May 31, 2013

May Genreflecting: Giveaway of The Dante Club & Review of All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab

Genreflecting wordle

All Unquiet Things coverCarly: 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.

From Goodreads

Carly was a decent young woman who lost her way and paid the ultimate price. A year after her death, despite having a man convicted of her murder in jail, something doesn't fit for Carly's ex-boyfriend Neily and her best friend/cousin Audrey. It doesn't help that Audrey's dad, Carly's uncle, is the one rotting in prison for a crime he swears he didn't commit.

So Audrey and Neily set out together, however difficult it may be for them personally, to uncover the truth. What they find is  more than they bargained for and at times too much for them to handle. Neily is dealing with guilt over not saving her, resentment at her for being dumped, and a very general anger towards almost anyone she associated with prior to her death. Audrey feels responsible for drawing Carly into the crowd that led to her demise and for being too wrapped up in a relationship to see what was going on.

Richly written with well-placed and timed flashbacks, All Unquiet Things is a masterful mystery. What makes it so unique is that we are starting with what is usually the ending and working backwards. A death has occurred and been "solved" before we even enter the story, so now we're seeing things for the first time while the characters are reliving them. That makes for a more compelling story, in my opinion, because instead of being able to anticipate the answers that are given, we must analyze everything that is given to us in order to solve this murder.

These are some seriously damaged characters. It makes sense for this book to be set exactly where it is because of the lifestyle that can be found within elite prep schools. The variety of personalities are simply more pronounced because of their status. The level of mischief these teens can get into is off the charts for most of our considerations because of the socio-economic  differences between this elite group and middle-class families. Parties, drugs, & relationships can be found in all high schools, but the level and intensity increase with more affluent (spoiled) groups.

The mystery part of this book was incredible. I usually stick with detective type mysteries, which this one kind of resembled, but like I said, with a twist. This allowed me to travel outside my preferred historical or paranormal mysteries. The "who dunnit" feeling is very prevalent in this book, but it takes a back seat occasionally so that we can really want the characters process what's going on around them. I really enjoyed that. I have to admit though, that I did not see that ending coming. Way too good to spoil, so be sure to read it if you really want to know! Now on to the giveaway!

You have the chance to win  The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl. It's a great mystery with a little bit of thriller thrown in. The giveaway will run until Thursday, June 6. Good luck!

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