All Unquiet Things

( 66 )

Overview

A riveting thriller set at a California prep school!

Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School’s most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.

Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn’t answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can’t get the ...

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All Unquiet Things

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Overview

A riveting thriller set at a California prep school!

Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School’s most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.

Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn’t answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can’t get the image of her lifeless body out of his mind.

Audrey: She’s the reason Carly got tangled up with Brighton’s fast crowd in the first place, and now she regrets it—especially since she’s convinced the police have put the wrong person in jail. Audrey thinks the murderer is someone at Brighton, and she wants Neily to help her find out who it is.

As reluctant allies Neily and Audrey dig into their shared past with Carly, her involvement with Brighton’s dark goings-on comes to light. But figuring out how Carly and her killer fit into the twisted drama will force Audrey and Neily to face hard truths about themselves and the girl they couldn’t save.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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

Children's Literature - Jeanna Sciarrotta
Carly was murdered and the killer is safely locked away in jail, but, as her ex-boyfriend, Neily, begins the new school year, he is not so convinced that the right person is paying for the crime. Haunted by his turmoiled relationship with Carly and her last phone calls to him, Neily is determined to sort through the mess she left behind and piece the events together that led up to her murder. A self-proclaimed loner, he is more than a little surprised when Audrey returns to school and seeks him out with questions of her own. Audrey was Carly's cousin. Her father is in jail for the murder of his niece, but what if he had nothing to do with it? What if he had been framed? Audrey is convinced that one of the Brighten Prep school golden boys that she and Carly hung out with had more to do with the crime then they admit. She needs not only to convince Neily to believe her theory, but also to trust her. Though the novel gets off to a slow start, readers will find themselves getting sucked into the mystery behind Carly's death as they follow both Audrey and Neily's search for answers. The story does delve into topics related to high school including drug use and a possible date rape that parents, teachers, and librarians should acknowledge when recommending the novel. Reviewer: Jeanna Sciarrotta
Publishers Weekly
Jarzab’s strong debut tracks teenage Neily and Audrey’s investigation of the murder of 16-year-old Carly—Audrey’s cousin and Neily’s ex—in an affluent San Francisco suburb one year after Audrey’s father is convicted of the crime. Neily is a bright, cynical senior at Brighton Day School; bitter after being dumped by Carly, he didn’t return her calls on the night of her death and still blames himself. Audrey, who has returned to Brighton after “a self-imposed exile,” badgers Neily into helping clear her father’s name (“I can tell that behind that weak Holden Caulfield affectation is a spongy, leaking heart desperate for some sort of closure”). The story shifts between Neily and Audrey’s points of view, but only a few times, letting readers sink into each character’s mindset—painful, unhealed wounds are evident underneath both Neily’s clinical, sarcastic exterior and Audrey’s more open, confident manner. 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. Ages 14–up. (Jan.)
VOYA - Nikita Agrawal
From the first few pages, Jarzab dives into the mystery of Carly's murder while balancing the darkness with amusing teenage humor. Although unrealistic at times, the novel is a page-turner, as Carly's ex-boyfriend and cousin attempt to identify Carly's unpunished murderer. Jarzab plays nicely with time, perspective, and, of course, the theme of moving on. All Unquiet Things promises a satisfying story line and will linger on your mind—a wonderful debut! Reviewer: Nikita Agrawal, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Lauri J. Vaughan
A few days short of his junior year at the exclusive Brighton Day School, Neily Monroe discovers the murdered remains of his beautiful ex, Carly Ribelli. Jarzab's tale begins a year later. Enzo Ribelli, Carly's hard-living uncle is in jail for her death, and Neily still suffers. Enter Audrey Ribelli, Carly's cousin and Enzo's daughter. Before her father's indictment and her subsequent social exile at Brighton, Audrey was thick with Carly. Now she is back—willing to suffer her pariah status in hope of proving her father's innocence. She enlists Neily's help, and although the two were never on solid ground, they team up to track down Carly's killer. Audrey and Neily narrate alternating sections of the tale, which include flashbacks to life before the murder. What might have been an interesting vehicle in more able hands only confuses Jarzab's first novel. The time flips are abrupt, and Audrey and Neily's voices sound far too much alike. Conversation strings are nearly impossible to navigate. None of the teen characters distinguish themselves from each other, and some seem added as barely drawn plot conveniences. Adult personalities suffer the same fate. They are universal fools who echo each other and make appearances only to rescue the slow-starting plot from an impossible corner. The primaries repeatedly act in wildly unlikely ways. The conclusion's revelations are little more than contrivances that serve to clean up a messy plot. Jarzab and her editors need to give her audience—smart teens—more credit than this novel affords them. Reviewer: Lauri J. Vaughan
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This rich, psychological mystery opens with 17-year-old Neily Monroe standing on the bridge where, a year earlier, he found Carly Ribelli's body. Having gone from being her best friend to her boyfriend to a piece of detritus she left in her wake, it's no surprise that he is having trouble "getting over" Carly's murder. Nonetheless, he is determined to somehow make it through high school and move on. Then the school year starts and Neily is approached by Carly's cousin, Audrey. Since her father was convicted of the murder, Neily is surprised that she would come back to school. As it turns out, she is there to find out who really murdered Carly, and she is determined to have his help. The narrative alternates between the teens' perspectives, though Neily's voice—sarcastic and insightful—is the stronger of the two. The portrayal of the cliquey private high school is familiar but not clichéd. A satisfying story from a promising new author.—Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Neily Monroe is struggling to adjust to life following the murder of his ex-girlfriend Carly and the guilt he feels for not responding to her final attempts to reach him. Their breakup had been especially painful and embarrassing for Neily. When Carly's cousin Audrey suggests the real killer is still at large, he thinks she is just trying to clear her father, who is serving time for the crime. Gradually, the two find clues in Carly's diary that make someone else a plausible suspect. What had appeared to be a family tragedy triggered by a dispute over money now threatens to expose the darker side of an upscale and privileged clique. This is a sophisticated teen mystery, more introspective than action-oriented. Told as it is through the voices of both Neily and Audrey, readers get to know as much about the troubled girl they both loved as they do the principals. The adults are well drawn, and the impact of their unresolved issues intriguing. Less successful as a mystery than as a subtle look at family tensions and entitlement, at which it excels. (Mystery. 14 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 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
The Barnes & Noble Review

