Unraveling

Unraveling

by Elizabeth Norris

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062103734
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/24/2012
Series: Unraveling Series , #1
Pages: 445
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.60(d)
Lexile: 840L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About 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.

What People are Saying About This

Pittacus Lore

“This high-stakes thriller—complete with mind-bending sci-fi twist—will hook you and never let go.”—

Andrea Cremer

“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.”

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Unraveling 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 86 reviews.
StalkinTheBooks More than 1 year ago
Unraveling is a really hard book to describe without giving anything away. Part of what made it fun to read was that I had no idea what it was about before I started it and I think that's really the best way to approach this novel. While there were many aspects of the story I enjoyed, I also had some problems with it. Hopefully this review will make it clear what parts worked for me and which didn't. First off, I liked the main character Janelle. She's a very self-reliant young person who doesn't take crap from anyone. I was generally impressed by her strength and refusal to give up. The things that she endures throughout this novel would likely break the average person but somehow she just keeps going. Through all of that and more Janelle remains an amazing friend to her best friend Alex. I love the way they can rely on each other no matter what. The chemistry between Janelle and Ben is really special. It was something I never really questioned even though it has a slight "insta-love" thing happening. Perhaps it didn't bother me as much because their interactions always felt really believable. Ben has all the qualities I love in a guy. He's intelligent, mysterious, caring and always striving to be a better person. I loved how his past and secrets were slowly exposed. I definitely wasn't disappointed by what I found out. This novel is a bit like a roller coaster you can't get off of, twisting and turning its way towards the end at an insane speed. There's a countdown to something, an FBI investigation, a murder mystery, a boy with secrets and a whole lot more. For the most part having all these plots works but it's balancing them that became tricky. I also could have done without some of the side characters and stories that distracted you from the main plot of the mysterious countdown. Neither, Janelle's biopolar mom or her ex-best friend Kate, serve any real purpose in the novel other then to take you away from all the other things that are going on. I think it’s great whenever a YA novel tries to be more than the sum of its parts but with Unraveling I actually felt there was TOO much going on. It feels a lot like three different story ideas that got stuffed into one novel. This makes the pacing a bit off because although the story is told using a countdown element and many of the chapters are super short, it still lagged in a few places. Again I think this goes back to the fact that there were side plots that didn't need to be there. The novels ending definitely threw me for a loop. I give author Elizabeth Norris a lot of credit for taking a risk that big. Whether or not you think it pays off will depend on how you feel about the rest of the novel. Much like my review, I had mixed feelings. Unraveling takes a unique premise and runs with it. I just wish it had spent more time on the more important plot details than making it a circus. Although my feelings on the end result is mixed I think a lot of readers will find its breakneck pace and main character enough to keep them cheering for more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book for the fact that I questioned what the heck was going on in the beginning 100-150 pages. Once I found out about what the countdown was for, I enjoyed the race as the characters went to solve the problem. I don't want to give anything away, because finding out was half the fun in reading this. Plus the characters are strong.
mustlovebooks23 More than 1 year ago
I finished this book in 2 days and cannot wait for the next book! Unraveling is a fast-paced adventure story that is rooted in the realities of high school, family life, and love. I loved this book because the main character, Janelle, is an intelligent, independent female character who is far from perfect, but who grapples with issues we all face with grace and determination that you have to admire. Unraveling is as exciting as Hunger Games, as mysterious as Fringe or Veronica Mars, and as fabulously addictive as Twilight. But the book also has depth. The characters feel like real people, and their lives and desires are complex. I would recommend this book to anyone, young adult or not, who is looking for a good mystery/love story with characters you can relate to and root for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the idea of this book, the storyline sounded great but I could not finish it on account of the content. It's a book written for teenagers from a teenager's POV and yet the 17? year-old main character Janelle has the worst mouth in any book I've ever read. She uses every bad word I've ever heard of (and I'm an adult) and her favorite seems to be the f-bomb. It's used so frequently, sometimes 3 or 4 times a chapter. And her "friends" including her younger brother use it just as much. I kept skipping parts hoping I'd get past the language but it kept building as the book went on. Not to mention the references to almost rape and other sexual content. I can not understand how adult authors include such things in books meant for teens and that younger childern could easily pick up and read. Do not read this, and if you are a parent don't let your child near it either.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely a book that you wanted to continue reading to see what happens next! Here's the only thing, I think the age range should be older than it says, due to the constant use of STRONG language (F bomb used in almost every chapter) I'm a month from turning 20 and I have to say the language was a bit excessive. Other than that, great read! Would not recommend for the younger audience it suggests.
