Tuesday, November 13, 2012

REVIEW: Unraveling

Book: Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Release Date: April 24th 2012 (Balzer + Bray)
Pages: 445 Pages
Source: Library copy
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.
I read UNRAVELING in about two weeks, which is fast considering how school was so busy. Before reading it, I had high expectations for this book, though I was definitely surprised by how well-written it is.


Unraveling is a refreshing sci-fi book to read. It's hard to find this type of genre in the YA world, so you could literally see me jumping up and down when I read quantum physics there. Thankfully, Elizabeth Norris has written this in a way so non-quantum physics people would understand this too. YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK NOW! It's so wonderful and amazing; not to mention, very unique.

I especially adored the characters.

Janelle Tenner is a smart, witty main character and I enjoyed reading from her perspective. Her thoughts were sharp, precise, and for once, I don't have a main character freaking out over the "popular" guy. She's strong but at the same time, caring. If Janelle was real, she'd probably be one of my best friends.

I liked Alex a lot too. He looked out for Janelle, just like a friend should have. What happened in the end shouldn't have happened (trying not to spoil it), but yeah. He listened to her a lot and helped Janelle with her younger brother, Jared. I was surprised at how this book just fights all the cliches, because they didn't fall in love. Which proves the point that guys and girls COULD just be friends.

And speaking of cliches, Unraveling has a big twist in the middle that the summary doesn't even talk about. Talk about coming out of nowhere. But besides that, this book literally has no cliches, besides Ben (though he was a really 3-D character).

Well, actually, all the characters were somewhat really realistic. The only part that bothered me slightly is....


Jared, Janelle's brother. It wasn't like he was annnoying or anything, but I thought the way he acted wasn't really high school freshman. It was more like a fifth grader. He listens to everything that Janelle says, gets excited over Disneyland, and talks a bit like a younger kid.

And that's not neccessarily a bad thing, but I found it unrealistic and unnatural. It just depends on how you see it, though I would categorize this as a tiny problem I had.

The second issue I had was with Alex. And I really sincerely did like him a lot (what more can you ask from a guy best friend?) but I slightly wondered what he thought of having a girl best friend. It's not like you can talk about fashion with him, though I'm not saying Janelle's girly. I'm just wondering, how did they become best friends? I don't know about you, but from my experience, not a lot of guys are willing to actually have an intelligent conversation with you.

Which brings me to this area. I want to know more about Janelle and her story. What happened in the past? I know a few details had been given, but this story is very fast paced. A lot of things happen and it's full of action. I would like to know more about Janelle and her childhood. More about what happened before her mom was like that. More memories about her elementary school years, when she had met Ben.

Because to me, it feels too sudden that she could like him so much after not noticing him for so long. Vice versa, that part about Ben being the school loner but then liking Janelle that much is a bit forced. Out of nowhere, we hear about how she had saved him from the ocean and how he noticed her. If there a small detail of Janelle's that tied the saving Ben part, then sure, I'd understand. But in the beginning, we learn from Janelle's thoughts that she vaguely remembers saving him and that she didn't really notice him in elementary school.



- Janelle is one of my favorite main characters of all time
- fast paced story
- not as much cliches as nowadays YA books have
- good cover (just kidding, but the cover is gorgeous)
- I adore all the characters
- lots of research into CIA stuff and quantum physics (yes, I was really happy to know that some else knows what "Wave Fuction Collapse" is)


- Jared could be a bit more realistic for a high school freshman
- need more back story on Alex and Janelle's friendship
- more background information about Janelle and Ben's elementary days
- the next book's release is still a long way from now

Well, the last con isn't really a bad thing. I just can't stand the wait. I'm definitely looking forward to UNBREAKABLE!(:


I highly recommend this book to people. The only reason why it's not five stars right now is because of the cons I listed. I felt like more background information would be really, really helpful. But nonetheless, I really enjoyed this book.

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