She may only have one novel to her credit, but Anna Jarzab takes a big step in the direction of more established young adult mystery writers, such as National Book Award nominee and Edgar-Award winner Nancy Werlin, with All Unquiet Things.

Though she has been dead for an entire year, with her murderer seemingly caught, the popular and self-destructive Carly comes to vibrant, if posthumous, life as a character, with Jazrab craftily unveiling her through the conflict-laden perspectives of her cousin, Audrey and ex-boyfriend, Neily.

Both are oppressed by guilt at not having done enough to prevent Carly's death and their uneasy alliance, forged in a mutual belief that the real killer remains loose, shifts with each new trust-busting or -building revelation. The emotions are true and real, just as the red herrings expertly misdirect away from the surprise revelation of Carly's true murderer.

--Sarah Weinman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385738354
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 1/12/2010
  • Pages: 339
  • Sales rank: 991,090
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.88 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Anna Jarzab grew up entirely in the suburbs, first outside Chicago and then in San Francisco’s East Bay area, where All Unquiet Things is set. She currently lives in New York City. This is her first novel. Visit her online at www.annajarzab.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
Senior Year

It was the end of summer, when the hills were bone dry and brown; the sun beating down and shimmering up off the pavement was enough to give you heatstroke. Once winter came, Empire Valley would be compensated for five months of hot misery with three months of torrential rain, the kind of downpours that make the freeways slick and send cars sliding into one another on ribbons of oil. On the bright side, the hills would turn a green so lustrous they would look as if they had been spray painted, and in the morning the fog would transform the valley into an Arthurian landscape. But before the days got shorter and the rain came, there was the heat and the dust and the sun, conspiring to drive the whole town crazy.

