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4.6 20
by Elizabeth Norris

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Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she'll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but civilization is slowly rebuilding, and life is starting to resume some kind of normalcy—until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up, asking for Janelle's help. Somebody from an alternate universe is


Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she'll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but civilization is slowly rebuilding, and life is starting to resume some kind of normalcy—until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up, asking for Janelle's help. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human-trafficking ring—kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths. And Ben, with his unique abilities, is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn't turn himself over within five days. When Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger.

Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they're lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she's in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

In this heart-pounding sequel to Unraveling, author Elizabeth Norris explores the sacrifices we make to save the people we love and the worlds we'll travel to find them.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Jamie Hansen
On a near-future Earth devastated by earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and wildfires, feisty teen Janelle Tenner and her friends struggle to provide food, medical assistance, and hope to survivors in an evacuation shelter. By staying busy, Janelle might be able to forget that her mysterious boyfriend, Ben Michaels, has disappeared forever, back through a portal into his own universe. Despite the connection between them, Janelle never expects to see him again, until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay appears from his home world with a horrifying story. Someone from one of the alternate universes is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them as slaves throughout the multi-verse. All evidence points to Ben as the perpetrator and he has five days to give himself up or the Interverse Agency will execute his imprisoned family. Racing against time, Janelle reluctantly agrees to work with Barclay to find Ben and discover the truth about the traffickers and their victims. In her breakneck sequel to Unraveling (HarperCollins, 2012/Voya April 2012), Norris offers readers a chance to revisit tough, but vulnerable, Janelle, competent Barclay, and enigmatic Ben on their quest, as the clock ticks off the seconds. While the author has clearly borrowed cliches from a multitude of sources and leaves numerous plot threads unresolved, she still succeeds in providing readers with a page-turning narrative, marked by brief chapters, contemporary dialogue, and plenty of tension and high-speed action. Some steamy love scenes, abundant gore, and plentiful adult language render this title suitable for older teens. Reviewer: Jamie Hansen
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Janelle faced the very real possibility of the world ending in Unraveling (HarperCollins, 2012). Now, even though that didn't happen, she has to deal with drastic changes in her life. Her parents are both dead, as is her best friend. She and her brother are living with Struz, her dad's former coworker and trusted family friend; Ben, the guy she loves, has returned to his own world; the planet is in ruins and there are precious few supplies; and people keep disappearing at an alarming rate. But Janelle is able to keep herself together, until her closest remaining friend disappears. At the same time, Taylor Barclay, Interverse Agent, appears on the scene to enlist her help in clearing Ben's name in relation to a crime she is certain he couldn't have committed, while Ben and his family and friends are being held in prison. The pressure is on as Janelle knows she cannot refuse to help him, yet failure in her mission will mean certain death, leaving her brother alone back home. With plenty more interverse travel and intrigue, this novel keeps up the fast pace of the first, while delivering similar suspense. Some repetition of dialogue, especially at the beginning of the story, is a distraction, and characterization is uneven but shines at times. Overall, the plotting and action will please returning fans, and readers starting with this book will quickly turn to the first one to see what they missed.—Kelly Jo Lasher, Middle Township High School, Cape May Court House, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
What do you do for a follow-up when your heroine has already saved the universe? You invent a new crisis, of course. After the events of Unraveling (2012), Janelle Tenner is dealing with the wreckage left behind and mourning the departure of her boyfriend, Ben, to the universe he came from. But she can't enjoy even this relative stability, since Taylor Barclay, the annoying Interverse Agency operative from the last book, is back, seeking her help. A human-trafficking ring is snatching innocents from across the multiverse--including her best friend--and Ben is suspected of involvement. If she doesn't help Barclay, all of Ben's loved ones, herself among them, will be killed by the IA in just a few days. This allows the book to use the same countdown graphic that was so effective in the first, but, ghastly as human trafficking and state-sponsored torture are, they just don't have the same consuming nature as the end of the universe. Moreover, in keeping Ben offstage for much of the book, Norris, perhaps unwittingly, sets up an intriguing chemistry between Janelle and Barclay that makes the Janelle-Ben romance a whole lot less compelling. Gigantic narrative flaws notwithstanding, Janelle remains a likable, kick-ass heroine, and the conclusion sets up an ongoing situation that promises smoother execution in the future. Whether readers will tolerate the contrivances of this book along the way is another matter. (Science fiction/thriller/romance. 14 & up)
ALA Booklist
“Abundant plot twists and betrayals to keep readers on the edge of their seats.”
Pittacus Lore
“This high-stakes thriller—complete with mind-bending sci-fi twist—will hook you and never let go.”
Andrea Cremer
Praise for UNRAVELING: “If Veronica Mars snatched a case from Mulder and Scully, you’d get this fast-paced page-turner. With a heroine full of moxie, wicked surprises around every corner, and non-stop action, UNRAVELING is an irresistible thriller.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.80(d)
HL820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Norris briefly taught high school English and history before trading the San Diego beaches and sunshine for Manhattan's chilly winters. She harbors dangerous addictions to guacamole, red velvet cupcakes, sushi, and Argo Tea, fortunately not all together. Unraveling is her first novel.

