Author: Elizabeth Norris
Series: Unraveling, #1
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Imprint of HarperCollins)
Date Published: April 24th, 2012
Source: ARC (Provided by Publisher)
Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she’s opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn’t possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.
But her revival, and Ben’s possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father’s files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what’s right in front of her: Everything that’s happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben’s sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she’s going to need to uncover Ben’s secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.
From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl’s fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.
Unraveling totally blew me away. I couldn’t put it down. It’s a total page-turner packed full of action, mystery, intrigue, incredible surprises, hot boys, and the sarcastic and lovely Janelle. While reading I would say it reminded me most of a combination between the X-Files and Fringe. So if you like either of those TV shows, then you’ll probably love this.
Let’s talk about the characters first though. Janelle is just a wonderful character. I seriously loved her. She’s sarcastic and fun, she cares about those she loves a lot and she loves with everything she’s got. She’s strong and confident, and really I just loved everything about her. She’s a teen that has had to grow up very quickly because of one busy and one broken parent, and you can see her maturity in the actions and choices she makes along the way.
Oh, and you know what else I love about Janelle? She swears! Yes, there is swearing in this novel. But let me tell you why I think it added to the story. People swear. It’s a reality. We’re not perfect, we have potty-mouths sometimes and when we get goodie-goodie characters without a cuss word in their vocabulary it makes them feel a little bit fake. I actually didn’t even realize this until after reading this book. But the swearing seriously adds to the character development. It makes them feel like real people and I loved that. But, if you’re turned off by that sort of thing then it will probably bug you.
Aside from Janelle, we have Ben. Oh my Ben, he’s such a smexy face. He’s got that whole dark and broody thing going on, but he’s also so much more once his layers are gradually peeled away. He’s smart and funny and him and Janelle together just made so much sense. I love it when I can actually feel what makes a couple attracted to each other, and I definitely could for these two.
Onto the story, and oh what a ride it was. So. Much. Cool. I can hardly contain myself. Awesome story with incredible plot twists that I didn’t see coming from a mile away. But that’s what made the twists so much fun, that they were a surprise. So I’m not going to share what they are so you can discover them on your own. This is one of those books I recommend going into a little blindly because it’s one that’s really fun to discover the main punch line on your own, and I think if you know it ahead of time it would greatly take away from the story.
Overall, seriously an awesome book. One of my favorites of 2012 easily. I went into it expecting a dystopian of sorts, but it’s definitely more of a sci-fi, and that was such a pleasant surprise and a nice change from my usual! I was actually a little sad when it ended because I wasn’t sure if there was more. The ending was sort of the type where it could have gone either way and been a standalone or have a sequel. I’m glad to tell you though that according to Elizabeth Norris’ FAQ page on her website, there will indeed be a second book. So pick this one up as soon as it’s out, because you will not be disappointed.