Monday, September 1, 2014

Unraveling 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.

My Thoughts:
Oh, this was fun. I took a day to think on this just in case my opinion changed while my brain processed what I'd read. It hasn't. This was good. 

Janelle was a great voice to read. She actually reminded me a lot of Penryn from Angelfall. Which, if you haven't read that, you should. And if you liked Penryn you'll like Janelle because Janelle was a non-whiny, get-it-done kind of girl. She didn't sit back and wait for things to happen for her. Or to her. She took action. She took care of herself and those around her. Also like Penryn, Janelle had a crazy mother and practically raised her younger sibling. And even though she was a little bit know-it-all, I liked her intelligence and her search for truth. I appreciate people who are unfailingly honest. And I completely related to her impatience and frustration. It made total sense.

Ben was a highly believable love interest. He was just so normal. I felt like I knew that boy. I guess the only thing I really didn't believe about him was how quickly he trusted Janelle so completely. For all the secrets and intrigue going on I find it hard to believe Ben would confess anything to her so readily. I guess another thing that kind of bothered me was the Nightingale Syndrome that both Ben and Janelle were suffering from for each other. A little weird. But I guess it does happen so maybe not so weird? I don't know.

The plot twisted so many times I had no idea where this book was going for the first half of it. At times it was paranormal, then murder mystery, then sci-fi, then romance; I mean, it was just all over the place. To be honest, it felt a bit awkward at first. But once everything connected and made sense together It was really good. All the different pieces wove a nice, complex story. Although way too many people died, for my liking. People, in general, yeah, but characters that I liked. Not cool. Understandable and believable but not cool. 

Voices in this book were pretty distinct, too. I could pretty much tell who was talking from the way dialogue was written without even having to read the name of the speaker. Although there was a lot of cursing in the dialogue. I mean a LOT. 

Overall I enjoyed this book and will definitely read the rest of the series. I'm not sure if I'd recommend it for teens just because of all the cursing but, then again, I'm not sure it's any worse than what they hear in the halls at school. But this was a fun read and a really entertaining story.

Sexual Content: Moderate
Language: Heavy
Violence: Moderate
Drugs/Alcohol: Moderate

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