Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
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, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.
But her revival, 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.
From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
I loved then liked then felt iffy over bits of Unraveling...
A girl who puts her foot down and refuses to go down the same path as other YA heroines have with their “I’m so pretty I don’t know it but others do” schtick. She’s smart; she thinks then acts and refuses to make decisions she’d likely regret. She’s pretty vocal about what she thinks of certain things too. What’s better is she isn’t stick in the mud/ too straight laced. She’s simply one with priorities and goes after the same. Plus she’s actually conscious of who her friends are and aren’t. No one’s fool this one. Basically? A girl with her head screwed on right.
My favorite moment of her is her tearing apart over the top declarations of love, finding them a tad unrealistic
That aside, I really did respect her no nonsense manner. I liked her presence in her family and the responsibility she took too BUT more I liked how she knew that she was getting the short end but took things on nonetheless because there was no one else to do so. See? Head on straight.
I like it…
…When a story makes an effort to go in a different direction. There’s no denying the YA scene is filled to the brim with not-quite dystopias and YA paranormals of mermaids and angels that read like copies of each other. Unraveling, however, brings some variety into the scene with its little bit of science fiction (though emphasis must be laid on “little bit.”) It’s got string theory plus metaverse plus a countdown to the world’s end. Then shakes things up a bit more with the addition of FBI and chases and mysteries being solved. Then adds in a little romance that actually wasn’t too clichéd all the time. (All right, maybe the romantic bit got a little old at points. I mean, it's got a boy saving a girl; the same boy is annoyingly closed mouth about the how and why of doing so. Ringing any bells?)
…When things just flow or as the case stands with this book, when things barrel on non-stop. This one had no slow moments in it, (heck, even the romantic bits were scorching hot at times.) Something was always happening or about to happen… the world was ending after all. That in mind, the move from one moment to another was quick. That sense of urgency that each chapter (brief as most of them were,) had me feeling was spot on. Now, that ending, well… let’s say you’ve got to read Unraveling.
I’m feeling iffy…
…Over things happening and people knowing things and people doing things just because. That certain someones in the book could do a certain something just because they happened to have done something sometime some when in the past. Or that a certain something would eventually happen just because… (Because like I said, the science fiction in this one is not thoroughly defined/explored.) Still, I’ve got to hand it to Unraveling, it got me hooked even with my (few) issues with it.
So if you like a girl with her head on straight, in a book that’s slightly different from the current crop offered up at the moment, I’d say give this a shot.
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