Amy211 More than 1 year ago
i loved this book up until the end. it had an interesting plot and kept me on the edge of my seat. it was predicting in some areas, and in others it totally blew me away. would give it more stars if the ending was better. after finishing the book it kind of felt like i wasted my time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very different from anything I've read lately! Great Book!
OtotheD More than 1 year ago
I must admit that after reading the first 100 pages of this book, I had absolutely no idea what was going on, but I knew it had to be something huge after reading the synopsis. I proceeded with caution, though, because I was afraid that I wasn’t going to get the payoff I wanted after all of the hype. I was not disappointed. By the time I’d made it through another fifty pages, I couldn’t put it down. Crazy things started to happen — things I didn’t expect at all — and as in any good mystery, as things are revealed more questions are raised and the stakes grow ever higher. It kind of reminded me of a season of “24″ BEFORE it got all crazy predictable. This book is insane — and I don’t mean crazy cat-lady insane — but fast-paced, awesome premise insane. I honestly had no idea where Ms. Norris was going with the story, but when I got there it all fell into place. I love when I think I’ve got something figured out only to be proven wrong, and I also love when an earlier and seemingly insignificant event takes place and a hundred pages later (or more) it suddenly shows up again as a huge plot point. Sheer brilliance I tell ya. This is another sci-fi book that totally grabbed me and sucked me in. I really liked it. The writing is effortless, the characters are all very strong and well-drawn and I never once felt the plot fell short. Even the minor stories played out well without being distracting. If you are an X-files fan, you MUST check this one out.
terilhack More than 1 year ago
Unraveling is a devastatingly beautiful novel. What happens when the one thing you find yourself loving could be the source of your own destruction? Elizabeth Norris has painted a frightening future for readers where worlds are collapsing and love is only a life away. In Unraveling readers may find themselves debating how can somewhat love the very thing or someone that may ultimately destroy them. Unraveling is a story woven of deep loss and a growing love that contends with the characters' trying to solve each of their own mysteries and resolve things from their pasts that haunt them. Our main character is Janelle Tenner and she is one bright and amazing character with a deep love of helping, a smart wit and a cunning mind. Janelle's father works cases in the FBI, cooks randomly and has a love for the X-Files TV series and when his latest case comes home with him there are devastating consequences for everyone. As Janelle's story developed through the story we find a teen who has been putting her all into creating a good life and home for family and especially her brother, as her parents are falling apart. Janelle's mother suffers from being bi-polar and contributes little to the family while her father's work keeps him busy and he copes with his own responsibilities and stresses by longer hours and focusing on his cases. Janelle struggles with being a teen in a troubling house by being close friends with her neighbor Alex, who is a fabulous supporting character with his own complex family life. Alex is a great character that adds support to the story, but his faith in Janelle is soon put to question when events change that could impact their whole world. The story soon opens up and adds another amazing character in Ben, who is like a mysterious ugly duckling, something like a game changer in the story that will turn all of the character's mind and whole world upside down. What was so epic in Unraveling is the tragic undertone throughout the whole story, there are catastrophic losses all get in life that have an array of impact. From finding love soon comes loss, and a struggle to create normalcy from a loss of childhood comes the tiers struggle to protect. Among other themes inherit in the story really the character's voice compels the novel into something lyrically amazing. You just don't want to put this story down. Unraveling is about that, everything unraveling where character's lives are intertwining and at the same time so is the fabric of their universe. When you want something so much worlds collide right, but the truth may be more real than anyone ever imagined and the consequences are hitting closest to home than anticipated. With a strong female lead in a building dystopian storyline Unraveling releases a powerhouse in its ability to have several plots developing at the same time and connecting them all at the right places and at the right times to really pack a punch as they develop. This is one release that turned into a great story that I had not expected. Unraveling is not to be missed as a release this year because it has all of these fabulous elements that will surprise readers as a thrilling suspenseful YA debut.
