Book Tour
Book Title:
Unearthly Things
Book Author:
Michelle Gagnon
Page Count:
288
Publishing Date:
April 11th, 2017
Publisher:
Soho Teen
Date Read:
April 15th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre retold against the backdrop of San Francisco's most fabulous—and dangerous—elites.

After losing her parents in a tragic accident, surfer girl Janie Mason trades the sunny beaches of Hawaii for the cold fog of San Francisco and new guardians—the Rochesters—she’s never even met. Janie feels hopelessly out of place in their world of Napa weekends, fancy cotillions, and chauffeurs. The only person she can relate to is Daniel, a fellow surfer. Meeting him makes Janie feel like things might be looking up.

Still, something isn’t right in the Rochester mansion. There are noises—screams—coming from the attic that everyone else claims they can’t hear. Then John, the black sheep of the family, returns after getting kicked out of yet another boarding school. Soon Janie finds herself torn between devil-may-care John and fiercely loyal Daniel. Just when she thinks her life can’t get any more complicated, she learns the truth about why the Rochesters took her in. They want something from Janie, and she’s about to see just how far they’ll go to get it.

My Review

Unearthly Things is a real treat for those looking for YA horror that isn’t too terrifying, yet relies a lot on thrilling concepts to tell an amazing story.  For those who aren’t too into horror, but every now and again are looking for a bit of a spooky tale without having to keep the lights on for weeks while sleeping, this is definitely a great book to pick up, as there’s a bit of a mystery element going on in the story, too.  Because of that, this book spans across several genres, and I imagine will appeal to a lot of people (especially those interested in classical literature and who would love to read a new Jane Eyre retelling.

Janie Mason has lost her parents in a tragic helicopter accident, and in the will her parents made up years ago, she is to leave her home in Hawaii and move in with her father’s old best friend in San Francisco.  While it is hard enough to have to leave behind her  home after losing parents that she was incredibly close to, she now has to move in with a family that she doesn’t know, leave her friends, and have to make a life for herself somewhere else.  It might not be so bad, except that her dad’s friend, Richard, is quite rich and his family seems to be snobs, including his daughter Georgina and his wife, Marion.  Then there’s their little boy, Nicholas, who is kind of creepy, especially with how often he tells Janie he “talks” to his dead twin sister, Eliza.

Between weird noises, screams in the attic, and the family skirting around the topic of Eliza as often as they can, Janie can’t seem to get any real answers in the family, nor does she feel like she belongs.

When she meets Daniel, the two of them hit it off because of their love of surfing.  Daniel listens to Janie and even helps her investigate the weird sounds she has been hearing in the attic.  And then there’s John, the family’s other son, home from boarding school after being kicked out, and the only one in the family who seems to genuinely care about Janie.  So she forms a friendship with him, as well, even though Daniel and John have had a feud going for quite some time, and Daniel hates the fact that Janie is spending time with John.

While dealing with all of these things, plus situations at the house getting weirder every day (including a random fire that breaks out only in Janie’s room), Janie slowly feels like she might be losing her grip on things.  The only person who seems to want to  protect her is the family’s maid, Alma, and why she is working so hard to ensure her safety is a mystery to Janie.

When old family secrets begin to surface, Janie finds that this family might try and keep up with appearances, but they definitely aren’t who they say they are.

After you get past the absolutely beautiful cover of this book, and the synopsis that mixes plenty of elements to create a delicious sounding thriller, you get a story that wraps you up and leaves you reading until the early hours of the morning, because it’s that good.

While I was in love with the story (which is fast paced and interesting as can be), for some reason I felt myself having a bit of difficulty connecting to some of the characters, including Janie in the beginning of the book.  I also found myself not liking Daniel very much – he just seemed kind of “off.”  Their relationship was a little dull and flat even from the beginning.  Even so, I believe the author did an amazing job with the story and some of the other characters – such as Nicholas, who was just incredibly creepy and added so much to the book.  The whole Rochester family had so many secrets that they were hiding, and I loved how sinister they all seemed.

The horror in Unearthly Things was a compliment to the overall theme of the book, instead of taking center stage and making this a book that lacks other elements, too.  Sometimes you read a horror novel and it’s full of scary things happening over and over, mostly for the sake of being shock value, but that isn’t the case here.  The moments of horror that are found in the book actually have a point that is relevant to the story.

The drama between Georgina and Janie offers some excitement to the book, as well.  At first, it’s typical teenage girl drama, and then it becomes malicious later in the book.  It fits the overall ominous feelings that I had while reading, and it was well done and added something to the story.

This is a really interesting book to pick up, whether or not you’ve actually read Jane Eyre.  It’s fun, a bit scary, and completely un-put-downable.  It’s a perfect treat for those times when you’re looking for a book that has a little bit of everything.

4 stars
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8 Responses to Unearthly Things by Michelle Gagnon

  1. Raven says:

    Nice Review! I’m glad you enjoyed this book! I have this book in my tbr and I’m looking forward to read it soon. 🙂
    Raven recently posted…Beauty of the Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings #1) By Rachel L. Demeter [Review]My Profile

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy it if you read it – it’s definitely a fun book and there’s so much going on so there isn’t a dull moment!

  2. I’m not sure if I’ve ever read a Jane Eyre re-telling. I definitely will have to check this out!
    Stephanie’s Book Reviews recently posted…Review: A Different Blue by Amy HarmonMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      I haven’t read any other Jane Eyre re-tellings, either – and I’m really impressed with this one, being the first one I’ve ever checked out! I hope you like it if you find yourself able to read it!

  3. How did I not know there was a Jane Eyre retelling out there? Jane Eyre is one of my all time favorites, so I’ll definitely be reading this book. Wonderful review!
    Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday: Spotlight on Hunting Prince DraculaMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks so much! You definitely should, especially if you enjoy modern day thrillers! This was an exceptional treat. I hope you enjoy it if you get the chance to read it!

  4. Oh, this wounds WONDERFUL. I’ve had it on my TBR for a while but had kind of forgotten about it – as it just happens when there are hundreds of books on your TBR! Although, now I am going to try and find a copy to read because it sounds like something I could really enjoy.

    I love it when horror compliments another plot/storyline because I find that stories that pretty much solely rely on the horror aspects always seem a bit dull and don’t stand very well as a whole story. So I love that the horror of this one isn’t like that.

    And it’s a retelling, as well! With creepiness, and rivalry. I must have it.

    Lovely review!
    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…My Five Star Ratings Are ChangingMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you! I definitely understand about the TBR list – I have to have a binder full of all the books I have to read each month or else I fall behind!

      It definitely does have a majorly creepy feeling to it, and is such a fantastic retelling of Jane Eyre. I can’t recommend this one enough. It seems like it might have slipped under the radar for a lot of people, which is a bummer, because this book deserves plenty of attention!

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