Review: Unseen Things

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award LogoUnseen Things
by Rachel McCleary

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Unseen Things / B003CV7TIU

Theia knows she's spiraling into a deep depression, and it's not like she doesn't have a good reason to do so. Her father has left her and her mother for his new pregnant girlfriend, and Theia can't help but feel a mite replaced. But when Theia and her mother sell their old house and move to Theia's deceased grandmother's house, she starts to be a little concerned when she hears disembodied voices in the woods. Surely she is going crazy...right?

This YA fantasy is well written, and a lot of effort has gone into the characterization of the protagonist Theia. She thinks and talks like a realistic teenager in her situation - though she is legitimately depressed and a little snappish with her mother, she isn't a complete jerk about it, and really loves and appreciates her mother (shoot, I think that describes *my* teenage years, come to think of it). The writing is very vivid and the descriptions of the house, and of Theia's childhood are very nicely done.

If I could make one suggestion, it would be that perhaps the excerpt needs a little extra something to make it stand out from the other fantasy novels that cover this ground - young adults depressed by divorce and encountering the fantastical can be found in everything from "The Spiderwick Chronicles" to "Twilight". I'm not certain what the extra twist might need to be, but it's something to consider.

NOTE: This review is based on a sample excerpt of this book provided through the ABNA contest.

~ Ana Mardoll

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