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing 11 months ago
I was pretty sure that when I started this book, I knew exactly what would happen. Comes back from the dead, new powers, etc. But no. This book and the storytelling completely caught me off guard. It wasn't until the end of the book that I felt completely sad cause it was over. I had been so ecstatic while reading this book that I flew through it in no time.Lately, I have been getting into sci-fi books. I love this book. It not only capture me but it took my imagination to a whole other level. I like that the author took my imagination out of the box. "One minute, I was dying, the next I'm alive. And then doors open I've never seen before. I don't feel the same. Hot guy." That is what is going through my mine the entire time while reading this book. I felt so giddy in following in Janelle shoe's, in asking questions and always on the run with her life.The characters of this book amaze me. I have to tell you that when an author can bring their characters to life as if I actually know them, I love it. Being in these characters minds gave me such a better insight into what they are going through. I like that through her writing, it was easy to see everything of who they are. Now the plot twist. I admit it so crazy it works. It really works. At the end of the book, I thought about the possibility and they way the author weaved every detail into each others life's. This has got to be the best out of the world, crazy imagination book! I always say author have to have good imagination to come up with the things they write. Ms. Norris has a mind that is a playground I want to play in!!Unraveling opens your mind to a world that is unexplored. Fiercely ambitious in all things fantasy, Unraveling will leave your mind addicted to this magical ride. A complete triumph, Unraveling is an fantastic beginning to an amazing series!
thehidingspot on LibraryThing 11 months ago
The cover and description of Unraveling are interesting enough that I had Elizabeth Norris' debut on my to-read list, but it was the book trailer released by Harper Teen that elicited the most excitement (and the undeniable need to read it). I was, understandably, pumped to find a copy of Unraveling in my mailbox, but I had no idea how seriously badass it would be.I thought this novel was primarily a thriller and had no idea that it would have some solid science fiction elements as well. I can't really tell you what I specifically loved about this book without some major spoilers, but holy macaroni is it fantastic. For now, I suppose you'll just have to take my word for it, but I seriously can't wait to see how people react to the twists and unique elements.I will say, I'm not sure this idea is wholly original... There were a couple popular television shows with similarities that came to mind as I read. But, then again, most books have plots that are similar to others. I would only have had a real issue with this if the rest of the novel (characters, dialogue, setting, etc) fell short, which wasn't the case.The only aspect of the novel that I sometimes struggled with was the romance. I actually quite liked Ben and Janelle together, but I felt like Janelle fell for Ben a bit too quickly. Norris clearly explains Ben's feelings for Janelle, but sometimes I wondered if Janelle's main attraction for Ben was inspired by his strong feelings for her. Basically, he likes me so I like him. Not that Ben didn't deserve her attention... he so did.I expected Unraveling to be good, but it exceeded my expectations by far. I can't wait to read more from Norris!
pandaris on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This is one of the most awesome books I've ever read. And it's huge, with so many things going on all the time throughout the story that there was never a point that dragged for me. As you'll know if you've read the summary, Janelle dies and is brought back to life. What I didn't expect was for it to happen right off the bat, but it did.Janelle is also one of the most kick-ass characters I've ever met. Her dad is an FBI agent, so she knows more than an average girl her age would know about things going on with the FBI, and also how to protect herself. Eli gives her crap every time they meet, but Janelle just rolls with the punches and deals them right back with ease. I'd love to be like her. Her dad's partner, Struz, was awesome as well. Kind of like an older brother to her, it was apparent that he was part of the family.There are so many twists and turns in this story that I have to say I never saw what was coming. When it was revealed what the countdown was to, I initially was disappointed because I wanted the book to continue in the way it had, as an FBI action thriller. As I kept reading though the real cause for the countdown grew on me, and ended up making the story more awesome than it would've been had it gone the way I wanted it to.All in all, if Goodreads had the option it would definitely get 6 starts out of 5. These characters felt so real, that when certain stuff went down with people she knew, I choked up. I felt connected to these people, and definitely cared about what happened to them. This is probably the best debut I've ever read and I seriously cannot wait to read more by Elizabeth Norris.
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Janelle is hit by a truck and killed. Not only does she manage to come back to life, but the truck appeared -literally -out of nowhere. Soon after, Janelle's father, who works for the FBI, gets involved in a case surrounding the accident, and Janelle just has to snoop around in his supposedly confidential files to find out more. She finds herself pulled into a strange world where the very laws of physics seem to have no meaning, and where the future of the world hangs in the balance.After reading a blurb like that, how could I say no? Unraveling offers a fast-paced plot packed with science fiction elements, pulse-pounding action and a writing style that's compelling and un-putdown-able. I ended up reading this book in just one sitting because of the quick pacing, especially after the halfway point, when things really start to speed up. After the halfway mark, things started to get a little shaky for me. Though I was grateful to get past the more high school-centric feel of the first half of the book, and the plot started to get more compelling as the novel plunged into the more "science fiction" part of the story, it just reminded me far too much of the TV show Fringe. (Yes, I am Fringe fan and I still continue to watch it.) While I can understand utilizing similar elements, I felt like a good chunk of Unraveling, especially the elements that had the most direct baring on the plot, were ripped almost directly from Fringe. It was so bad that at certain points I almost felt like I was reading Fringe fanfiction -I even started imagining some of the characters as Fringe actors! I really would have liked this book to have a stronger personal identity that can would allow it to stand alone, but there just wasn't enough separation here for me.Obviously, my opinions of Unraveling are prejudiced due to my relationship with the show Fringe, which seems to have inspired this book. For readers who are not familiar with Fringe, Unraveling will read as a much fresher approach to teen science fiction that packed with action. (I was still surprised, however, at the frequent use of adult language here, which isn't typical for YA.) I probably would have enjoyed this book more if I had never seen an episode of Fringe -but that just wasn't the case.
