Unlocked by Margo Kelly
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Merit Press on October 1st 2016
Genres: Death & Dying, Depression & Mental Illness, Love & Romance, Suicide, Thrillers, Thrillers & Suspense, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
A provocative thriller involving hypnosis, mystery, love, and friendship!
Someone has been moving the stuffed pink elephant in Hannah's room. She thinks. And ants crawl over her hands, across the steering wheel, all the time. Don't they? They're what made her crash the car on the way home from the fair, and she wouldn't have freaked out, wouldn't have caused her friend's death, for no reason. But she doesn't know if a person is messing with her, if the paranormal is messing with her--or if she's just going psychotic like her dad before her.
When her friends bail, Hannah is left floundering. Not even her boyfriend Manny believes her, and new girl Chelsea is practically replacing her at school. Only artsy outsider and self-proclaimed occult expert, Plug, agrees to help Hannah find out the truth about hypnosis and demons, and even he can't help Hannah reclaim her mind from whatever's taking over. She'll have to do that herself if she wants to save her friends, her mom and herself.
What did I just read? Seriously, I barely even know how to define this book! Unlocked presented itself as contemporary fiction, and then it spun on its axis and completed changed course within the first chapter. I didn’t know what to expect from one page to the next and only put it down because some of the scenes started to frighten me, not even going to lie. This book was intense.
First, Unlocked was broken into four books. I didn’t see the importance of it at first but got the idea by the second book. Next, even though the first “chapter”—though it’s really just sectioned into dates in each book—seemed kind of long and drawn out, but it was so necessary to the story. That first chapter molded the entire book. There were a few scenes that dragged, but they all tied together in the end, bumping this book up in my mind.
The MC, Hannah O’Leary, had it all. She was popular, secretary of the student council, and she had finally snatched up her best friend, Manny. All of that changes one night after leaving the fair and getting into a deadly car crash, one in which she’s the driver. I felt her pain and got caught up in her self-doubt. She truly didn’t know if she was mentally ill or if something else controlled her. I even thought Eugene Polaski, also known as Plug, was a little off kilter. Having the story told in Hannah’s point of view made it exciting, a thrilling adventure from one page to the next, and I didn’t see half of the story coming. I didn’t even expect half of the story to be in the same ballpark! Hannah tells this story wonderfully, with just enough mystic and self-doubt slipped between the lines.
I’ll admit, I did sort of like Manny at the beginning. He was the stereotypical good-boy, following all the rules and seeing the world as black and white. Then again, Manny had tunnel vision. He only saw one path, and that path led in the opposite direction of Hannah. More than anything I felt sorry for him, while at the same time I kind of thought he deserved some of the backlash of his actions. Plug—or, if you so desire, Eugene—had my vote. He screamed trouble, but when I got to know him, I didn’t see him as the same character that I had met at the fair that told Hannah she should get Indian bread instead of a funnel cake. He believed in Hannah when no one else did, not even her mother, and wanted to help her come to terms with whatever it was that plagued her. He had some alternate ways of looking at things but added a much-needed dynamic to the story.
This is the perfect book for the month of October. Conspiracies, spirits, and the angel of death—Unlocked is wrapped in a contemporary packaging with a paranormal twist.
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