Sunday, April 22, 2012

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris (ARC Version)

17 year old Janelle Tenner is not your average teenager. She is straight forward, feisty, and a go getter. She’s smart as a whip, and has the wherewithal to back up her boast without shoving that fact into others faces.

Janelle has also not lived under the perfect mantle where everything is perfect in her home life. Her mother is bipolar and a total mess. Her father is head of the FBI’s Counterintelligence office in San Diego and an avid science fiction follower. (Think Star Wars and X-Files). She has pretty much raised her brother Jared who is 3 years younger than she is.

When Janelle is run over by a truck that appears out of nowhere, she is pulled back from the other side by Ben Michaels one of the so called stoners of her high school. The mystery, however, is just getting started. Bodies are seemingly piling up and the identities of the bodies left behind have the FBI scratching their collective heads.

As the mystery deepens, you are left wondering what characters are the good guys, and what characters are the bad guys. I think it shows that Norris is more than capable of putting together a story without spoiling what is actually happening behind the scenes. This is one book where you do have a distinct beginning, middle and ending, although I can only hope that there will be a sequel to this book in the near future.

As a character, Janelle is nothing if not curious about everything that happens around her. She’s curious as to how Ben was able to bring her back to life and leave her without so much as a scratch on her body. She’s curious about her father’s work at the FBI and the fact that he is chasing someone intent on ending the world. And, she’s curious and serious enough to want to do something about stopping the doomsday countdown, rather than sitting by and partying like its 1999.

Unraveling is one of those books that cross genres between sci-fi, thriller & mystery. Unraveling is definitely one of the better YA novels I have read this year and its still April! It has the feel of a story that would be on my all-time favorite TV shows like X-files, 24 and Fringe.

As for Ben Michaels character, he is a deeply mysterious boy who just happens to have an amazing ability that no one else has. The fact that he isn’t from this planet, makes his character all that more interesting to read about. Naturally, there is a romance feel to the story as Ben and Janelle explorer both their feelings towards the other, and what they can do to stop the countdown to the end of the world.
I would highly recommend this book to not only YA lovers, but those who enjoy science fiction, mystery and suspense as well.

Sexual Content: No sex scenes, but lots of kissing
Fulgarity Warning: Yes, there are cuss words in the book as Janelle is written as thought she is real, and thus real teens often do use cuss words to express themselves.

*ARC recvd 04/20/2012 from HarperCollins thru Edelweiss.

Title: Unraveling
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Publisher: HarperCollins 2012
Released: April 24, 2012


  1. Hmm, you know, I'm not a mystery fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm never the less intrigued by this book. I'm going to have to consider it. Great review!

  2. Yay for lots of kissing, haha. As a sci-fi/fantasy fan, I'm so excited for this book and I've heard nothing but good things about it! I really like that you can't guess the mystery and unsure of who is good or bad. I can't wait to read it!