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April 22, 2012

Review: Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris - Juhina


 Unraveling (Unraveling #1)

Author: Elizabeth Norris
Publication date: April 24th, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray 
Genre(s): Young Adult (Sci-Fi)
Challenges: Debut, A-Z Title
Source: Edelweiss
Format: Digital Arc
Pages: 445
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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 is the first sci-fi book that I actually ENJOYED, let alone loved! My older attempts at sci-fi have all failed but when I saw the cover of Unraveling AND the synopsis? I just HAD to give this genre another try and i'm glad I did! Unraveling started off with a bang (literally) and did not lose momentum until the last page and even then you cry a tiny bit knowing that you have to wait a whole year for the second book, because yes, this IS part of a series! 
The story is quite complicated so i'll break it down very simply: the protagonist, Janelle, gets into a car accident, she dies, gets resurrected and finds herself linked to several deaths that happened recently. She then finds a countdown to SOMETHING and it's her against time to solve the mystery while at the same time find out WHAT the countdown leads to, and from all the natural disasters and deaths that has been happening, when the countdown clicks on 00:00:00:00 she obviously won’t be welcomed with a bouquet of flowers. I loved how SO MANY THINGS were going on in this book! The whole plot of her being revived and the romantic plot with her and Ben, who she thinks is the one who revived her. Then we’ve got her dad, who is an FBI agent and her snooping through his files to try to figure out why are all these other people dying. Lastly we’ve got the countdown that keeps taunting us, telling us that time is running out and no matter how much we guess, we won’t get there in time. It was just exhilarating! Not a dull moment! 
As for the characters, we’ve got Janelle, our kick butt protagonist who never takes no for an answer. I really liked her and I loved how level-headed she was. She wasn’t afraid to take risks but at the same time she was still a normal teenager, one who resented her bi-polar mother for always having to be taken care of and at the same time she also felt a little bit of resentment towards her father for devoting all of his time for work just to avoid having to deal with their family mess. We also have Ben, the boy in shinning armor, however his appearance is the opposite of that; hanging out with the wrong crowd and keeping to himself in school. He is basically the quiet brooding type that has so many deep layers if you just get past what he wants everyone to see. I liked him instantly! 
The ending of Unraveling left me broken and maybe I liked the ending, and maybe I didn’t, I just can’t make up my mind. I would classify it as a love-hate feeling, I love it because of how different and realistic that ending was, even though it is sci-fi. However I didn’t see that ending AT ALL and while I wouldn’t say it broke my heart, I just didn’t get the closure I wanted. If I had the second book right now I would have said that I LOVED IT!!! But having to wait a whole year... my heart just needs that book. All in all I enjoyed Unraveling, and even though I’m still getting used to enjoying sci-fi, because of it I will definitely pick up more. I just need to get used to sci-fi! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who might ask me about it, because it’s worth the read! 
4 musical notes!


  1. I'm reading this right now and really enjoying it! I agree with you about Janelle, AWESOME main character! Great review!

  2. I haven't read many sci-fi YA so this book has been on my radar for a long time. I love your enthusiasm for this book, Juhina - this seems like an amazing, complex story! I'm really intrigued by the fact that his dad is an FBI agent. Doesn't that make her even more special as a heroine? I especially love that she is brilliant, and the romance is lovely! <3

    Brilliant review, Juhina! :)

  3. Nice review. I won this book from a giveaway last week and now still waiting for my copy to arrive, yay! Hopefully, I'll enjoy it as much as you did, Janelle :)

  4. I'm reading this. I love it! I bought it after reading your review. Great review!