Friday 27 April 2012

Review: Unrest - Michelle Harrison

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 are 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 dead that wants to live again - and it want Ophelia, too . . .

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Several months ago Elliott was in a serious accident, one that left him dead for 2 minutes before the paramedics on scene were able to resuscitate him. Ever since that awful event he has been having problems sleeping, waking in the early hours each night to find that he is no longer in his body or finding that he is completely paralysed. That would be bad enough but add in the strange ghostly figures he sees during the experiences and it has left Elliott terrified - either he is losing his mind or he is being haunted and he can't figure out which one it is. To try and get some answers Elliott decides to take a job working at a supposedly haunted living history museum. He is hoping to convince himself that he has been imagining things but instead it just get a lot more complicated - especially when his body is taken over by a mysterious spirit that has been watching him as he sleeps.

I knew I wanted to read Unrest as soon as I saw the cover! I enjoyed Michelle Harrison's book The 13 Treasures and was looking forward to seeing what she would come up with for a teenage audience. I wasn't disappointed and Unrest was a captivating read that I didn't want to put down. This was a seriously creepy story and one I would highly recommend!

Elliott was a fairly typical teenage boy before his accident, he was confident, outgoing and enjoyed spending time with his friends and his brother going out meeting girls. Things have changed a lot for him since his near death experience though and he hates the pitying looks he gets from people who know about the accident. His sleep problems have had a major effect on him - he is exhausted, depressed and his confidence has taken a knock. It was easy to feel for him but I loved the fact that he didn't spend all his time sitting around moping, he wanted to figure out what was happening to him and try to find a way to stop it. Michelle Harrison's vivid descriptions of his out-of-body experiences were terrifying and felt so real that it was like you were living through them yourself - this wasn't a book that I would have felt comfortable reading just before bed! I don't want to give spoilers so I'm not going to say anything more about Elliott's experiences and what caused them but I will say that the answers we are given made it seem very believable which just made it all the more scary to think about.

I really enjoyed reading from Elliott's point of view and thought his voice felt realistic for a seventeen-year-old boy. I loved his relationships with his dad and his brother Adam (who was one of my favourite characters!) and really liked how he slowly built up a friendship with Ophelia before they became romantically involved. Ophelia was another likeable character who had been through a lot but was a survivor, she has a few secrets of her own and I enjoyed finding out more about her.

Unrest is a fantastic story for anyone who enjoys a good supernatural mystery, there are some shocking twists at the end that had me kicking myself for not guessing them sooner because they seemed so obvious when they were pointed out to me! I can't wait to see what Michelle Harrison comes up with next (hopefully another book about Elliott because although Unrest works well as a stand alone story I'd really like to see more of his abilities!)

Source: Received from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. I really loved this and I don't even usually like ghost stories!

  2. Definitely one to add to the wishlist, it sounds fab!

  3. @ Sophie - I'm glad you liked this one too, I don't read many ghost stories either but this was fab!

    @ Clover - I really enjoyed this one Michelle so it's definitely one I'd recommend :o)



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