Synopsis: 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.
From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl’s fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.
Thoughts: Excuse my language for a second… But holy hell, that was effing brilliant. I cannot contain the emotions pouring out of me because of how amazing Unraveling was. Unraveling is intense, gut-wrenching, consuming and all around exceptional. One of the best debuts I’ve read yet, hands down.
Seventeen year old, Janelle Tenner is just living her life. And by living, I mean life guarding, dating cute boys, taking care of her bipolar mother, loving her FBI father, and well just being the smart and sassy little thing that she is. But then she’s hit by a pick-up truck and is killed. She knows that she died but somehow she awakens and stoner Ben Michaels, someone she’s really never talked to, is leaning over her. Janelle knows Ben did something to her… something to bring her back to life. That’s not the only odd thing going on though, the driver of the pickup truck is dead and not because of the crash but because of some strange burns. She soon starts to connect all the dots and realizes her father is investigating a case that may be related to her accident. As time ticks away, Janelle must race against the clock to solve a mystery surrounding her life and also figuring out exactly what Ben Michaels has to do with it.
The concept of this story was completely out of this world. It makes me want it to honestly be real. I keep sitting here and letting this book consuming my brain every other thirty seconds because of how alluring and captivating this book is. And it’s not just because of the characters. It’s the concepts Unraveling is based on. It’s the realness and pensiveness that Janelle is constantly going through. It’s the cursing that I adore in a book. It’s the heartbreak and chaos Janelle is thrown into. It’s the twisted tangled web that Elizabeth has created. There’s so many amazing ideas and story lines that she weaved together. And, watching them all literally come crashing together just blew my mind.
The characters. Oh heavenly book gods, the characters. Janelle is this head-strong, smart, and completely kick-ass protagonist that I instantly fell in love with in the first chapter. Janelle is her own person completely and she’s content with it. Her sassy attitude and the way that she cares for her family just made me love her even more. Plus, the girl can definitely throw a punch or tackle a person when she’s got to! With Janelle, I loved her family as well… especially Jared and Struz. Yeah, Struz is technically not her ‘family’ but he is in all the ways that count! I love his protectiveness and silliness. And if I’m counting Struz in, I suppose Alex her best friend is in order too. Alex is the best guy friend that everyone wants and loves. The kind of best friend that you can call at any hour of the day, and you know he’ll be there for you.
Other characters I actually adored as well were Taylor Barclay and Elijah. Yeah… I like Elijah with his tough exterior and cursing. He’s the type of guy who I can just imagine being sexy and constantly making you laugh with his cocky attitude. Along with the cocky attitude, is Taylor Barclay. And yes, I must say his full name because I think Taylor is a hot guy name! I really enjoyed watching his character evolve to what it ended up being and after he’s shaven… I’d SO take him as my own ;).
Ben Michaels. Where do I even start? I mean, could you imagine being in love with someone the moment you met them… but never talk to them? To have to watch them from a distance wishing you could somehow be in their life, but know that at any moment you may have to break their heart and leave? And then you finally get the chance, but everything is spiraling downward? Ben is out of this world. He’s got that sexy half smile, and shaggy hair that I’d want to run my fingers through. He’s intelligent. He’s caring. And, he had the biggest heart you could ever imagine. He’d definitely fit my definition of a perfect guy. I absolutely adore the good-looking guys with a semi-tortured mind. Cannot wait to get more of him.
It’s truly amazing what words inside of a book can make you feel. And Unraveling does just that. When I finished the second to last chapter, I sat there and just stared at the last two paragraphs. My emotions were thrown all over the place. I had to force myself to read that last chapter and realize that I’ll be waiting in agony until I get the next one. Completely and totally marvelous.