[Review] The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee

Posted on 06/18/2012 in Book Review / 10 Comments

[Review] The Unquiet by Jeannine GarseeThe Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee
Published by Bloomsbury on 7/17/2012
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 388
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon

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 will haunt you…long after you’ve turned the last page and long after you think the story is over.

I spook easily, but for some inexplicable reason, I absolutely LOVE ghost stories. Especially the kind that wind their way through your subconscious until you don’t know what’s reality and what’s not anymore. Jeannine Garsee has fabricated the wonderful yet uneasy tale of Rinn Jacobs, a bipolar teenager who moves into the old house of someone who committed suicide and attends a new school where legend has it a girl died. Things happen to people who enter the abandoned pool room, and dead rats are often found in the long tunnel. But no one can explain why…

Let me touch on the bipolar for a minute: a lot of authors and script writers really sensationalize and overplay personality disorders like bipolar for the sake of drama. Garsee doesn’t and it’s so incredibly refreshing. Having lived with two people who are bipolar in the past, I can honestly say she hit the nail on the head. When Rinn had manic episodes, it was perfectly written. The same goes for the downs; nothing was out of step. The roller coaster ride of someone with bipolar disorder, even on meds, was vividly played out page after page, leaving me nearly breathless, because it felt so incredibly real. I don’t think I would have had the same reaction if I didn’t have the personal experience myself. I know I wouldn’t appreciate the authenticity as much.

The story is exceptional. It took me about a third of the way through the book to REALLY get into it, but once I did…I was off and running. It’s as if all these events from the past and the future collided with such ferocity and all the while, I was wondering what the HELL was going on! I wanted to know….I HAD to know what was in the pool room, and why people got hurt, or worse in that school.

Rinn is a great character. Even aside from the BP I mentioned before, she’s realistic and well-grounded. She knows she’s crazy, takes her happy pills and tries to find her happy place. She, like any other person in her situation, has a bit of misguided guilt regarding the circumstances leading to her present situation, but like I said, anyone would probably feel that way. The secondary characters were sometimes hit or miss for me. Lacy was a Super Bitch; I seriously loathed her. I asked myself why Rinn would hang around someone like that and the answer I found was: she’s bipolar, she has low self-esteem and she’s not going to look a gift-horse in the mouth…even if that gift-horse has really foul breath. The other young female characters were not nearly as vivid as Rinn, nor as bitchy as Lacy, so I was generally indifferent to them. Nate was wonderful! I liked him so much because he was so sweet and exactly what Rinn needed in her life.

By the way, I LOVED the relationship between Rinn and her stepfather, Frank. Okay, so I didn’t love it all. Obviously things were tense….after. But there was love there and it reminded me so much of my relationship with my own stepfather, someone who raised me from elementary school until he passed away in my early 20’s. I love to see extended families like this have a real love for each other, regardless whether they are truly blood-related or not. My stepfather treated me like I was his own, and to read a story where a stepdad loves his stepdaughter like mine loved me….well, that just makes me smile. And cry a little. 🙂

The creepy factor is a slow build but so incredibly worth it. Every moment, every creek and shadow, every tense word getting to that climax was so intense. I had to keep flipping, flipping, flipping the pages, just to find out what happened next. All in all, The Unquiet lives up to its name, leaving an unquiet buzzing in your mind you just can’t quite dispel.



Sometimes when I dream, the deadliest moment in my life happens all over again. That’s when I’m given the chance to do things differently.


Connect with Jeannine Garsee Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Twitter

What are you waiting for? Go buy it! Kindle | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Nook | Book Depository Extra Info: If you or someone you know suffers from Bipolar Disorder, check out this link.


Disclaimers: This ebook was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. Blurb and photo source courtesy of Goodreads.
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Jennifer is both a book nerd and professional photographer. That means she lives in the fantasy world all the time, whether of her making, or someone else's. She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids, and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.

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10 responses to “[Review] The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee

  1. I am going to have to read this even though it wouldn’t normally fall in my wheelhouse. I have lived with someone who suffers from bi-polar and I have a fantastic stepmom whom I love to pieces. It is not often that you find stories that realistically display the love that can happen in extended families–it is to easy for authors to make the “step” parent the mean one. When often it is quite the opposite! Great Review 🙂
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  2. Janiera

    I never heard of this book but it sounds awesome. I love a good ghost story and this ones sounds just creepy enough to hit the spot. Thanks for the excellent review! Janiera @ Books & Beauty
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