July 18, 2012

Review: The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee

Format: ARC (NetGalley)
Release Date: July 17, 2012
Excerpt here
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

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?
THE UNQUIET by Jeannine Garsee was a slow start for me and I struggled with the first half of the book. JGarsee took her time in building Rinn's Ohio world, introducing us to the characters and giving us too much room to feel them while poking holes at Rinn's credibility by using her condition and her involvement in her Nana's death. It's in the second half of the book that things got interesting and the synopsis started happening.
"Man, I gotta stay away from you," which makes me wonder if he's listening. "I can't trust myself."
"You have to resist her."
"I want to. I'm trying. But I don't know how!"
THE UNQUIET is essentially a revenge driven possession story. I don't want to give out too many spoilers but the mysterious Annaliese is the ghost of High School past. >The core of the tale reminded me of several horror cult classics which helped me stay glued to the story giving it this dark, gruesome flavor where no one is spared from Annaliese's wrath. Rinn's friends started dying and their deaths looked like accidents or mental breakdowns and as the quintessential horror heroine, it's up to her to exorcise this ghost, save her friends, herself and banishing her own demons at the same time.
"Maybe there is no Annaliese. Maybe it's only us."
The characters are realistic enough, I responded strongly to Millie, Rinn's mom's best friend, who is a horrible, superficial, rotten person. She projected her insecurities and ineptitude towards her daughter, Tasha to the point where it stopped being encouraging and challenging and turned into a bashing. I really felt bad for the girl and in a way I was relieved that she managed to escape her nightmare of a mom.

THE UNQUIET lived up to its title, I like that there's no magic or other supernatural beings involved and stayed as a straight up ghost story meant to scare and give the reader goosebumps.


  1. I was hesitant to read this book, because of the synopsis. Your review makes me think twice about my initial reluctance, and I think that I will give it a try. The only ghost story I have read is Anna Dressed in Blood, so I am excited to read that this one is worth reading. Thanks!

    1. If you like Nightmare on Elm Street or even The Ring, I think you'll like this. The Unquiet is mild in comparison but the theme is similar to those movies.


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