Monday, August 27, 2012


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.

From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl’s fight to save herself, her world, and the one boy she never saw coming.

My Rating: ****

That's a very surprised four stars from me, because I didn't start out loving it, but the farther along I got into it, the more obsessed with the story I got. I was reading it on the treadmill and instead of going for 3 miles like I planned, it turned into 5 and a half, just so I could finish it.

The Bad: Straight up, I'm just going to tell you that the language is awful in this book. If you're sensitive to swearing, this book will bother you. There are so many "F" words in here that if you open the book to any given page, I'd say odds are 98% you'll see one or more. This is not an exaggeration. As far as other content, there is some mild sensuality, but it wasn't too bad.

Without the swearing, I would have given this five stars.

Wow I loved the characters. Janelle is tough and self-sacrificing. She's not a whiner and she fights every moment of the book for those she loves. She's also smart. Like Sherlock Holmes-ian smart. She notices things. She learned from her FBI agent father every cool trick in the book and I loved it when she turned super spy on me. I love spy stories. Plus, her dad was amazing. She also had a very real relationship with her little brother, a side story that added so much heart to this book. Her family and friends (especially her best friend and next door neighbor Alex) all made this book multi-dimensional. The story is not just about her romance with Ben, which I appreciated.

Ben himself is pretty cool. I thought I was in for some great X-Men style powers but it turns out this story is more X-Files than X-Men. Woah. Talk about surprises and plot twists and things I did NOT see coming. I loved that. I don't get surprised enough.

Another I liked was that the story didn't wrap up in a pretty bow. It wasn't afraid to be a little tragic, and it pulled it off without being melodramatic. Kudos to Elizabeth Norris for that. Also, I could tell that Elizabeth Norris is a kindred spirit and a fan of literature, because there were a lot of awesome references to classic lit.

So, a pleasant surprise from Elizabeth Norris's Unraveling. I'll be checking out the sequel, Unbreakable, next year.

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