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.
Holy baby JESUS, UNRAVELING may be the best book I’ve read this year, HANDS DOWN. I don’t even know where to start: what was wrong with it? NOTHING. Nothing was wrong with it. I couldn’t find a single thing to dislike about it and I will wave this book around as one of the BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR…because it is that good. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry. And you will end it caring about Norris’ characters as if you knew them…as if they were your friends, too.
I’m not even sure where to begin without gushing. UNRAVELING is instantly a captivating book with witty narrative between the main character, Janelle, and everyone around her. Life hasn’t dealt her the kindest hand, and yet she still somehow seems to make it work for herself, despite having a busy father, a mother with a medical issue and a memory she’d rather forget. She’s smart, she’s got integrity and is working hard toward her future.
Then she dies.
And then she’s brought back to life by a guy she’s never spared more than a second to think about.
Seriously, WTF? WHAT THE – I’m not kidding, you guys, this book seriously BLEW MY MIND LIKE MULTIPLE TIMES. Like, poof! and gone. Elizabeth Norris has created this world that is just amazing and includes things that made my head spin. Like quantum physics and…other stuff I probably didn’t pronounce right in my head. There is end-of-the-world sh*t in here and colliding – ugh, I don’t want to give anything away, so I have to stop. Norris made everything completely believable, something that’s just so hard to do in Science-Fiction. And yet somehow she does.
She developed profound character relationships. Janelle’s relationships with her family were…REAL. Without a doubt, I felt them like she did. The laughter, the heartbreak, EVERYTHING. I loved that instead of a love triangle in UNRAVELING, Norris focused instead on a relationship and a very good platonic friendship between Janelle and Alex, her BFF since Kindergarten. I got a real sense for all the characters in it, instead of some and not others. I loved them all, but I especially loved Janelle.
I don’t know what more I can say about this. I don’t want to give away a single plot arc or storyline, because I thought the best parts about this book were the surprises on every other page. When I say it blew my mind, I’m not kidding. I often paused to “double-u-tee-eff” myself and “OMG!” to my boyfriend (poor guy, he had no idea what I was talking about). All I can say to you is, if you don’t read UNRAVELING, you will have missed one helluva story. It literally UNRAVELED my brain.
His eyes are red, like they were bleeding when he died, and when I take another couple of steps to see him at a better angle, I realize it’s not just his skin, but also his bones that look melted – because I can see his skeleton, and the bones look like they’re dripping – like a Salvador Dali painting come to life.
And check out the UNRAVELING book trailer!
Disclaimers: This ARC provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review. Quote may have changed with final copy. Blurb and photosource courtesy of Goodreads.
Books like this: ULTRAVIOLET by R.J. Anderson (for science fiction themes)