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Unbreakable 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Jetches More than 1 year ago
Ben. Oh, Ben. This book was just as great as the first, but different in so many ways. Well, ok I guess just one. It all takes place in the multi-verses. This book was pretty emotional and had a whole lot of twist. For half the book I was feeling like Barclay had an interest in Janelle and it seemed like she had a bit of an interest in him as well, which, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Then there is Ben. Ben has made some mistakes. And at one point I was pretty mad at him, and so is Janelle for a lot of the book. But, the ending rocked my socks off, and the adventure was a really awesome one. I liked venturing to the other worlds and even when they ran into some of their “other selves”. I also felt that there was more adventure overall. There was more guns, more fighting, more planning, and more jailbreaks and overall it kept me pretty entertained. I couldn’t quite figure out if Janelle was a lot different than she was in the first book, but I definitely liked her take charge attitude and determination.  Good: Janelle--Determined as always, but willing to risk a lot more. She’s different because she knows what she is getting into in this book. Barclay--I definitely enjoyed his character a lot more in this novel and that’s probably because we got to know him a lot better. Elijah--Funny as always. Struz--Love him, now a little scared of him, can’t wait for more...if there is more. Bad:  There was a lot of reminicing and too be honest I felt I knew enough and related enough to Janelle from the first novel that it was necessary for the story. It actually made it feel a little slow at times. Overall (Writing style, story line, and general): Overall I still love this series and can’t wait for the next. Although some parts were slow there was big adventure in this one especially more than the previous novel. There was also much more depth to the characters and we learnt a lot about them and their pasts. The writing was great and pretty easy to follow, although some knowledge of multiverses and physics would probably help, or, if you’ve seen Fringe you’re good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was AMAZING! I just wished that there wasn't so much death... Either way this book made my day! I loved the ending, I knew He would come back for her :D! Man...Just..Man ^-^ Thank you, to the author, for writing this mind-blowing book! -Tiffany :D
Jadestarz More than 1 year ago
Love love LOVE it!!!
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins UK Children’s books and Netgalley.) This is book 2 in the ‘Unravelling’ series, and kicks of 4 months after the end of unravelling. Janelle is now living in a dystopian America following the end of book 1, and learning to live without Ben. There’s a new threat though – people keep disappearing. The missing person’s count is through the roof, even considering the circumstances. Then Barclay turns up to ask Janelle for help. People are disappearing from more than Janelle’s earth, they’re disappearing from everywhere, and the IA are investigating these missing person’s cases as a possible human slave trade. Why is this Janelle’s problem? Because Ben is missing, and he’s also the main suspect in the kidnappings. How can Janelle help? Is Ben really involved in this slave trade? And why does she only have 5 days to turn things around? This was an okay sequel to Unravelling. I did like this better than the first, but I still found it quite difficult to really connect with the characters, and it still left me with too many questions. I thought it a little odd that Barclay would ask Janelle for help, even considering that Ben was involved. Once again Janelle is made out to be some big hero, while I find it really difficult to view her that way at all. I didn’t really feel that much for any of the characters in this one. There wasn’t much interaction between Ben and Janelle, so we didn’t even get Ben’s sweet flirting, and Barclay and Janelle were odd characters for me. There seemed to be some sort of sexual tension between Janelle and Barclay that was unexpected, and Ben seemed to be incapable of telling the difference between Janelle and one of her doppelgangers, which was pretty insulting for Janelle. There were a couple of other doppelgangers appeared from the alternate universes, which was both good and bad; although it was good to see the similarities between the worlds, it also raised a lot of questions for me. At one point it was commented on that a man could go home, accidentally slipping through a portal, to return home to find that he had 2 sons rather than 3 daughters. If this is possible, then surely not everyone would have a doppelganger? If this blokes 3 daughters didn’t exist in a different reality then surely they wouldn’t have doppelgangers, and then if they had kids with someone who did have a doppelganger – what would happen in the alternate realities then? Too many questions for me. Although there were fewer plot holes in this one, I think writing about alternate realities etc. is bound to cause certain plot holes purely because of the material you are dealing with. This one was more action packed, and the pace was a bit quicker which I appreciated, but overall this was only okay for me. The storyline was just a little too difficult to swallow, and I just didn’t care that much for the characters. I also thought the timer-countdown thing was purely for show, loads of other books have time-dependent problems and they don’t feel the need to incessantly count-down the way these two books have. Overall; another okay story about the problems of alternate realities. 