Unearthly Things by Michelle Gagnon
Review by Kari
Source: copy from publisher; all opinions are our own
Official Summary: 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.
Review: Unearthly Things is a modern retelling of Jane Eyre; the main character is even named Jane Eyre Mason, but she prefers to go by Janie. Janie’s parents die at the beginning of the book in a tragic helicopter accident and Janie has to leave the only home she has ever known in Hawaii to live in San Francisco with a family she never even knew existed. It’s definitely a different atmosphere for a Filipina surfer girl like Janie. When she first arrives, she’s ushered into the Rochester mansion by the maid who is strict looking and barely speaks any English and her new family isn’t even there to greet her. As Janie is getting acquainted with her new family and home, she starts to hear screams and noises in the middle of the night that keep her awake and when she asks about them she’s told she’s hearing things. Janie’s belongings are even tossed throughout the room and destroyed. She’s told by the younger son, Nicholas that it’s his twin, which Janie later learns had died before her arrival and Nicholas believes he can still talk to her.Guest review of Unearthly Things - a Jane Eyre Retelling! Click To Tweet
The mother is cold and is just a tad bit insane and the father is very imposing to everyone in the family. Immediately, Janie must navigate a world that is much colder and filled with high class problems that she never had to deal with before in her past life. Strange events continue to occur around Janie at the Rochester home and as she learns more and more, she is determined to find out who seems to be after her and why.
Unearthly Things is a thriller that will keep you engaged until the very end. Janie’s character is well developed and is easy to relate to, especially since her motives and emotions are explained through flashbacks of her life with her parents. The book is full of suspense and adventure; it feels like a question is around every corner and all you want is to learn what happens next. The mystery surrounding it is very haunting and dark. It’s well put together and those who are fans of Jane Eyre will love this modern twist.