Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Release: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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, Janelle knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.
But her reincarnation, 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.
(Warning: teeny tiny spoiler. Not a huge reveal but just putting it out there for spoilerphobes.)
I had no idea what Unraveling was about when I bought it; I saw it had great star ratings on Goodreads and I have a compulsive need to buy debut books the day they come out so I picked it up. And proceeded to not read it until the other day. Despite the fact that I hadn’t read the back cover, I was pulled into Janelle’s world from page one.
As I was reading, I started to get a sneaking suspicion about Ben. So I went onto Goodreads again and looked up some reviews. My suspicion was confirmed and my reaction was this: OH HELL NO. Now, normally for me, this would be the point that I’d put down the book and possibly (probably not) return to the book at a later date. But Janelle was so compelling; the story was drawn out so well that I couldn’t put it down.
Janelle is one of those characters you just wish you had even an ounce of their strength and guts. She knows what she wants and protects the ones she loves fiercely but she’s also a teenage girl with too much responsibility on her plate and I couldn’t help feeling anxious for her situation(s). Another character I adored was Struz. I just love funny bachelor guys who takes care of their best friend’s family. It’s one of my many character weaknesses.
Regardless of my reservations on the plot in the beginning and not being a huge alien/sci-fi girl, I found myself getting TOTALLY into the sci-fi. I consider myself semi smart but sci-fi usually loses me in the mumbo-jumbo so I thank Norris for making it all explainable and not expecting everyone and their dog to know what was up.
Unraveling has a little something for everyone: mystery, adventure, sci-fi, and ROMANCE, which, I’ll be honest, was my favorite part. Ben and Janelle were adorable and reminded me of a certain other alien/human couple combo.
Although Unraveling wrapped up nicely and could act as a stand-alone, there were a few question marks left at the end so I was thrilled to see there is more to come (and more Ben and Janelle!) from Elizabeth Norris. I will be restlessly awaiting for the next installment.
If you like:
You’ll want to check out Unraveling!