AyleeArgh on LibraryThing 11 months ago
In short: Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris is an intense mystery thriller with a fascinating sci fi twist and a countdown to the End of the World.Unraveling took me by surprise. I went into it not really knowing what to expect, maybe just a nice read with a good mystery. But what I got exceeded all my expectations in every single way. Unraveling is a superb and intense mystery thriller with a super cool sci fi twist. I became so involved in the plot and characters while reading that I found it near impossible to put Unraveling down. Despite being relatively lengthy, short chapters and a plot involving a countdown clock to the End of the World ensure a fast paced read.Unraveling's protagonist, Janelle Tenner, is what really made this book for me. It may partly be a factor of really hating the protagonist in the last book I read and thus in comparison, Janelle seems extra awesome, but I'd like to also think that I loved her for being completely independent, smart and nerdy, and snarky. She never once relied on someone else to get things done - she was a go-getter. When faced with the mystery of how she was brought back to life, why people are turning up dead with their bones liquefied from a nuclear-like blast, and how the End of the World Countdown can be stopped, she makes it her business to find out. Yikes - if it were me, I'd probably hide in a corner and hope for the best.I also adored Janelle's love interest, Ben, and all their scenes together. And you know that if I'm mentioning the love and relationship aspect of a book in a review, then I must've really loved it because I am not one to gush over that kind of thing in my reviews. Ben has all of the intrigue and mysteriousness of the "Bad-Boy Type" without any of the dickish-ness, which was awesome. Together, Ben and Janelle make quite the cute couple. There were many a moment - most notably, Janelle's ideal proposal scene - that made me swoon.My one quibble is one that I have with lots of YA mystery novels - namely, that the characters feel the need to play teen detective and save the world instead of turning to a professional for help. I loved Janelle, really I did, but the girl needs to learn that when the End of the World is looming over your head, it's maybe time to turn to the FBI or a Physicist and not worry about if they'll think you're crazy - ASAP.Unraveling is author Elizabeth Norris' debut novel and I cannot wait to read more from her in the future. I am especially looking forward to seeing more of Janelle and Ben and maybe a certain other mystery that was mentioned briefly in Unraveling and will hopefully be solved in a sequel! Unraveling will be released April 24, 2012. I highly recommend it.
BookWhisperer on LibraryThing 11 months ago
I got into ¿Unraveling¿ within the first few pages. If it wasn¿t for work and life, I could have finished it within a half of a day. Janelle (J-baby as her dad calls her) is a strong character in this book and fights to find the truth but it might be more than she can handle. She has a best friend (Alex) who has her back 99% of the time, a mentally ill mother, a FBI-workaholic father, and a younger brother who she has protected. ¿Unraveling¿ made me want to risk getting car sick on my way to the conference because I wanted to finish it so badly but I knew getting sick would not make a good impression on my new co-workers. I hope you readers check it out and like it as much as I did.
