Monday, July 29, 2013
Review: Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
by Elizabeth Norris
Published: April 24, 2012
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.
When I first heard of Unraveling, it was the concept that immediately drew me in. I love sci-fi and books about multiverses are not something I always come across with. It’s no surprise to find how much I loved the book but I did not expect it to be more than what I have imagined before I started reading it. I mean, it's pretty obvious how kick-ass it will be from that cover alone.
Unraveling started with the main character's death. You heard that right. It was unexpected and so sudden that it caught my attention right then and there. Janelle has no idea how but she knows that she died and was somehow brought back to life by Ben Michaels. She doesn't even know the guy much less notice him at school. All she knows is that he's a loner and hangs out with his stoner friends so what the heck is he doing there beside her dying self and then suddenly she's not? She got hit by a truck. Where did that truck came from? She shouldn't be alive and yet there she is, trying to solve the mystery of it.
Janelle is such a cool and kick-ass character. She's kind of mean and she knows it but I like to think of it as being tough considering the responsibilities she has on her shoulders. She's also very smart. When she died, she tried to tell her bestfriend Alex about it but even a guy who has a great mind like him finds it impossible. In the middle of trying to figure out what really happened to her, she discovered a clock in one of his father's current case on the FBI and soon found out that it was a countdown to the end of the world.
I loved, loved, loved the plot. The way Elizabeth Norris explained the existence of a parallel universe and that there are many of them out there, it's genius. Every minute or so I would stop reading and just gush about the book. I also loved how it introduced a little romance in the story. Not so overly done that it would get more attention than it's sci-fi aspect. The relationships in this book felt so genuine to me that it managed to break my heart as I go deeper into it. Janelle may not be much into showing affection but it's obvious just how much she would do to protect everyone she cares about. I love her relationship with his dad and his younger brother, Jared. No matter how messed up her family would look like to an outsider, the bond they have is something solid and real.
There's mystery, suspense, romance and everything you could ask for in a sci-fi novel. Maybe more. There's the story of friendship and family. And let us not forget the oncoming apocalypse - if you consider that ending as such then go ahead. Ugh. UGH! That ending was.. I can't even.. UGH! You know it's a really good thing the sequel is right beside me now.
Unraveling is a really, really good book for a debut. It's perfect for every sci-fi fans out there. This book is not something you want to miss out when the world ends. Highly recommended! For those who's not a fan of sci-fi well, I think it's time you guys start loving the genre and do so with this.