Unlocked: The Answer Lies Underneath



304 Pages
Merit Press Publishing
Expected Publication Date: October 1st, 2016
Preorder a copy here!

17-year-old Hannah is losing her grip on reality, which is affecting not only her but her friends and family too. She wrecked the car when bugs crawled over her hands, but were the creepy things even real? Now someone is moving Hannah’s possessions around in her room, or is she imagining that also? Why does she feel like she isn’t in control of her own brain anymore? Hannah is terrified she’s headed for a horrible life in and out of the mental institution, just like her dad.

When her friends bail, Hannah is left floundering. Her boyfriend, Manny, doesn’t believe her wild stories, and new girl Chelsea is practically replacing her at school. Only artsy outsider and self-proclaimed occult expert, Plug, agrees to help Hannah discover the truth, but even he can’t help Hannah reclaim her mind from whatever is taking over. She’ll have to do that on her own, especially if she wants to save her friends, her mom, and herself.

Quick Reasons: TONS of mystery and drama; this book kept me guessing; unique premise; creeptastic villain; great use of character regression and growth; I didn’t really “connect” with the characters (except Plug! PLUG IS BAE!)

HUGE thank you to Margo Kelly, Merit Press Publishing, Edelweiss, and Sara @ YA Bound Book Tours for sending me a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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Let me just start by saying, this book was…weird. Of course, I don’t mean that in a bad way! The plot, at least in my opinion, takes an unexpected and unique twist–I haven’t read another book with QUITE the same premise (except perhaps False Memory, by Dean Koontz… but again, not QUITE the same). There were so many sudden twists and red herring moments in this book, I was kept guessing until the very end!


I felt like the writing was just a bit lackluster, though. There was a lot more “tell” than “show” happening, and I didn’t really get a feel for most of the characters. A majority of them felt stiff and a bit awkward to me–they played their roles, but it felt just a smidge rehearsed. This made connecting with them on an emotional level, as a reader, difficult. Of course, Hannah goes through SO many changes throughout this book, it was hard to connect with her–and in her case, it was MEANT to be, I think. Still, the only character I felt a semblance of anything for was Plug, who pretty much stole my heart immediately.


I think the most successful part of this read was Hannah’s journey. Margo Kelly did SUCH a beautiful job crafting the plot around the regression–and then regrowth–of Hannah and her world. There was a ton of thought put into this story line, and it worked SO well in the end. I was confused from the very beginning, which is a good thing–it meant there was no chance for me to put the pieces together and figure out the “twist” too early. I promise, penguins, these pieces get stitched together coherently in the end–you just need to find the patience to roll on with the confusion.

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Overall, this was a super quick, beautifully confusing, and unique read–and I had SO much fun being taken on the journey. Hannah’s story, in particular, was entertaining and character-driven, though the writing felt a bit lackluster. And Plug? Plug is the newest book bae in my world; I adored him so hard. I recommend this to lovers of thriller/mysteries, paranormal contemporaries, and creatively twisted plots. This book is wild from beginning to end–and SO great, if you’re willing to look past the confusion and stick it out. I can’t wait to see what Margo Kelly does next!

5 thoughts on “Unlocked: The Answer Lies Underneath

  1. Okay, I’m not sure why but this book cover makes it look like a mermaid book. Too much blue, maybe? The pastels look liek coral? I don’t know but it doesn’t seem like it should be ghosts and occult based on the cover.
    Yup. I like.
    And now I have to wait until October. UGHH
    Magnificent review WITH AWESOME MUSIC might I add! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      • I always forget that the cover references things in the book and always judge them separate until after I read the book, so I don’t know why that cover struck me as so mermaidish…?
        It isn’t, and Empire of Storms comes out in September so I’LL MAKE IT!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Loved and Loathed (August 2016) | betwixt-the-pages

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