UnravelingUnraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Published: 4-24-12 by Balzer + Bray
Get the book: Amazon, The Book Depository

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.


Cover design – Alison Klapthor       Rating – 3/5

I find this cover to be confusing and a little dull. I like the overall impact of the thing. The font is nice, the color scheme pops and suggest action and mystery. The tagline is lame thought. There seem to be 3 Janelles, but I honestly can’t tell if the 3 guys are all the same person. The fog effect and the Matrix-y numbers are nice, but there’s some kind of old photo effect on top of everything else that is just way too much. There are blob-shaped tears on the left side that it took me awhile to figure out.

Major Crush

Unraveling is a whirlwind. It’s a wild ride of a sci-fi thriller with just the right amounts of mystery and romance. I went in thinking it was a paranormal book – I mean….mysterious guy with the power to bring a person back to life does seem very paranormal. The more sci-fi it went, the more chaotic it got and the more I loved it. When I got done reading this book I was really glad it was so different from the usual paranormal or thriller books I’ve read.

Major Crush

  • Janelle – Janelle kicks some serious ass and I loved reading about her. Just because she starts the book out with a boyfriend and then gains a love interest, doesn’t mean that her motivation for breaking up with said boyfriend is related to her love interest. And when Ben assumes that it is, she immediately sets him straight – it’s not about him, it’s about her, and he’s better that through his head. Janelle is smart and maybe a little bit too curious about FBI cases her dad’s involved in. But she gets things figured out, even when she doesn’t know who she should trust. She can’t stand it when she doesn’t have a plan, when she’s reacting to something rather than controlling the situation. Basically, Janelle is all-around awesome.
  • mad-science –  So, I have to admit that I know nothing about physics, and I most definitely don’t know anything about alternate universes. However, the science in Unraveling  made sense to me and was also kind of fun. the way the guys got involved, and the effects the science has had on their lives, is interesting and unexpected. The deeply important ways in which the science alters the life of the trio lead to se much chaos and I really loved it.
  • Ben – Ben is mysterious, intriguing, and sweet. And seriously suspicious at the same time. Plus it’s really nice to read a book where the guy is the one with the long-standing crush. Ben’s actions are questionable, his friends are a bit shady, and he’s followed by a path of violence and disfigured corpses. But he has pure motives and feels genuinely guilty about the repercussions of his experiments.
  • intensity – I love how intense Unraveling is! It starts off fairly low-key, except for the randomly dying and being revived by a near stranger thing, then ramps up to an insane degree. The FBI is involved, there are people who may not be who they say they are, people die, and the world may come to an end. The entire book is a countdown for goodness sake, and you don’t get clued in to what’s happening at zero hour until well into the book.

Jellicoe Road

  • suspension of disbelief – As things get progressively crazier in Unraveling, I found that it was a bit of an adjustment. It was kind of a big leap to go from wondering with Janelle just what the hell happened by the beach and just what Ben Michaels is hiding, to alternate universes and colliding worlds and wormhole type things. The whole sci-fi thing really caught me off guard.

Major Crush

  • “I was dead. I was, wasn’t I?”       He hesitates. And my heart somehow hammers louder and harder in my chest, and this time I’m sure he has to be able to hear it.       “Tell me.”       “Not for long,” he whispers.       – Janelle + Ben   (location 1772/5878)
  • “Then whose blood is it?”       He doesn’t answer right away, and that crazy, heart-pounding fear I had just moments ago morphs into the kind of fury that makes people do things so regretful and so rash that their mind makes them forget. If he doesn’t tell me in the next ten seconds, I might strangle him.       I back up to avoid throttling him. I can’t possibly keep my voice from shaking. “Whose. Blood. Is. It?”       – Janelle + Ben   (loc. 4618)

Major Crush

4 Robots

Acquired: bought (ebook)


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