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Unraveling Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 24, 2012
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"This is one awesome book. In Norris' debut, she takes an oft-used premise in YA today (girl dies, then wakes up) and turns it into a rip-roaring, sci-fi adventure. The plot twists and turns at the end of almost every chapter."--Romantic Times, Top Pick!
“Leav[es] the reader wanting more and begging for a sequel to this multilayered debut.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) )
“Readers will enjoy the nonstop action and romance.” (School Library Journal )
“A satisfying puzzle full of novel twists and provocative clues.” (Publishers Weekly )
“This high-stakes thrillercomplete with mind-bending sci-fi twistwill hook you and never let go.” (Pittacus Lore, #1 New York Times bestselling author of I Am Number Four )
“If Veronica Mars snatched a case from Mulder and Scully, you’d get this fast-paced page-turner. With a heroine full of moxie, wicked surprises around every corner, and non-stop action, UNRAVELING is an irresistible thriller.” (Andrea Cremer, New York Times bestselling author of the Nightshade trilogy )
From the Back Cover
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.
Top customer reviews
When I picked up Unraveling I thought it was a fairly new premise that I’d like. It wasn’t until about 1/4 of the way through that I had the sudden realization that this book reminds of the TV show Roswell from about 15 years ago. This was back when the network the WB still existed. Roswell starts out with a girl who dies and then is brought back by a guy whom she pretty much never paid attention to before. Now Unraveling does have different details, but that’s honestly all I could think of once I realized how much it reminded me of that TV show.
So why did I quit reading it? Well, I honestly wasn’t that interested in what happened to the characters. I find it hard to read any book when I’m not at least a little emotionally invested in what’s going on with the characters. In the book there’s a clock counting down to the destruction of the earth, and I wasn’t fazed at all by that fact. I do believe that my emotional detachment has at least a little bit to do with my next point.
The other issue I had with this book was that there was so much going on at once. It was hard to keep in mind that something huge like the world ending was going on while I was reading about Janelle’s everyday life. I think the point of including everything about her everyday life before Janelle died and was brought back was to show that she still had to deal with these things, but in my opinion it really slowed down the book.
I was promised new and exciting, but I was left with boredom and a lack of connection with the book. Too bad because I had high hopes.
But I found myself at the local bookstore and they had Unraveling in stock, so I sat down in the café and opened the book to read a sample, to see what it was all about.
The book opens with a chapter title of 24:00:14:32. Cryptic. And it begins at the beach. I grew up a Jersey Girl, and no, not the Snookie variety. The beach was my second home, so now the book has my attention.
Janelle is our heroine and she is a lifeguard at the local beach. She has been dating Nick who is Mr. Popular, but his ex, Brooke, seems to have an issue with that. As Janelle makes her way to her car at the end of the day, she finds slander painted on her car in bright neon pink and her tires are slashed. No need to guess the culprit. It is pretty evident by the death glares she was receiving from Brooke.
Taking her phone, she starts walking, calling her best friend to pick her and her brother up at a friend’s house. But before she hangs up, she hears her name called and then the sound of screeching brakes.
Now you might wonder what is so dys about this topian. It starts off sounding very normal, just a pedestrian summer beach read, but it is so much more.
Chapter two, named 23:23:57:07, is only three paragraphs long,
Chapter three, 23:23:57:06 is only two pages and we find that Janelle has been run down by a pick up truck that came out of nowhere and she thinks she’s dead.
Chapter four, 23:223:56:49, is a little over a page and we find someone is with Janelle, talking to her and trying to keep her aware and conscious.
Chapter five, 23:23:56:42, are the recollections of some of Janelle’s memories and is a little over a page.
In Chapter six, 23:23:56:40, we find that the voice tethering Janelle to life belongs to a boy from school named Ben. She is alive, but she is absolutely certain she was dead and that Ben brought her back to life. And that is where the mystery begins.
While I am not a fan of the mystery genre, I must admit I like trying to figure things out and this book kept me guessing. The varying lengths of chapters made it a really fast read too. I would read a chapter that was two pages and figure that it was too short and read another. What I found was that with so many really short chapters, I just kept wanting to read until I hit a longer chapter to use as a stopping point. It pretty much kept me reading long hours into the night.
The chapters not titled, but counting down, intrigued me as well. What was the countdown for? What is the significance? How is it all related to Janelle and to Ben? I needed to answer those questions. So, I kept reading.
We find Janelle’s father works for the FBI and she learned analytic thinking from him. Though warned against it, she feels compelled to investigate. She wants to find out about the driver who hit her and where he came from, not to mention trying to unravel the mystery of Ben and how he saved her. But is she really prepared for the answers she’ll find and will she discover the truth in time?
Without trying to give away plot points, there is death, destruction with a little bit of spacey stuff thrown in. It may seem like a mild-mannered story, but it ended up being a thrill ride of adventure. The book is fast paced and as pieces of the puzzle fit into place, we find more puzzle pieces still to fit. The story becomes ever more entangled with so many plot twists it’s no wonder I have a stiff neck. Whiplash perhaps?
This is one of those stories that is very rich in detail. We find a complete world where the characters are three dimensional. There is depth to the background and very minute details which add up to a world I can see with my mind’s eye, as if I could step into the pages of the book and see the story unfold. The characters are complex and flawed, but their strength shines through their vulnerability. The odds are stacked up against them and time is running out, but they never give up hoping and fighting to live another day. Their fears were very real as they struggled to survive.
If you’re a fan of survival stories or Sci Fi, do yourself a favor and just read a few pages. If you are like me, it will only take a page or two to get you hooked. I promise the read is worth it.
Most recent customer reviews
Kept me turning through the pages to see what happened next. One of my all time favorites.