Review: Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
April 24, 2012
Balzer + Bray
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.
UNRAVELING is one of those YA novels that should have its own genre. It starts out with a paranormal twist, but quickly turns into a story full of romance and science fiction. The description doesn’t do this book justice, let me tell you. There are so many intricate layers to UNRAVELING and while it could be confusing, Norris does a great job of keeping readers on track with everything that is occurring. This book is unique in that I have yet to read anything with this concept. I was fascinated by the world that Norris created and would love to see more.
Janelle isn’t your average girl. She isn’t afraid to go after what she wants, nor will she stop at anything to discover the secrets her father and Ben are hiding from her. I was a huge fan of Janelle. If I was her, I definitely would want to know how I died and came back to life with Ben’s help, and what her dad is hiding that may be related to her and possibly the end of the world as she knows it. She is one of the strongest heroines that I have had the pleasure of reading. She has such immense inner strength and puts her family, especially her brother Jared, before her no matter what is happening to her. Go Janelle!
Ben is another intricate character in UNRAVELING that has a mysterious past and present. He has loved Janelle since their first encounter and while she doesn’t remember it, that doesn’t stop him from being willing to do anything for her. But while he is very open emotionally, it was hard to see past that to who he really was and what was going on with him. I was completely shocked with some of Janelle’s discoveries and wowed. My mind was opened to so many crazy possibilities and it was going a mile a minute. Props to Norris for getting me thinking!
The whole novel is such a whirlwind ride. There was never a dull moment or a time when I wasn’t asking myself “What next?”. There are so many different elements woven throughout the story and it was full of action, adventure, and crazy chemistry (both romantic and actual). I have fallen in love with Norris’ world and I am in definite need of more. Take a chance on this one! You will have no regrets.