July 8, 2012

Review: The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee

The Unquiet
Author: Jeannine Garsee
Genre: YA/Paranormal
Release Date: July 17, 2012


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?


I was intrigued by the book description for The Unquiet, but I didn't really know what to expect. Luckily, I was very pleasantly surprised. The book centers around Rinn, a teenage girl who happens to have bipolar disorder, blames herself for her grandmother's death, and tried to commit suicide. But this is just the tip of the story. Rinn and her mother move to a small town in Ohio to try to start a new life. Rinn struggles with making friends at a new school, dealing with a crush on the cute guy who lives next door, and managing her illness. On top of all this, there is something going on at the school - and people are starting to die. Is there really a ghost haunting the school and how is Rinn going to stop her?

The Unquiet is a multi-layered book that at first glance is a surprisingly Gothic ghost story. The story of Annaliese and her death along with the haunting of the small town is a creepy fun story to try to figure out. The reader will be wanting answers and trying to discover how it all is connected and what is going to happen at the end of the story. Underneath the haunting plot is a much bigger subject matter that often gets swept under the rug in our society. The fact that the main character, Rinn, has bipolar disorder was a big thing for me. Mental illness is a sad fact in our world, but stigma still surrounds it. I love that Rinn had a mental illness and struggled to control it in such a realistic manner. The author allows the reader a peek into the thoughts and mind of a person with bipolar disorder and lets them see how the disease actually works - how it hurts the person afflicted with it as well as those around them. I thought Garsee did a wonderful job portraying Rinn as a strong character with flaws like everyone else - even though hers isn't so common. 

The story line was fun, creepy, and exciting. I love Gothic ghost stories and The Unquiet fit that bill exactly. The characters were likeable and I felt real empathy for them - especially Rinn, as I mentioned above. The writing was extremely well written and had perfect flow - the story rushed by in a fast-paced blur. I highly recommend this book for it's unusual main character, the great Gothic feel, and the awesome writing and narrative.


No comments:

Post a Comment