School was starting on Monday. I had two more days of freedom. I hadn’t slept very much since Wednesday night; my palms were sweating, and everything ached with the ache that comes after a long hike and a couple of rough falls. My mother wanted to take me to a doctor for the insomnia, so the night before school started I didn’t go home. Instead, I went to Empire Creek Bridge, where I thought I could clear my head. The bridge was a small, overgrown stone arch, a mimicry of ancient Roman architecture that was more about form than function and could only accommodate one car at a time going one direction on its carefully placed cobblestones. A narrow, slow-moving body of water ran beneath it, and clumps of oak trees rose up near its banks. The bridge was almost useless, but very picturesque. Along one side of it was a small ledge meant for pedestrians, and this was where I lay down so that I wouldn’t get run over, and closed my eyes. I needn’t have bothered. All night, not one car passed. I could have died on that bridge and no one would have known.

This is not to say that I wanted to die. I wasn’t—and have never been—suicidal. The valley was blanketed by a late, torturous heat wave that made the shadows the only decent place to sit during the day, and the dry winds kicked up the dust, making me uneasy. I had grown up in Empire Valley and was used to these uncomfortable summers, but this time I had begun to feel a restlessness reverberating through my bones like the persistent hum of cicadas.

It had been a long, slow summer. I had spent most of it reading massive Russian novels on my porch, playing video games, and sleeping until noon. I didn’t have a lot of friends and I didn’t see much of anyone apart from my parents. I had plenty of schoolwork, too—my class schedule for the upcoming year promised to be brutal, with six AP classes and college application season right around the corner—but nothing seemed to be able to occupy me for very long. My mother had an easy explanation for my agitation—it was my senior year and I was under a lot of pressure, especially from my father, to chart my future—but it was more complicated than that.

There was another reason I had come to Empire Creek Bridge. The year before, almost to the day, a girl I loved had died on this bridge, shot in cold blood. The police considered the matter solved—there had been an arrest, a trial, a guilty verdict—but Carly’s murder retained an air of mystery for me and so did the place where she died. I had so many questions, but nobody except Carly seemed capable of answering them, and by the time I had found her body she was already dead. Despite all the effort I had put into blocking that night from my mind and trying to forget, the murder still haunted me. I didn’t know what help spending time at the bridge would be, but I had been drawn there throughout that boiling summer, and I thought it was best to go with my instincts, even though they never seemed to do me any good.

...

As the sun came up that Saturday morning, I sat watching the animals—deer, hawks, the occasional wild turkey—move around on the scorched foothills. Soon, a patrol car pulled up, its siren whooping to get my attention. I had already moved from the ledge down to the creek bank, and was splashing some water on my face. The doors slammed, and I could hear footsteps making their way behind me. I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“Neily Monroe?” The officer leaned over me. “Your parents are very worried. Did you sleep here last night?”

“Yeah,” I said, though I hadn’t slept at all.

“Bryson?” The other officer was on the bridge.

Bryson stood. “He’s pretty out of it. We should get him home.”

His partner came down and took a look at me. “You feel sick?”

I nodded.

“You look sick,” he said.

“What are you doing here?” Bryson asked. “This is a park. You can’t sleep in a park overnight.”

I glanced around. “Doesn’t look like a park.”

“It is according to the city of Empire Valley.” He looked at his partner for confirmation, but the other cop just shrugged. “Anyway, it’s public property.”

“I am the public,” I said.

“You want to be a wiseass? We’ll put you in the back of that patrol car and haul you down to the station if you keep that up.” Bryson narrowed his eyes at me.

“Can’t you just write me a ticket or something?” I asked. I put my hand to my forehead, suddenly dizzy. I was hungry, too, and already sweating from the heat. I wanted my bed.

Bryson recognized me then, as I knew he would. There were very few full-time police officers in Empire Valley, which had the lowest crime rate in the Bay Area, according to the Chronicle. Bryson had been in the station the night I found Carly.

“What were you doing out here?” he asked again, suspicious. “Does this have anything to do with last year?”

“I don’t know.”

The other cop, whose name tag told me he was Officer Lopez, put a hand on my shoulder. “Let’s get you out of here.”

I tried to follow him up the creek bank, but I couldn’t keep my balance and fell flat in the mud. I thought it might be all right just to lie where I fell.

Bryson slipped his hands under my armpits and tugged at me. “Come on, Neily, you’ve got to help me here,” he grunted, digging his heels into the mud. “Steady as she goes there, captain. Lopez, help me get him in the car.”

“Maybe we should take him to the hospital,” Lopez suggested, and Bryson nodded.

