Review of Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

STOP THE COUNTDOWN. SAVE THE WORLD…

Leaving the beach, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit head on by a pickup truck.

And killed.

Then Ben Michaels, resident stoner, is leaning over her. And even though it isn’t possible, she knows Ben somehow brought her back to life…

Meanwhile, Janelle’s father, a special agent for the FBI, starts working on a case that seems strangely connected to Ben. Digging in his files, Janelle finds a mysterious device – one that seems to be counting down to something that will happen in 23 days and 10 hours time.

That something? It might just be the end of the world. And if Janelle wants to stop it, she’s going to need to uncover Ben’s secrets – and keep from falling in love with him in the process…


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Sci-Fi are getting more popular after books like Across the Universe and Glow hit the bookshelves last year. Unraveling is another Sci-Fi novel but ditches the spaceships and sets the book on our planet instead. Throw in some romance and unexpected twists and turns and you've got the perfect YA Sci-Fi novel, right? Well... not really.

The problem I had with this book was keeping up. There so SO MANY characters. Take the boys/guys for example - Janelle's brother, Dad, Dad's friend, Dad's colleague that he hates, Janelle's sort-of boyfriend, Janelle's friend-who's-a-boy-and-lives-next-door, Janelle's sort-of boyfriend's friend. Janelle's sort-of boyfriend's other friend. The guy that saves her. His two friends. You can see where I'm going here. That's just some of the guys. And then there's the girls, of which there are many also. The whole of this story is like this - trying to fit too much in. Yet, it's pretty slow reading too. I physically had to drag myself through parts of this book and I was really relieved when it started picking up a bit half way through. I was a little unsure why there seemed to be a few Twilight references though, like Janelle's Dad being a cop, Ben working on motorbikes and him telling her she imagined what happened to her after she was hit by a truck.

There are some great, unique things about this book. Janelle's mother has Bipolar Depression which is great to see in YA and fantastically told, not something that's shoved in the background. The reason for the countdown was something I never would have guessed and the reason for Ben's strange power was even weirder but extremely interesting. However the biggest mystery is why the cops seem to trust Janelle to solve the case for them, instead of getting off their asses and doing it themselves...

3/5

Received free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

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