Title: The Unquiet
Author: Jeannine Garsee
Publication Date: July 17, 2012
After a suicide attempt, Rinn and her mother move to her mom’s hometown, where a ghost is rumored to haunt the local high school. As strange things start happening to Rinn’s friends, she wonders if the ghost exists…or if her own mind is playing tricks on her again.
Characters: I felt the characters were as fleshed out as they needed to be for this type of story. Rinn’s mental illness added a whole other layer to the book, because obviously it made the reader wonder about her sanity the entire time. Something else I appreciated about this book was that the author gave Rinn girl friends. Something I notice in most young adult lit is that female narrators don’t often have female friends; the story is focused around her relationship with a male character (or characters, as love triangles seem to be ever-popular today). So, I was glad the author included the characters of Lacy, Meg, Tasha, and Cecilia. To me, this proves that young adult literature narrated by a woman can be just as interesting with the addition of female-to-female relationships.
I also think Garsee captured perfectly the dynamics between a mother and daughter with a mental illness. Her mother seemed to go back and forth between feeling guilty, hovering, and being angry (though that was mostly caused by an outside source), which are all emotions that can be felt in that type of situation. Rinn’s relationship to Frank, her stepfather, also seemed very real and accurate. At first I was worried he would only be touched upon in the story, so I was glad when the reader actually got to meet him.
Plot: The plot moved along nicely in the beginning but I felt it slowed as the story went on. All of the things that happened to Rinn’s friends made sense and everything, and I don’t know what the author could have changed to keep up the pace, but that was the way I read the story.
Something I wish Garsee had done is play up Rinn’s illness a little more. We didn’t really get too many details on the schizophrenic aspect of her disorder, and I think playing that up could have made the tale even more suspenseful. I love a book that plays with ideas of reality, so this was a fun book for me. It was a perfect blend of darkness, redemption, and romance.