ahandfulofconfetti on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This book starts off with a bang - literally - when the main character, Janelle, is hit by a truck and dies. The strange thing, though, is that she wakes up, with a classmate - Ben Michaels - leaning over her telling her she'll be all right. Janelle knows that Ben brought her back to life, but can't figure out what that means. Meanwhile, her FBI agent father is working on a case where badly burned bodies are appearing out of nowhere, and a countdown has appeared, ticking down to some unknown conclusion. Things come to a head when someone Janelle cares for is killed, and it becomes a race to stop the countdown and save everyone's lives.Janelle is a girl with some very serious problems (dying and being brought back to life only one of them): her mother is mentally ill, her father surrounds himself in work and is rarely home, and the parenting and care of her younger brother, Jared, has fallen solely on her. She's also dealing with some personal things, namely the aftermath of a traumatic experience while at a party a couple of years prior. Ben - the boy who saves her - had never even been on her radar until she saw him leaning over her; she'd taken him at face value and assumed he was your typical stoner loser. But after he saves her, she can't help but be drawn to him, namely because she wants to know exactly what he did to her - at least at first - but their relationship starts to grow from the get-go.I found myself really engaged with Janelle's narrative. The book is told in present tense, which is really the only way an "it's the end of the world" book can be written, especially one that incorporates the countdown into the beginning of each chapter. There was an urgency in the narrative, the frantic-ness (that's totally not a word, but bear with me) of the characters thoughts and actions setting the pace and making this a very hard book to stop reading. I was literally drawn in from the very first page. I also adored the slow-burning romance that builds between Ben and Janelle, even while everything else is spinning out of control and more and more is discovered about Ben and his abilities and how everything comes together. While you have the initial fascination of Janelle with Ben, there isn't any "insta-love"; they slowly start talking, spending time together, and becoming friends before anything romantic really happens.I do, however, have a couple of complaints. First off, I have an avid dislike of the phrase, "I released a breath I didn't even know I was holding," and it happens five times in this book. And yes, I noticed it all five times. This is totally just a personal preference/annoyance, but MAN did it pull me out of the narrative. Also, the author utilized flashbacks to talk about various things that Janelle was thinking about. When she's lying there dead, she gets one of those "life flashes before her eyes" occurrences, in which she sees a number of things. All of those crop up again throughout the book, with her flashing back to experience them again. We also have actual flashbacks, like to Halloween when she was ten, or to that party where something happened to her, etc. Some of the times it worked all right, but other times it was really disruptive to the narrative and flow of the story. I wish the author had done less of these, or found some other place to insert them, particularly when it got to the end of the book and everything was coming together fast and furious. But that was really my only complaint: as far as the plot and suspense and all of that, this book was really well done.And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the ending, which broke my heart a bit. I am not going to elaborate as I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but, yes. Sad. I read that the author is writing a sequel, though, so that's good news for me. Perhaps some of that sadness will be alleviated in the next installment.I do want to point out that this book does contain a fair bit of profanity, which is tossed around seemingly
psteinke1122 on LibraryThing 11 months ago
4.5 Stars!!GoodReads Synopsis: Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed¿as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she¿s opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn¿t possible, Janelle knows¿with every fiber of her being¿that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.But her reincarnation, and Ben¿s possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI-agent father¿s files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something¿but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what¿s right in front of her: Everything that¿s happened¿the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben¿s sudden appearance in her life¿points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she¿s going to need to uncover Ben¿s secrets¿and keep from falling in love with him in the process.My Thoughts: This reminded me of a cross between two of my favorite TV shows¿¿24¿ and ¿Fringe¿.Janelle is a smart, very likable character. She exists to take care of her brother because her Mom is emotionally unavailable and her Dad is physically unavailable. Janelle¿s Dad heads up a division of the local FBI branch where Janelle manages to insert herself into some of those FBI investigations.The plot is inventive and has some exciting and shocking twists and turns. So many mysteries to solve! The ending was left open for a possible sequel, but the book can definitely stand alone. Not one to buy into all the trilogies out there, this is one story I would really enjoy reading a sequel to provided it stays in the same vein as the original!
pollywannabook on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyUNRAVELING by Elizabeth Norris is like a mash up of the TV shows Veronica Mars and Roswell if they were written by Lauren Oliver. If you are anything like me, you don¿t need to hear another thing about this book. In fact you already jumped to your favorite online store to order it.Roswell + Veronica Mars x Lauren Oliver = UNRAVELED by Elizabeth Norris If you do need the actual review. Here it is. To paraphrase a line from Janelle, this book is crack. The writing, the characters, the plot twists. Everything is excellent and purposeful. There are no dull scenes, no throw away characters, no empty dialogue exchanges. Everything in UNRAVELING matters and contributes to an overall stellar YA debut. The writing more than anything else really shines in this book. Norris has a gift for language and phrasing that was very evocative of Lauren Oliver (DELIRIUM, BEFORE I FALL), and she uses that gift to convey rich and cliché free characters. Janelle is the protagonist and she exactly the kind of girl I would have wanted to be friends with in high school. She doesn¿t play games with her emotions (or anyone else's), she is self reliant, selfless, and extremely intelligent (both street smarts thanks to her FBI agent father, and book smart thanks to her own unquenchable thirst for knowledge). She was mature, but not in an unbelievable adult way. Dealing with her bi-polar mother¿s mood swings has taken up most her life in the past several years. She¿s become a parent to her younger brother and a source of stability for her workaholic father. Inwardly she is hollow, empty, until a guy she barely knows brings her back to life after a fatal car accident. Events begin to transpire in Janelle¿s world that defy explanation. Bodies with unexplained burns and no identities are turning up, and after snooping in her dad¿s files, Janelle finds something that connects her mysterious savior, the murders, and an event that may destroy the world.The Veronica Mars-esque investigation gets sidelined by a heartbreaking and unexpected romance, a tragic death, and a super cool sci-fi twist that both shocked and fascinated me. I fell hard for all these characters and suffered each joy and sadness with Janelle. UNRAVELING does fly fast and free with the f-bomb, much more than I¿m used to reading in YA, and I think the length could have been trimmed down just a bit to keep the pacing at a pulse-pounding speed, but everything else was so strong that I can whole heartedly recommend this book. There are a few unresolved storylines that I¿m anxiously waiting to read more about whenever the unnamed sequel is published.Sexual Content: Kissing. References to sexual assault and attempted rape.