We drove along Empire Creek Road slowly. I let my eyes go lazy and the trees blurred together. The sun was no longer showing. A blanket of clouds had blotted it out. I couldn’t help feeling relieved; maybe it would rain soon and the heat wave would end. I put my head back against the seat and closed my eyes.

...

At the hospital they must have given me some kind of sleeping pill or a tranquilizer, because I woke up at four-thirty on Sunday afternoon feeling gruesome. I stared at the ceiling, bringing the cracks and paint bubbles into focus. I was in my bedroom and could hear somebody moving around downstairs. It was probably my mother, but then there was a low voice, my father’s voice. The fact that he had come meant that, to them, this was serious.

I got out of bed and pulled on a pair of jeans. The room was hot and stuffy, so I quit rummaging around for a shirt and returned to the bed to gather myself. When I had left the house, my room had been a disaster, per usual: clothes—clean and dirty—heaped in piles on the floor, papers strewn all over my desk, garbage spilling out of the trash can. My mother had been in here. She had cleaned.

I finally ambled downstairs, trying not to look so much like a zombie, although God knows for whose benefit. I caught sight of myself in the hall mirror and drew back; my skin was a pale gray, the color of chewed gum, and my dark, wavy hair, which needed a cut, was plastered against my face. There were red creases where my cheeks had been pressed against the pillows. I looked like I was about to hurl. The sedatives hadn’t sat well in my stomach; it churned at the smell of brownies coming from the kitchen. My mother had gone on a rampage of nervous baking. The kitchen counter was covered with platters, each piled high with a different baked good. My parents were at the kitchen table, arguing.

I cleared my throat. They stopped talking about me and looked up.

“Oh, Neily, you’re awake,” my mother clucked, getting out of her seat and wrapping her arms around me. I swayed a little, still unsteady on my feet. She pressed her hand against my forehead. “How are you feeling?”

“Like I’ve been hit by a truck.”

My father didn’t say anything. He just stared at me like he didn’t know who I was. The house seemed smaller with him in it; his self-righteousness was crowding us out.

“What’s he doing here?” I asked, opening the refrigerator and getting a carton of orange juice. My parents had divorced when I was seven, and I could have counted on two hands the number of times my father had visited since he’d moved out. They had joint custody, which was strictly enforced by my mother. She insisted I visit my father every other weekend and sometimes on major holidays, but I don’t think either of us enjoyed our time together much.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 66 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(37)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 66 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An excellent read!

    Lately it's rare to find such a remarkably well-written YA novel. With all the so-so written YA novels in shelves, ALL UNQUIET THINGS is sure to stand out.

    The voices of the two main characters-Neily and Aubrey-are so strong and so realistically portrayed that I found myself reading their story well into the night. While their voices are a bit familiar that you need to check whose part it is, their narration really sucks you in. Their grief, frustrations, anger, and their other feelings just leapt off the page and felt so true.

    I do read quite a few of mystery books that I can easily tell who the culprit is a few chapters into the story, but Jarzab kept me guessing and doubting myself. I just couldn't believe the twist at the end! It was superbly well done.

    The book does start a bit slow, but the story picks up a few chapters in. All the characters -even the secondary ones-were written in a way that it felt as if they could be someone you knew. Jarzab is so great at writing characters and plotting out a novel that I didn't believe that this was her debut novel. Her sophisticated prose, the character's observations, and the way the author reveals each secret makes the book very unforgettable.

    Overall, ALL UNQUIET THINGS is a book that I strongly recommend and that should be on everyone's list and one that I can't stop gushing about. Jarzab has made be a fan for life.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2010

    Great

    This is one of the best books I have ever read. It has Strong characters and a good plot. I highly reccomend this book to anyone who likes mystery and suspence.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 28, 2010

    Great Read!

