Monday 11 June 2012

Review: Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris

Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Source: Audiobook

Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl’s fight to save herself, her world, and the one boy she never saw coming.

Loved this- exciting, powerful and cleverly brilliant.

Wow, this book was so good! Unravelling is an absolutely fantastic book that I can only describe as an intense and exciting sci-fi thriller. This had so many unexpected twists and turns that it always shocked me, and always felt like the novel was something new and different.

Janelle's father works for the FBI, and she and her friend Alex are always trying to find out what he is working on, and to offer up theories. When her father's team finds a weaponised device that appears to be counting down, and Janelle has a mysterious near death experience, it originally seems to be linked.

The countdown throughout the book (for the first half of the book we don't know what exactly it is counting down to) gives the story a constant element of tension and paciness. It is always thrilling, and there is always something happening, and some new revelation.

I loved how there was so many different things going on. There are so many different threads of the story- different mysteries, and flashbacks to the past, and I loved how they were all cleverly interconnected as the book went on.

Janelle has had to deal with a lot- her mother's depression, looking after her younger brother, and helping out her dad, all while working hard at school, and working a part time job, and yet she is such a strong character- feisty and smart, and I loved her stubborness and how she tackled each problem head-on. She doesn't seem to let anyone get her down. If there is someone at school who she doesn't like, doesn't agree with, or doesn't respect, she just doesn't pay them any attention. She has her close friends and her family and that's all she needs.

Ben is a character that seems to change and grow as we learn more about him. He is initially described as one of the school's loner pot-heads, that Janelle has never really spoken to, but as his version of events and truth about him starts to come out, he is actually one of the best characters I've ever read. I can't say more about him without giving spoilers, but his stuggle and his guilt for his actions in the past have brought him down very low. He has always kept an eye on Janelle, and looked out for her, even when she wasn't aware of it, and is just a wonderful "rough around the edges" diamond with a good heart.

This story is never what you expect- just when you think you have a theory, it'll turn around and completely surprise you. I loved the love story, the X-Files style investigations, the paranormal twist, and the tension. The ending was both romantic and tragic, and had me in floods of tears- I loved it! If you want a tense sci-fi mystery with an emotional tug- this is the one!

Alternative covers:

US cover and title.


  1. Oh gosh! I can't wait for my copy to arrive! I'm really excited to read it after I've read your review! X-file style? I think I'll like it! Thanks for sharing!


  2. Great review :) I really like the sound of this novel: I love sci-fi and mystery in YA novels!


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