Melanie_McCullough on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Unique and brilliant. Pure epicness! I cannot praise this book enough. Elizabeth Norris has created some of the most original and incredible characters. Wrap them up in an intense, thrill ride of a plot and you have Unraveling. When I first saw blurbs for this book, I knew I had to have it. With a logline like Stop the Countdown, Save the World, how could it not be epic? (Heroes, anyone? Save the Cheerleader, Save the World. No? Just me? Okay, moving on.)When Janelle is hit by a truck and dies, Ben comes to her aid, healing her injuries and bringing her back to life. At first I was reminded of Roswell and how Max saves Liz because he loves her, which is a good thing because I loved Roswell. But, in the end, Unraveling actually turned out to be unlike anything I've ever seen or read before. It was absolutely brilliant. I've used that word before, I know. But it truly describes this book.Janelle is a kick-butt protagonist who is definitely going on the list of my favorites. She is strong, and spirited, and everything I want from my female leads. She's been through an ordeal but she doesn't fold in upon herself. She pushes forward, searching for answers. And Ben. Ben, I love you. You're made of pure awesome. I wish you were real and that I was younger. Much younger. Even the secondary characters like Alex are incredible. The boys in this book rock. Unraveling is intense¿mind-blowingly awesome and definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. The chapters are short and will have you breathlessly pulsing through the story. Even though it's a long book¿445 pages, I read it in a single sitting. Trust me, you won't be able to tear through it fast enough. I want to tell you so much more so you can understand how amazing Unraveling is, but I can't without being spoiler-y, so I'll just tell you that if you trust my opinion on books at all, you MUST. READ. THIS. BOOK.
yearningtoread on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris (#1)Pages: 445Release Date: April 24th, 2012Date Read: 2012, May 18th-20thReceived: Library (But I will buy it someday! :D)Rating: 5/5 starsRecommended to: 16+SUMMARY -Janelle Tenner lives in sunny San Diego where life is good. Maybe not perfect; no, her mother's story attests to that. But her father and brother are always there for her, her best friend is awesome (as always), her boyfriend is cute and sweet, and a summer job as a lifeguard is a great way to pass the time.But then...the unthinkable. Janelle is hit by a quickly moving truck from out of nowhere - and dies. Or at least she thinks she does. She's brought back to life by Ben - some random stoner kid from her school.Now all Janelle has are questions. How did Ben save her? Where did the pickup truck come from? And her dad's mysterious FBI case - how is it all related? In the end, finding answers may come down to saving the world.MY THOUGHTS -First, I was hit with what an incredible writer Elizabeth Norris is. The words..they practically sang. I could feel the beach wind and smell the salty air. I could taste, breathe, see like Janelle. I became Janelle.On top of this, I was shocked (in the best of all possible ways) to learn that Norris used to live in San Diego, and, therefore, is an expert on SD geography and the local's favorites. I mean, Roberto's in Del Mar? I eat there probably once a week during the summer, no joke. Highway 101? Love that drive. The 5? I drive it every day to go to work! The Panera Bread in Mira Mesa? Again, I pass it every day. I feel right at home in this story...but that just made the mass mayhem and destruction all the more real for me. There were refugees holed up in Qualcomm Stadium, guys!! I can just see it happening!! :OIn any case. Brilliant, I tell you. It was brilliant.CHARACTER NOTES -Janelle and I would definitely be besties. Or, erm...I would be that annoying friend who follows her around 24/7 because she's SO flipping cool!! No joke. I could really relate to her, especially in her relationship with her dad and brother. The sarcasm and bantering reminded me of my own family!I love that the best friend and the love interest were separate. The absence of arguing between them. The absence of a love triangle. It really really was quite refreshing.Alex, the best friend, was always there for Janelle, at all costs. I became very emotionally attached to him and just love him to pieces.But, you know, hopeless romantic that I am...I can't help but point out that I'm extreeeemely partial to Ben.I can't even tell you how lovely he was - so perfectly portrayed and defined. You need to read the book to truly understand his pure awesomeness. His debates with Janelle, how much he cares, his absolutely shocking revelation... Well, you get the picture. Every girl would like to have a Ben, let's just say that.STORY NOTES -I think this book should win an award for most tripped out twist ever! Did you see that coming? I sure didn't. To be fair, I don't read much sci-fi, so maybe to a sci-fi reading pro it might seem less shocking, but no siree, not to me! Plus, it made me want to read sci-fi all the time!One thing leads to another. Nothing is left untouched. There are no story holes. It's only a tiny bit confusing at the start, but when things are explained, they're crystal clear. And I can promise you, your jaw will be glued to the floor!You know, I don't believe I've ever read one negative review about this book. I think that right there should say a lot about how badly you need to read this.Basically, it's epic. It's insanely cool and awesomely insane, totally C-R-A-Z-Y. And you know what, Elizabeth Norris knows how to cut out your heart and suck out your soul with her killer ending. Cruel, woman! Cruel! I totally cried. I did. It. Was. Gut-wrenchingly beautiful!!!SUMMING IT UP -Theoretically brilliant! You won't understand unless you decide to accept the ine