    Anna Jarzab's writing style is excellent; there was never a dull moment in the book. Jarzab's characters were realistic, and relatable. I thought that she did a good job of describing the current things high schoolers face everyday. I would recommend this book to anyone in high school, male or female.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 12, 2012

    Compelling Character Piece

    Carly Ribelli was the first girl Neily Monroe ever loved - and the first girl that ever broke his heart. But that doesn't matter anymore. Carly is dead, murdered, and the killer has been put in jail. Neily's only focus right now is pulling his life back together.
    That is, until Audrey Ribelli shows up, asking for Neily's help. She believes that the convicted killer - her father - is innocent, and the real murderer is still out there. Neily hesitantly agrees, and together, the two reluctant allies try to hunt down Carly's killer.
    It may seem easy to simply put this book in the "mystery/suspense" category. However, it is so much more: a tense drama about the unraveling lives of those affected by death, a tragic romance that demonstrates our longing to be loved, a reflection on the human desire to find our place and be a part of something. The characters are some of the most complex and realistic I've ever read; the dialogue is sharp and witty, and the setting is vividly drawn. the heart of the book is the characters: Neily, who tries to hide behind a dry, sarcastic facade to mask his grief and loss of purpose; Audrey, who is headstrong and determined but distracted by the allure of the "normal" teenage life she will never have; and Carly, who struggles with her own losses and runs from her problems by reinventing herself as a girl without any. All Unquiet Things is a stunning debut that will keep you on the edge of your seat, unable to put the book down, until the curtain is finally drawn and the answers finally explained. This is a book that will get you thinking and keep you on your toes; expect long nights of rapidly flipping pages in order to discover the true identity of the murderer. Even then, the book's emotional and hopeful final pages are more compelling than the heartstopping climax. An amazing book; I look forward to whatever Ms. Jarzab writes next!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    BEST. BOOK. FOR. THE. WIN.

    Perfect storyline, characters, flashbacks and timing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2012

    Amazing!

    This book is so good!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

    GREAT BOOK

    Good book,loved the mystery kept me glued to it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    Hmmmmm

    Looks ok

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Wonderful

    Amazing. Worth the time! :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2011

    It worth reading!

    I loved this book! When i started it i found it hard to get into, i stopped reading it then started it again and so on but a couple days ago i made myself get passed the place i had always stopped and i finished the book. In the end it ended just as it should have, life is full of what ifs and this book is a great example. I love books with a deeper meaning, ones that make you sit and think and this is one of them. For those of you who own or think it looks like a good book, it is and its so worth reading. Dont give up on it because at first its a hard book to get into, it may become one of your favorite as it is now one of mine. I will be looking for more from this author because it is obvious that she can write amazing stories. Plus shes has some very good quotes. :)

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  • Posted July 26, 2011

    OMG!!!!:)

    Wow awesome book confusing at times but trust me u will enjoy it im looking 4 more books by the author!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2011

    Shockingly Great

    It took me a while to get into this book but after I was maybe a third or fourth of the way through it I didn't put it down. Shocking ending!

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  • Posted May 30, 2011

    AWESOME!!!!!!!

    This book was amazing and i recommend to anyone who likes solving mysteries and enjoys romantic novels

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2011

    Great book.You have to read it!!!!!

    This is a very realistic story. When I started reading it, I was confused because of how the book was organized and the very beginning of the book was a little boring. But as I got into the book, I loved it. You never know what to expect, especially at the end of the book, which you will have to read because I`m not telling you what happens. This is a very good book. I think anyone who likes dramatic, mystery books about a murder will like this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2011

    number 1 favorite

    sososo amazing !!!

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  • Posted April 9, 2011

    i. dont. know

    i. havent. read. this. yet. i. hope. i. like. it?

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Thrilling Mystery with a Deeper Message

    Neily Monroe's ex-girlfriend has been dead for a year and still he can't get over her or escape the frightening dreams of how she died. Carly was murdered right before the start of their junior year, shot four times through the heart. Her uncle is now in prison for the crime and it would seem that the case is closed. For Audrey it is not. She was Carly's cousin and her father is the one convicted of the crime. She takes it upon herself to clear his name and goes to Neily for help with solving the mystery of Carly's death. But it will take some deep self-searching and a look into the dark underworld of their prestigious private school to find out what really happened.

    Anna Jarzab weaves her murder mystery/character study deftly. All Unquiet Things's narration is split between Neily and Audrey and we get to know them very well. Neily is an especially compelling character, who seems real and familiar. Through these two main characters, the reader discovers what Carly was like and who she really was. The book shifts in time, with flashbacks to before the murder to the present senior year where Neily and Audrey carry out their sleuthing.

    All Unquiet Things is an enjoyable, well written read. The book prickles with tension and suspense. The pages fly so you can find out what happens in the end. Anna Jarzab has proven herself to be a promising new author. This is a book I definitely recommend.

