19 July 2012
Series: No, standalone
UK Publisher: Simon & Schuster
UK Release date:
Genre: Paranormal YA
Seventeen-year-old Elliott hasn’t slept properly for months. Not since the accident that nearly killed him. Sometimes he half-wakes, paralysed, while shadowy figures move around him. Other times he is the one moving around while his body lies asleep on the bed. His doctors say sleep paralysis and out-of-body experiences are harmless - but to Elliott they’re terrifying.
Convinced that his brush with death has attracted the spirit world, Elliott secures a job at a reputedly haunted museum, determined to discover the truth. There, he meets the enigmatic Ophelia. But, as she and Elliott grow closer, Elliott draws new attention from the dead. One night, during an out-of-body experience, Elliott returns to bed to find his body gone. Something is occupying it, something that wants to live again - and it wants Ophelia, too . . . (Goodreads)
As soon as I started reading Unrest I was hooked. The atmosphere and natural writing style pulled me in, and I became completely wrapped up in Elliott's life. The plot was fabulous, full of mystery and creepy hauntings. I loved the ending because it was absolutely unexpected but really cleverly crafted and planned out. It seems so simple, but that's because Michelle Harrison has done such a good job at make the story believable and gripping.
I really felt for the main protagonist Elliott. At the beginning he's in a bad place, emotionally and to some extent physically. He's struggling to get his life back on track after his near-fatal accident; he's lost weight, isn't sleeping properly or looking after himself. And this is all down to the strange sleep paralysis and ghostly hauntings he has started experiencing. I loved seeing him make little steps towards getting his life back on track and regaining some hope for his future. His changing feelings and budding romance with Ophelia was also so sweet and adorable.
To start with I thought Ophelia was blunt, snarky, and snide. She seemed pretty grumpy and stuck up, but she started coming to life throughout the story. I wouldn't says she's a loud brash personality but that didn't matter here. In fact, her more subdued personality fitted her experiences and the overall feel of the book and I certainly grew to like her. She felt very real and interesting, with her henna hands and love for her horse. Both her and Elliott had their problems, and they seemed like the perfect match together.
The setting for this creepy, spooky story was Past Lives, a history museum full of old houses and plenty of stories from the past. I thought this setting was a stroke of genius. Perhaps because it made me reminisce of a very similar place back in Cardiff. But also because it fitted so well with Elliott's ghostly problems, and was pivotal to the drama and plot.
A brilliantly crafted ghost story, Unrest is a creepy and thrilling must-read.