booktwirps on LibraryThing 11 months ago
I must admit that after reading the first 100 pages of this book, I had absolutely no idea what was going on, but I knew it had to be something huge after reading the synopsis. I proceeded with caution, though, because I was afraid that I wasn¿t going to get the payoff I wanted after all of the hype. I was not disappointed. By the time I¿d made it through another fifty pages, I couldn¿t put it down. Crazy things started to happen ¿ things I didn¿t expect at all ¿ and as in any good mystery, as things are revealed more questions are raised and the stakes grow ever higher. It kind of reminded me of a season of ¿24¿ BEFORE it got all crazy predictable.This book is insane ¿ and I don¿t mean crazy cat-lady insane ¿ but fast-paced, awesome premise insane. I honestly had no idea where Ms. Norris was going with the story, but when I got there it all fell into place. I love when I think I¿ve got something figured out only to be proven wrong, and I also love when an earlier and seemingly insignificant event takes place and a hundred pages later (or more) it suddenly shows up again as a huge plot point. Sheer brilliance I tell ya.This is another sci-fi book that totally grabbed me and sucked me in. I really liked it. The writing is effortless, the characters are all very strong and well-drawn and I never once felt the plot fell short. Even the minor stories played out well without being distracting. If you are an X-files fan, you MUST check this one out.
ShaEliPar on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Unraveling is a really hard book to describe without giving anything away. Part of what made it fun to read was that I had no idea what it was about before I started it and I think that's really the best way to approach this novel. While there were many aspects of the story I enjoyed, I also had some problems with it. Hopefully this review will make it clear what parts worked for me and which didn't.First off, I liked the main character Janelle. She's a very self-reliant young person who doesn't take crap from anyone. I was generally impressed by her strength and refusal to give up. The things that she endures throughout this novel would likely break the average person but somehow she just keeps going. Through all of that and more Janelle remains an amazing friend to her best friend Alex. I love the way they can rely on each other no matter what.The chemistry between Janelle and Ben is really special. It was something I never really questioned even though it has a slight "insta-love" thing happening. Perhaps it didn't bother me as much because their interactions always felt really believable.Ben has all the qualities I love in a guy. He's intelligent, mysterious, caring and always striving to be a better person. I loved how his past and secrets were slowly exposed. I definitely wasn't disappointed by what I found out.This novel is a bit like a roller coaster you can't get off of, twisting and turning its way towards the end at an insane speed. There's a countdown to something, an FBI investigation, a murder mystery, a boy with secrets and a whole lot more. For the most part having all these plots works but it's balancing them that became tricky. I also could have done without some of the side characters and stories that distracted you from the main plot of the mysterious countdown. Neither, Janelle's biopolar mom or her ex-best friend Kate, serve any real purpose in the novel other then to take you away from all the other things that are going on.I think it¿s great whenever a YA novel tries to be more than the sum of its parts but with Unraveling I actually felt there was TOO much going on. It feels a lot like three different story ideas that got stuffed into one novel. This makes the pacing a bit off because although the story is told using a countdown element and many of the chapters are super short, it still lagged in a few places. Again I think this goes back to the fact that there were side plots that didn't need to be there.The novels ending definitely threw me for a loop. I give author Elizabeth Norris a lot of credit for taking a risk that big. Whether or not you think it pays off will depend on how you feel about the rest of the novel. Much like my review, I had mixed feelings.Unraveling takes a unique premise and runs with it. I just wish it had spent more time on the more important plot details than making it a circus. Although my feelings on the end result is mixed I think a lot of readers will find its breakneck pace and main character enough to keep them cheering for more.