Received through ARCycling!
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?
My thoughts on the book:
The Unquiet creeped me out! I was not expecting it to be so scary. Honestly, I thought this was a book about mental illness and a girl who thought she saw ghosts, and maybe it is. The ending is unclear. The vague synopsis gave nothing away about how scary this book truly is. If you like scary stories, you'll love this book. If you don't, I'd steer clear of it, if I were you. I had to sleep with my light on after reading it (like a child, haha), and I enjoy horror stories. However, since I wasn't expecting things to be so creepy, I wasn't prepared. I did enjoy this novel, though and would recommend it to those brave souls who read horror novels.
The character development in this novel was a little lacking. I bought into the idea that Rinn was bipolar and that she was not a reliable narrator. However, she wasn't very interesting. I saw memories of the bipolar behavior, and she acted that way when she went off her meds, but I still didn't feel any unstable emotions from her. I felt more like it was getting told to me instead of shown. I think that is because Rinn's details lacked any sensory descriptions. No hearts racing, no shortness of breath, etc. Nothing to make you think she was feeling anything other than normal and just relaying a message. The language could have been much more descriptive in the case of feelings.
I also didn't buy into Rinn's and Nate's relationship 100%. I never felt like they actually fell in love. I mean they made out a lot and they argued a lot. I never saw anything that really screamed "love" to me, though. I felt like that aspect was forced. Again that was probably because of the lack of description when it came to emotions. There was no instalove, but the love itself just wasn't believable.
The horror aspect of the novel was "shown" extremely well, though. I could picture every terrifying thing that Annaliese did. There was one part that literally made my skin crawl. This part of the book was fully-developed and executed nicely. I enjoyed the hints and the mysteries surrounding who Annaliese was going after next. I figured out relatively early on why she was doing what she was doing, but what actually happened to her was more horrific than I ever could have imagined. I would have been mad, too, but I don't think I would have reacted the way she did. But I'm not a ghost... maybe they think differently.
I also enjoyed the fact that people on medications that alter the brain couldn't be affected by the ghosts. That raised the question of did anti-depressants/anti-psychotics/seizure meds/etc. actually balance chemicals in the brain or did it just cut off connection with the ghostly plane, enabling the person to function "normally." In other words, were people with mental illnesses simply more sensitive to ghostly contact? That question was never really answered, and I kind of was annoyed by that. I like definitive answers at the end of my books because otherwise, I'm a bit unsettled. I know that was the effect that Garsee was going for, but still, I don't like to be unsettled. The ending was also almost like a cliffhanger. I'm sure that was done to further the unsettled feeling. I'm not sure if a sequel is planned or not, but if there is one, I'll definitely read it.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to those who love horror novels and are looking for something different. Garsee deals with issues such as bullying and mental illness, but also puts a terrifying, paranormal spin on these issues. This is one book you won't want to miss.
Order The Unquiet!