Unlocked by Margo Kelly

619ed46wbhl Unlocked by Margo Kelly, Merit Press, 9781440593598, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 304 pages

Rating: (1-5 5 is a starred review) 4.5

Genre:  Psychological Thriller

What did you like about the book? From the cover: In a world of secrets, who can you trust? Hannah caused the car wreck that killed her friend, and if the guilt isn’t enough, now she’s sure she’s going crazy. Eerie things keep happening, but are they real? When Hannah gets a glimpse of the truth, it may be even stronger than her imagination – and far more dangerous.”

I read this book in one sitting. I can’t remember the last time that happened!

This is a surprisingly compelling, edge-of-your-seat thriller that grabbed me from the start.  The story is quick paced, but doesn’t skimp on substance. The characters are believable. Especially Hannah. I felt her fear, confusion and determination as she struggled to figure out what was happening to her and her previously perfect life. The plot is filled with clever twists that build suspense and keep the pages turning as the characters hurtle towards an unexpected conclusion.

The story has plenty of dangerous action that is fueled by the dark undercurrents of supernatural activity. However, we are spared the over-the-top graphic descriptions and coarse language that find their way into so many books. The author is able to create plenty of intrigue and atmosphere without them.

Amidst all the action the complexities of friendship and family relationships are examined as the characters struggle with honesty, trust, anger, forgiveness and love.

Overall this is a novel that can easily be enjoyed by a wide audience – including adults.

Anything you didn’t like about it? There are a few places where the dialog seems awkward. Too formal for any teenager I’ve ever met. Honestly though, I’d rather have that than the cryptic “text speak” that’s full of abbreviations, misspelled words and incomplete sentences that seems to dominate all forms of media!

To whom would you recommend this book?  Fans of fast paced thrillers with a touch of the paranormal/occult will enjoy this book.

Who should buy this book? Middle Schools, High Schools and Public Libraries

Where would you shelve it? Young Adult Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Add it to your pile. It’s worth your time!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Robin Brzozowski, Athol Public Library, Athol, MA

Date of review: November 6, 2016

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