Monday, 2 July 2012

Review for Unrest by Michelle Harrison

Unrest by Michelle Harrison
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: 26th April 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Ghost Stories, Paranormal, Mystery, Romance
Rating: 5/5 stars 
Source: Received from the publisher for review 

Amazon Summary
"Seventeen-year-old Elliott hasn't slept properly for six months. Not since the accident that nearly killed him. Now he is afraid to go to sleep. Sometimes he wakes to find himself paralysed, unable to move a muscle, while shadowy figures move around him. Other times he is the one moving around, while his body lies asleep on the bed. According to his doctor, sleep paralysis and out of body experiences are harmless - but to Elliot they're terrifying. Convinced that his brush with death has opened up connections with the spirit world, Elliott secures a live-in job at one of England's most haunted locations, determined to find out the truth. There he finds Sebastian, the ghost of a long-dead servant boy hanged for stealing bread. He also meets the living, breathing Ophelia, a girl with secrets of her own. She and Elliott grow closer, but things take a terrifying turn when Elliott discovers Sebastian is occupying his body when he leaves it. And the more time Sebastian spends inhabiting a living body, the more resistant he becomes to giving it back. Worse, he seems to have an unhealthy interest in Ophelia. Unless Elliott can lay Sebastian's spirit to rest, he risks being possessed by him for ever, and losing the girl of his dreams..." 

I’d heard a lot of praise for Michelle Harrison’s The Thirteen Treasures series for younger readers and so was excited to hear that she planned to venture into YA with this standalone novel Unrest and it only took me until the end of chapter one to realize what all the fuss was about. The first chapter completely sucked me in, Michelle Harrison has this atmospheric way of describing what’s happening that sent a chill down my spine. Her writing is suitably creepy and suspenseful and I became absorbed in this book from the start longing for the next chilling scene to get my next terror fuelled buzz and to find out exactly what was going on with Elliott and what happened to give him his strange abilities. 

When Elliott is in an accident that actually clinically kills him for all of two minutes and is resuscitated by paramedics and brought back to life he finds himself somehow newly connected to the spirit world. Elliott’s experiences with sleep paralysis chilled me to the bone. Sleep paralysis is a sleeping disorder I hadn’t heard of prior to reading this book and I found it a fascinating albeit terrifying illness to read about. The way that Michelle Harrison connected the condition to a ghost story made Unrest something new and exciting to read. Whilst at its heart this book is a ghost story it also reads as part contemporary romance and part mystery too. When Elliott wasn’t fighting off spirits trying to enter his sleeping body he also has a budding romance with his co-worker Ophelia developing, and had to learn the history and ghost stories of Past Lives the living museum where he’s recently started to work. There are also the mysteries of the ghosts that haunt Elliott that he has to solve in order for them to move on. There was always something exciting going on making Unrest totally gripping. 

I really loved the characters in this book, Elliott wasn’t a perfect character and had a past and reputation with the ladies before his accident. I liked that in the beginning Elliott wasn’t perfect because as the book goes on he takes the horrible things that have happened to him and lets his experiences shape him into a better person. I loved watching him grow as a character and by the end of the book he was such a lovely guy who I really wanted the best for. I also really liked Elliott’s love interest Ophelia she’s feisty, smart, and doesn’t take any crap from anyone least of all Elliott. She has an interesting back story too that gets revealed as the book goes on and again, like Elliott, she’s flawed but not in a way that makes her unlikeable only more relatable and real as a character. 

Unrest if the kind of book that does exactly what it says on the tin and more. Yes it’s scary and creepy which is exactly what I was after when I picked this book up but it was also rich with history, romantic, and addictive with plenty of page turning mysteries surrounding the plot. It was a flawless read that ticked all the right boxes and that I couldn’t bear to part with until I’d turned the final page. I loved everything about this book and look forward to seeing what Michelle Harrison writes in the future.


  1. Oh I really loved this one and I'm glad you did as well :)

    1. I'm glad you loved it too :) More people should check it out!

  2. I've been wanting to read this one for a while! Good to hear you liked the characters, I am very much a character girl! I'm intrigued by the mystery aspect of the book too. Glad you enjoyed it, I'll have to read it soon! Thanks for the review :).

    1. Me too! You've gotta have good characters! I hope you enjoy it too :)

  3. I was thinking about getting this one the other day but I wasn't sure, now I'm convinced that I need to order it soon! thank you for adding to my tbr haha ;)


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