6.5 out of 10.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I totally love this book.you have to read this book. This book is just so that much of awesomeness. Not even i like to read these types of books. So get this now or your life dies early. But just not right now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book, I had a hard time convincing myself that sleep was necessary!!!
xd12345tierra47 More than 1 year ago
the first book was the best book i ever read i can not wait too read more of the books ..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What? R u like some protester against Ben!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the first book the mian character almost had s*x and has a lot of cuss words
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Cupcakegirly More than 1 year ago
I *cupcaking* love you Ben Michaels!* A HUGE THANK YOU to Elizabeth Norris for writing this piece of amazingness! I'll be the first to admit that Sci-Fi isn't my favorite thing to read because most of it feels over my head. (Code for: I end up feeling like the loser on "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?) But every so often an incredibly well written, creative idea catches me off guard and sends me through a wormhole of awesome which is exactly what happened with Unbreakable. (I read Unraveling, Undone (novella) and Unbreakable in quick succession and was unable to put them down.) What I loved: The word building is so detailed it's visual and I kept forgetting that I was reading and not watching this story play out on a screen. Fast-paced action, complex characters, multi-layered relationships and a heart wrenching romance makes Unbreakable very difficult to put down. Janelle is a fantastic female MC - smart, fearless, sarcastic and doesn't take crap from anyone - yet she's selfless, often putting the needs of others ahead of her own. Ben is tall, dark and full of swoon. His love of family, friends and Janelle is fierce but he doesn't allow it sway him from doing what's right. Cecily was thoroughly enjoyable as was Elijah even in all of his potty mouth glory. Janelle and Taylor Barclay find themselves in a situation where they must work together for either of them to succeed, and the relationship that develops is interesting and endearing. Janelle and Ben's romance is complicated at best and anyone whose survived a long distance relationship (and lived to tell and/or love again) can attest to the struggles these two face. I'm a huge fan of romance and kissing and all that goes into it, however, what makes this story really enjoyable is that the romance isn't the only focus but when it is, Elizabeth Norris doesn't pull any punches when she's aiming for your feels. (Linkin Park, anyone?) A few twists are thrown in, but the action and suspense keep coming right up to end which left me a little bit breathless and a whole lot of happy. What left me wanting: I didn't want this story to end! Final verdict: Fans of Dean Koontz, X-Files, 24 and The Bourne Identity - Read it. Fans of rainbows, unicorns and kissing - Read it. Favorite quote(s): "...because if the good guys are going to cross that line and torture someone, what is it that separates them from the bad guys?" "Whatever, [ ] "This is the second *bleeping* time I've gotten shot when I was with you. I don't think we can be friends anymore." <--snarkilicious
CherylM-M More than 1 year ago
The pace in this sequel is a lot slower than in the first book. Now Janelle has to come to terms with the fact that perhaps she doesn't know Ben as well as she thinks she does. It also doesn't help that the person that helps her discover the truth is none other than Barclay. He isn't exactly her favourite person, but that relationship changes in this story. The reader gets to see a different side of him. Personally I still think he is really dodgy and likes to omit the truth far too often. It isn't so much that this book is weaker than the first it has just been approached in a slightly different stylistic manner. It offers sci-fi elements in a way that makes them seem the norm for the universe. Nothing overly complicated or hard to understand. I received a free copy of this book NetGalley.
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