope, she finds a telephone number and an address. The phone number is out of service, so Tess decides to venture to the address and find her family. She's not expecting to find an abandoned house. But of course, that's not the ...more
Alex findingmontauk1
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: libby
Gonna have to go with 2.5 out of 5 stars for this one. The book seemed to lack some depth and action for me. It was a pretty short book and maybe if it were longer it could have expanded upon some things and made the overall story better? Additionally, the narrator for this is a hard pass. She sounds like a poor man's Jennifer Tilly who is learning to read for the first time with this book. So I am sure that deterred a better rating (ONLY slightly) as well. I really wanted to like this one a lot ...more
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kelsey Armstrong never disappoints! In fact each book of hers I read is somehow better than the last.

Very excited to learn that this one is part of a series and although the other books have different authors I look forward to learning the secrets of the girls Tess grew up with.

Only nitpick: as a bilingual Canadian the constant repetition of dialogue (first in french, then followed by an English translation) got really tiresome.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Plenty happens in this short book but it ends quite abruptly. I enjoyed it but don't feel like the ending was very satisfactory.
Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This was ok. I wanted it to be a little darker. I would like something along these lines for adults by Kelley Armstrong. Make it happen Kelley.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A cute novel with a mystery and it had an actual answer which I liked. The main character was fun and someone I actually liked and I wanted her to succeed in finding out what happened to her parents. Overall a good read and as I already like the author she didn't disappoint
Kathy Davie
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A paranormal suspense, The Unquiet Past is one of seven in the Secret young adult series revolving around seven teenage girls freed from the orphanage after it burned down, setting out to find their past. The focus is on Tess Stacy in and takes place in June 1964 in Canada.

In 2016, The Unquiet Past was nominated for the Snow Willow Award.

My Take
It is indeed about secrets. The ones that Tess, Billy, and Jackson each hide for their own reasons.

It becomes a tit-for-tat, lies that turn honest with
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Though this was not what I would say one of Armstrong's best novels, the concept taken for the collaborative series, as well as the secret revealed was extremely well written.

Meeting Kelley Armstrong has only increased my passion towards reading her books.

In this novel, a young girl, named Tess, is released from the captivity of her orphanage due to a large fire that caused the 7 older girls to discover their pasts. Tess is given a phone number and an address, which led her to the distant city
Melissa (YA Book Shelf)
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian-ya
The Unquiet Past was my first book by Kelley Armstrong, and it was so good. It's about a 16-year-old girl named Tess (short for Thérèse) who has been raised in an orphanage in Hope, ON. Now, in 1964, the home has burnt down (the fire started while Tess was away), and she's set off an adventure to discover who she really is and what her secret nightmares and visions mean. She only has a disconnected phone number and an address to go on, which lead her to Sainte-Suzanne, about one hour north of ...more
Johanna Sawyer
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thanks Librarything for an ARC copy to read and review.

(This author is in my top ten list of best authors.)

This book however is decidedly young adult. Young teen. Tess lives in an orphanage and after a fire, the lady that runs the orphanage declares them adults. (What? At sixteen) The orphanage will place the younger children but the older ones will be phased out and emancipated. This series seems to be put together by several different authors and each are getting one of the children set free
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My complaint is that sometimes it could be hard to tell when the story was set. The speech patterns felt too modern. It's a typical Kelley Armstrong book and I mean that in the best of ways. It was a little spooky and had a bad ass heroine. It's not something I get tired of because the girls are real in their strength. Some are physically tougher, some are mentally stronger, some just won't let other push them around. And I love Kelley's little lessons that she squeezes in in all her books. In ...more
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Play Book Tag: The Unquiet Past / Kelley Armstrong. 4 stars 1 12 Apr 18, 2018 06:20PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #82 The Unquiet Past by Kelley Armstrong 1 2 Jul 13, 2016 07:01PM  

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Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked

Other books in the series

Secrets (7 books)
  • Small Bones (Secrets)
  • A Big Dose of Lucky
  • Stones on a Grave (Secrets)
  • My Life Before Me (Secrets)
  • Shattered Glass (Secrets)
  • Innocent (Secrets)
“Everyone's life is interesting, if it's different from your own.” 0 likes
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