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All Unquiet Things Hardcover – January 12, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Anna Jarzab's debut novel (Delacorte 2010) is part mystery and part inner glimpse at dysfunctional families and the perceived entitlements at a wealthy private high school. Neily Monroe, 17, is the ex-boyfriend of Carly, a beautiful girl who spiraled out of control after the death of her mother and was brutally murdered months before Neily begins his story at the spot he found Carly's body. Audrey is Carly's cousin—and the daughter of the man convicted of her murder. Audrey comes back to school and back into Neily's life hoping that he will help prove her father's innocence. Never truly convinced that the right person was convicted and still in love with Carly, Neily agrees, although he is not eager to open old wounds. The narration alternates between the teens' perspectives—Neily, narrated by Mike Chamberlain, and Audrey, narrated by Allyson Ryan. Told through chunks of recollections from when Carly was alive alternating with current events, the dual narrators offer a well-rounded picture. The portrayals, while uneven in their voicing and pacing, vividly bring to the surface images of teens coping with intense tragedy, emotions, and a desire for closure. Listeners will be fully immersed in the mystery as it unfolds.—Stephanie A. Squicciarini, Fairport Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

"It’s a slow-building, slow-burning mystery—Jarzab is as interested in probing Neily and Audrey’s emotional states and the ramifications of Carly’s murder as she is in solving it—but the author’s confident, literary prose makes for a tense and immersive thriller."
--Publishers Weekly

"An intriguing puzzle from a welcome new voice in psychological suspense."--Nancy Werlin, New York Times bestselling author of Impossible

"Part mystery, part character study, the story hooks readers immediately, propelling them through a serpentine path of secrets and lies."--Booklist

"A sophisticated teen mystery."--Kirkus Reviews

"[A] rich psychological mystery . . . from a promising new author."--School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; 1 edition (January 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385738358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385738354
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,463,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mint910 VINE VOICE on December 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
All the Unquiet Things was a refreshing book for me, just what I was looking for. After discovering I was burnt out on supernatural stories this heartbreaking mystery set in the here and now, without any characters with powers was just what I was looking for.

Besides the mystery aspect the book spoke of lost love, friendship, and family troubles. It reminded me a bit of one of my favorite television shows, Veronica Mars. I love the idea of teens solving a mystery (and not a childish mystery), their tactics are obviously going to be different than an adults, or the police. It's just more fun.

I loved that the book was told both from Neily and Audrey's perspectives. Though sometimes I had to remind myself who the narrator was because they were often in each others scenes. It was also refreshing to come across two main characters that weren't involved romantically but worked together as a team, as friends, they helped each other find closure over the death of their love (Neily) and best friend/cousin (Audrey).

There were only a few suspects in the story but when it came down to it, I totally didn't see it coming when the actual murderer was revealed. The entire book was a complex web of lies and truths and I just had a great time reading the book. I also think it would lend itself nicely to a movie format.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Grade: B+

One word: Captivating

Audrey's father may be a drunken loser, but they doesn't mean she thinks he deserves to be in prison for murdering her best friend and cousin Carly. With the help of Carly's ex Neily, she's determined to find out the real killer. Too bad Audrey and Neily can barely stand each other, but they do agree the true culprit is probably one of their prep school classmates.

Anna Jarzab created two difficult to like characters in Audrey and Neily, who alternated telling sections of the story. Both had difficult relationships with their fathers and were considered outcasts and neither reached out to the other, the two people closest to Carly, after her murder. I had a hard time understanding why one of them hadn't contacted the other, if not to provide support than to seek it. Neily had more dimension than Audrey.

I loved the mystery and plot of ALL UNQUIET THINGS and suspected almost every character of the murder, including that the actual killer was already in jail and Audrey was wrong about her father. Jarzab did a great job leaving enough red herrings and major and minor dishonest characters that any number of scenarios would have made sense. I particularly appreciated that Audrey and Neily's verbal sparring didn't have a romantic undertone, because guys and girls can be just on and off maybe friends, without eventually realize they've fallen madly in love.

THEMES: family, parents, death, grief, drugs, murder, mystery

ALL UNQUIET THINGS is an engaging mystery that will keep you guessing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an average-to-bad YA mystery novel. I almost quit when I was not even half-way through, because of the endless dialogues - I got quickly tired of the banter between smart-a teenagers trying to show off. It was not remotely interesting, and the characters are not half as likeable or smart or cool as they seem to believe they are.

The mystery of who really killed teenage girl Carly, is told in alternative parts by Neily, her ex, and Audrey, her cousin. They are not exactly best friends since Audrey's dad was arrested as the murderer, but they strike an unlikely alliance in trying to figure out who Carly's real killer is. Their quest is not breathtaking to say the least : they fight, they act all cool and wise and smart, they confront one person, they have another very long verbal battle, they confront someone else, etc. There are no big twists and the plot linearity is boring as hell.
There are a lot of possible suspects since Carly dallied with unsavory characters once she dumped Neily. When the real killer is uncovered, it comes as a mild surprise... and that's it. There is teenage sex and drugs in the story, but somehow even that doesn't make the whole novel take off. If you want to read a good YA murder novel, I'd recommend "Dangerous girls". Sorry Anna.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Carly was impulsive, smart, and hurting. Both her boyfriend Neily and her cousin Audrey adored her, but neither of them knew how to get her the help she needed when her mother died, and neither of them did anything when Carly dumped Neily and began hanging out with the dangerous popular crowd. But both Audrey and Neily are shocked when Carly is found dead one night, murdered in cold blood, and a year later they are still struggling to deal with their guilt and confusion, despite the accused murderer, Audrey's father, being behind bars.

But then Audrey approaches Neily, asking for help. The pieces of Carly's murder aren't adding up, and she doesn't believe her father is the killer. She suspects the murderer is someone at their school, who would go at any length to keep certain dark secrets covered. But in order for them to find the truth, Audrey and Neily will have to be honest with not only each other, but themselves as well, and risk ripping open old wounds and getting involved with dangerous people.

Anna Jarzab's debut novel is a superbly written and immaculate mystery that is completely gripping and unsettling. Her writing style is smart and sophisticated, peppered with observations that will make you really stop and think. Her main characters, Neily and Audrey, are both very different but very authentic. Neily is smart and capable, but struggles to deal with an immense load of guilt. Audrey is a little more reckless and assertive, but deep down, she's searching for love and acceptance. The story flows perfectly as Jarzab carefully pulls back layer after layer of the events of over four years as the viewpoints switch back and forth between Neily and Audrey, and the past and present.
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