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  • Posted March 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

    Carly Ribelli was the first person Neiland " Neily" Monroe met at Brighton Day School and was his first love. But now Carly is dead. Carly's uncle, Enzo Ribelli, was convicted of her murder and is currently serving his sentence. Neily is still struggling with her death and thinking he could've helped her. Carly called him the night she died, but Neily ignored her calls at first. By the time he called her back, it was already too late.

    It's the start of senior year, a year after Carly's murder, and Enzo's daughter, Audrey, has returned to Brighton Day. Audrey and Carly were as close as sisters. After Carly's murder, Audrey was tutored to avoid the media and gossip at school. Neily blames Audrey for Carly's involvement with the wild crowd. After all, it was Audrey who introduced Carly to Adam Murray. Carly dumped Neily for Adam.

    But now Audrey approaches Neily. She asks him to help her figure out Carly's murder. She's positive her father is not responsible, and deep down, Neily has always believed Enzo was innocent, as well. The two form a tentative bond and begin to delve into the darker side of Brighton Day. The pair become convinced that Carly discovered secrets that someone at the school did not want revealed.

    ALL UNQUIET THINGS is an intricately woven murder mystery. Ms. Jarzab slowly builds the plot by interspersing the past with the present. The author gives the back-story where necessary, without giving too much away at one time. Though Neily and Audrey insist that they're not friends whenever asked, as the story evolves, the reader notices the small nuances that indicate that, indeed, they have become what they insist they are not.

    As I was reading ALL UNQUIET THINGS, I kept comparing the style to that of John Green. Carly had faint hints of the free-spiritedness of Alaska. And the search for answers brought to mind Quentin's quest to find Margo. If you like the style of John Green, then Ms. Jarzab is an author not to be missed. I know I'm already looking forward to whatever she releases next.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Simply Outstanding

    Throughout the novel, I was continually awed by the level of sophisication with which Jarzab writes, especially when it comes to her characters. This is a character driven story and I took Neily, Audrey and Carly into my heart. I read a lot of teen novels, and Jarzab's story-telling ability stands out in the crowd. And, in a world where some books have dialogue that is tough to recite outloud, Jarzab got it right-- her words, and what her characters would and would not say, for whatever reason, are realistic. Plus, as the end was approaching, I really felt the growth that the characters achieved through how Jarzab wrote their words and actions, and I was left very satisfied. More satisfied, in fact, than I have been at the end of a novel, since I finished the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare almost a year ago.

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  • Posted February 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Rich kids, murder mystery, & a great story.

    ALL UNQUIET THINGS was a very enjoyable read. The story is about the aftermath of the murder of a girl named Carly, told in the alternating viewpoints of her ex-boyfriend, Neily, and cousin, Audrey. It's a story about the dark side of life in a place where kids are filthy rich and have easy access to drugs, booze, and unlimited freedom.

    At the beginning of the story, Carly's supposed murderer has been caught and put in jail, but Audrey and Neily have suspicions that the wrong person was put behind bars, and that the true murderer is still free. They struggle to put together clues and suspects to get down to the truth...

    One of the main reasons I loved the book was because Jarzab had me guessing who the murderer was, up to the end. I seriously had no idea it was who it was. Took me completely off guard, but then when I go back and think about it, it made complete sense and had me going "ohhh" in admiration.

    Both Neily and Audrey are authentic narrators, and it's intriguing to see sections of the story in alternating viewpoints. Carly, although dead, also felt real, and at the end of the story, I was left feeling sad that she was dead. I loved the "feel" of the town that the story was set in, Empire Valley. I don't know if it is a real town or not, but it sure felt authentic. And it was very interesting reading about the lives of these unbelievably wealthy kids who, as I quote from the book, "had more pocket money than most Americans make in several months".

    Jarzab slowly reveals parts of the plot, taking us back and forth between present day (when they're trying to solve the mystery) and the past (in the time leading up to Carly's murder) bit by bit, until all the parts of the puzzle fall into place and form the smoothly built story.

    There's such a great cast of characters that had me constantly guessing at who the murderer was, and yet I still didn't manage to figure it out until it was revealed! Overall, it was a wonderful read with a great mystery.

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