Hardcover: 445 Pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
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.
Unraveling was yet another novel that completely surprised me! The plot is utterly enthralling, so much that I would read it while at school and my sleep was cut short to finish it. The facts are very expertly unraveled to peek our curiosity and the countdown in each chapter was a great idea!
The plot: As mentioned, I loved the countdown aspect of the chapters and the plot felt overall a bit like the TV series 24. I do have to admit that I wasn't expecting the kind-of futuristic aspect of the novel but it was a pleasant surprise (sorry guys, I know that is vague but I don't want to share too much in case you want to pick up this book!). There are many twists and turns which are prominent in mystery/detective novels.
The characters: Here is where things went a bit downhill for me. I didn't like the main character's actions, Tanelle, that much. She was just TOO independent; I know her family was a bit dysfunctional but you can't just take over a murder investigation! I get why she did it but it was a bit unrealistic for me, she is a teenager after all. But overall, she was a nice character. Ben, the love interest, was mysterious and sweet, that is right up my alley! The romance was also well-developed.
Unraveling was a great and enjoyable read. The ending was a enormous cliffhanger and Norris will certainly keep everyone hanging on the next installment. If you are into detective novels with a pinch of romance, Unraveling is a novel you should surely check out!
Elizabeth Norris briefly taught high school English and history before trading the southern California beaches and sunshine for Manhattan's recent snowpocalyptic winter. She harbors dangerous addictions to guacamole, red velvet cupcakes, sushi, and Argo Tea, fortunately not all together. Her first novel, UNRAVELING (Balzer+Bray, April 2012), is the story of one girl’s fight to save her family, her world, and the one boy she never saw coming. Website / Twitter