Saturday, July 7, 2012


Title: Unraveling

Author: Elizabeth Norris

Rating: 1 star

Summary: 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.

Review: This was a pretty good young-adult science fiction book, but there were a few things that bothered me.

The science in the novel is never explained. It's simply "the science," it works because they called it "science." 

Janelle falls in love with Ben right when she wakes up. Now that he's brought her back to life, she realizes just how amazingly perfect he is. After a few weeks, she's all, "I feel like I've known you my whole life!" This is even more annoying when Janelle is described as a "clever, strong, intelligent, won't take no for an answer" kind of girl. The author seems to be adding components to her book based on what's popular: strong heroine and an instant, true-love romance. 

Elijah, one of Ben's friends, is constantly dropping f-bombs. He uses it in almost every sentence, and it was really annoying.

*This is a spoiler. Skip if you're planning on reading the book*

I don't understand why Reid (one of Ben's friends) is the one opening the portals between universes. (Ben, Reid, and Elijah are from an alternate universe, having accidentally traveled here and are trying to get back home) He ended up with a good foster family, and the only reason I can think of is to have a twist. Everyone thinks it's Elijah, but bam! It's not! Elijah makes more sense, though. He ended up with the worst foster family of the three, was really focused on getting home, and was really angry.

*Spoiler end*

The end of the world is Ben and Janelle's worlds colliding and obliterating each other. The main reason this book got such a low rating was that how they stopped it from happening was never clearly explained. At the end of a chapter it was all "OMG we have twenty hours until the world ends!", and at the beginning of the next they just said, "Everything is fine." How, exactly, did that happen? It just went from blowing up this Earth before it collided with the other Earth to no interuniverse travel for six months so this Earth can get adjusted to it's new position. How is it possible to just move a universe in a few seconds? One of the things I love about science fiction literature is getting to read the explanations and I found this book severely lacking in that department. 

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