Unraveling- by Elizabeth Norris

Title: Unraveling

Author: Elizabeth Norris

Rating: 9/10 (What this means)

Publication: 2012

Recommendation: READ ASAP.

My Reading Method: Library Hardback- 1st edition

(If you are in the Madisonville area, check the library catalog here.)

From Goodreads:

“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.”


I. Loved. This. Book.

IT WAS AMAZING! It will certainly be one of my absolute favorites this summer. (Totally going in my permanent collection.)

For real. Just stop reading this review right now and check it out from your library/borrow it from a friend/ click the book image above to buy- AND READ IT. You can thank me later.


Sorry. I get excited about books I like.

So… on to the difficult part of me trying to explain why I loved Unraveling so much. (For some strange reason I have a much easier time describing the negative aspects of books. Weird, right? Perhaps I can gush when chatting with friends, but it is rather difficult to go on and on when alone looking at a computer screen.)

One of the reasons I initially loved it is because the story is completely different than anything I’ve read in a really long time. This is not a dystopian novel. (Yay!) Unraveling is purely sci fi/suspense. Many people have accurately labeled this novel as a Veronica Mars/ X-Files love child with Fringe influence- and that combination worked for me. This book had a little bit of everything- FBI, mysterious yet gruesome deaths, an unknown countdown to who-knows-what, and a hottie love interest. This book is packed with action and drama.

Are you starting to see why I liked it so much?

The characters:

Janelle’s life is believable. Her dad is a somewhat-absent FBI agent. Her mother is bi-polar and refuses to take medication. While growing up she took charge of raising her younger brother.  She is smart, determined, curious, and occasionally impetuous. I would totally be friends with this girl.

Ben is a little more complicated. He’s… different. We learn from the book’s opening that Ben was able to do SOMETHING to save Janelle’s life. He is mysterious, intelligent, and 100% likable. I would be friends with/consider dating a guy like Ben.

The Plot:

The countdown- chapters are labeled by how much time is left. We don’t know in the beginning what it is counting down to, but we know it isn’t something good- think end of the world. The idea is to stop the countdown. And the FBI, weird radiation bodies, Janelle’s death, and Ben all seem to be connected in some convoluted way.

Unraveling is fast paced, interesting, and has the power to pull you into the story.

Elizabeth Norris is an awesome writer. She is definitely going on my automatic-read list. One of my favorite descriptions she writes is of Ben smelling like gasoline (because he drives a motorcycle). She never overtly explains why (so I think some readers thought it was strange) but she lets you use your brain and put two and two together.

Unraveling is the first in a series. My biggest pet peeve with the book is that it leaves you hanging a little (though, it does have an end, and could be a stand-alone book if it needed to be). The second book, Unbreakable, has an expected publication date of April 2012 by Balzer + Bray. I’m annoyed I’ll have to wait a year for the second book! *If anyone wants to send me an ARC I will greatly appreciate it!!*

Also, I would like to note that there is a liberal amount of language. I can see some people being very turned off to that; however, it didn’t really bother me.

I will be listing this as one of my favorite books for the summer. I encourage you to take the time and read it! Originally I read this by checking the hardback out at my local library, but this is the sort of book I’ll purchase for my Kindle for re-reading before book #2.

This review is also posted on my Goodreads Account.


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