- Release Date: April 24th, 2012
- Genre: Sci-Fiction
- Pages: 480
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Harper Collins Children)
Synopsis: Two days before the start of her junior year, 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 school Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And though it isn’t possible, she knows with every fiber of her being that Ben 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? . . .
Unraveling felt like reading an episode of the X-files. You start of with a seemingly normal town—in this case sunny San Diego–with normal people just living their lives when strange things begin to happen; burned bodies, a cryptic countdown, the mysterious Ben Michaels.
Instead of Mulder and Scully on the case, 17-year old Janelle Tenner (daughter of an FBI Agent) and her best (guy) friend Alex set out to put the pieces together.
Going in I had no idea what the plot twist or science fiction element of this book was and I found it to be quite creative. I haven’t read another book that uses this particular science fiction element as a plot device.
I just think this book could have been 100 or more pages shorter.The storytelling in this novel goes off a bit before it gets back to focus. For a few pages it seemed more like a beachy contemporary novel. We don’t really reach the focal point of the novel until about halfway, when the book goes in a more action packed sci-fi direction.
Janelle, our main character really stands out, she is an independent character without trying to hard. The older sister/younger brother relationship she has with her brother, Jared, allows her to be seen as more mature and responsible.
Like most YA books these days, I didn’t like how after all of the other amazing elements in this book that a sexual assault “plot point”was introduced. It just didn’t fit in with the rest of the story. I think it was in there to villianize certain characters, but I think it could have been handled better. For a book that deals with death and mental illness in such a touching and meaningful way this caught me off guard.
Unraveling is a true to form science fiction mystery novel with just a flare of romance and intrigue. It features a nicely crafted plot and while it stumbles a little in the storytelling it lands the ending perfectly.
If you haven’t read Unraveling Here is your chance to check it our for yourself.
Win A Signed Paperback Copy of Unraveling By Elizabeth Norris (U.S)