Book Review: Unraveling (Unraveling #1) by Elizabeth Norris

Sixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle's mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared.

And that was before she died...and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth's destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet

Release Date: April 24, 2012
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from publisher

Oh, this was a good book!  It was intense, fast-paced, and full of surprises.  It ended on a good note, leaving me wanting more, but with enough closure so that I didn't feel like I couldn't rest until I got to read book two.

I read Unraveling pretty quickly, despite its hefty size.  Once I got into the story, I just couldn't put the book down.  I admired Janelle and thought she was a perfect main character.  I like it when characters acknowledge their flaws and then work on improving them.  Janelle did that with several aspects of her behavior and I liked reading about her personal growth.

The love story was very sweet and well-done.  It added to the story without being a distraction.  I like the way Norris writes emotions: the love scenes were touching while staying at a YA level.  

I enjoyed the sci-fi element of the story.  It was almost dystopian in its intensity and I loved that part of the plot.  It was unique and very interesting to read about.  Parts of this book reminded me of Beth Revis' Across the Universe series, in the best of ways.

There were many small details in Unraveling that added to the depth of the story.  The characters' histories and personal lives were well developed, as well as their relationships with each other.  Unraveling felt like much more than a typical YA read to me.  I really loved everything about it.  I highly recommend it and can't wait to dive into book two: Unbreakable.   


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