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris Book One of the Unraveling series Publisher: Balzer + Bray Publication Date: April 24, 2012 Rating: 4 stars Source: Purchased copy Summary (from Goodreads): 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. What I Liked: I actually read this book back in 2012, after its publication, but it has been so long, and I never wrote a review of the book. In fact, I didn't remember much from my initial read years ago, other than the fact that I really enjoyed the story. I found book one and book two from BookOutlet, at a super cheap price, and so I couldn't not buy them. It was a great decision, because rereading this book was a blast, and I loved book two as well. I'll post a review of book two on another day. This debut novel is incredibly unique, right from the start. Chapter one features Janelle Tenner getting hit by a truck - yup, you read that correctly. Somehow she survives, with little to no injury, and she remembers waking up looking into the eyes of a boy. That boy is Ben Michaels, a loner student in the same grade at the high school. Janelle never really paid much attention to him, until now, when she's pretty sure he brought her back to life. Her revival isn't the only strange thing going on. The end of the world is coming, and it's more complicated than you'd think. This book was so dynamite, from the first page to the last. There was so much action, tension, and intrigue throughout the story. I don't remember ever being bored, in my first read years ago, or my recent read. This is a sci-fi thriller novel, and the "thriller" part was really, really good. The sci-fi part was extremely cool. This story deals with parallel universes, which I'm not always a fan of (in fiction), but I thought the concept was really fascinating in this book. There is a lot of science-y topics and explanations in this book, but you don't have to be a science-y person to understand what's going on. I liked all of the physics that backed up the parallel universes. I liked seeing physical theory behind everything. Janelle is a warrior woman, to me. She's sixteen and so tough - and she has to be, whether she likes it or not. But she has a natural air of strength, and she is mentally tough too. Janelle is very intelligent and she's good at piecing things together. Heroines like Janelle make me happy! I could relate to her and I really liked her. This book is written exclusively from Janelle's first-person POV, but that doesn't mean that the secondary characters weren't equally as important. Ben Michaels is a catalyst for so many things; he's a unique individual with a lot of secrets, for a high school loner. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
Readergirl_Revus More than 1 year ago
I'm slow on reading this book, I know.  It came out a little over a year ago, but this is one of those that I thought I'd just hold onto it until it was closer to release date of the second book.  That way the wait isn't quite as painful.  Either way, I was very happy with this book. I knew next to nothing about the story other than the summary...which is fairly accurate, as far as it goes, but there's a lot more to it than what's mentioned in the summary.  First of all, I'm a fan of Earth-destruction type books, and movies.  Any time a Deep Impact, Armageddon, or The Day After Tomorrow type movie comes out, I'm the first one through the theater.  Books...same thing.  I can't get enough of this type of story, so I'd be pre-disposed to like it anyway just for that aspect.  Add to that the fact that it was really really unique in another aspect (one I won't tell you of because I don't want to ruin things for you), and I was pretty engrossed from the beginning. I love the characters, especially Janelle.  One of my favorite heroines in a while because she was uber smart.  Her father's an FBI agent, and she definitely inherited the man's analytical skills.  I love reading characters like this and watching them work out details, uncover clues, and slowly figure things out.  She was so intuitive, but also brave and selfless.  Ben was a good match for her, as he is smart, sweet, and brave as well.  So the two of them seem to fit really well.  I loved the slow build of the romance... there was no rushing here, and it made it more believable to me. This was definitely a very unique story, and I don't feel like I can really go into more detail than that without ruining it for anyone who hasn't read it yet.  But it had me engrossed... the pacing was absolutely perfect.  I found myself flying through pages.  The suspense heightened everything to the point where it felt like the last third of the book just blew by.   Naturally, this ends with a cliffhanger that had me gnashing my teeth and getting misty-eyed.  Thank heavens I waited until only a couple weeks before the sequel's release date before reading this.  If I had to wait a year for the sequel, I'd be really upset!!  Great book.  Very inventive.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had a somewhat unsatisfying ending. It was terribly sad with very littie happy. Lots of f bombs throughout.