Saturday, March 1, 2014

Review: Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris


Author: Elizabeth Norris
Release: April 24th 2012
Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery, YA
#1 in the Unraveling duology
Sequel: Unbreakable (#2)


Sixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle's mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared.

And that was before she died... and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth's destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet.


Man, going in, I really expected to end up liking this book a lot more. And at first, I really did enjoy it, but it only went downhill as it progressed, at least for me.

What I will say is this, the mystery and sci fi elements are satisfying enough, quite well done and alright. I don't have anything to complain about in that area, but unfortunately, there are other things that annoyed me too much for me to actually appreciate this novel as much as it deserves.

First and foremost, ugh, the romance. It was so, so horrible, like watching a train wreck: You know it's going to happen, and you know it's going to be ugly, but you can't help but watch. I am trying to contain myself here and not completely freak out, because this was the ultimate deal breaker for me. THE ULTIMATE. If it weren't for this fucked up shit of a romance between Ben and Janelle, I probably would have liked this so much more. I am not even going to talk about what exactly I hated, because it really, really should be obvious from I don't know, page 30. 

And then there's the characters themselves. Most of them seemed to have potential and were alright most of the time, but a lot of times, I was just so fed up with them. I thought Janelle would be a really cool and strong heroine at first, but then she pulled a total Bella on me and only got worse afterwards. She had her moments, yes, and I don't completely hate her or anything, but she did freak me out during a lot of scenes. Any and all other characters were rather meh, except for maybe Alex, who was the only one I actually liked. 

Plot? Hmmm, well, for the first half of the book, nothing really happens. Nothing. There are a couple plot twists that were unexpected and stuff, but did they make me want to read on? No. In fact, right about the halftime mark I started really losing interest and even skimmed some pages, because it was soo boring. I expected so much more action from this, and I didn't get it.

Bottom line, the only word I can use to describe this is UGH. UGH UGH UGH. Why. Is it because of my reading slump that I didn't like this as much as everyone else did? Or am I just reading the wrong books at the moment? I don't know, but I really thought I'd love this and now I already have the sequel and I don't know what to do. I guess I'll let this simmer for a bit, calm down, and then maybe I'll give Unbreakable a chance in a few months, hoping I'll finally like that one, especially since everyone's saying the sequel's so much better. We'll see.

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