24 meets the X Files in the biggest teen blockbuster of the summer . . .
STOP THE COUNTDOWN. SAVE THE WORLD.
Leaving the beach, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit head on by a pickup truck.
Meanwhile, Janelle's father, special agent for the FBI, starts working on a case that seems strangely connected to Ben. Digging in his files, Janelle finds a mysterious device - one that seems to be counting down to something that will happen in 23 days and 10 hours time.
That something? It might just be the end of the world. And if Janelle wants to stop it, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets - and keep from falling in love with him in the process . . .
A big thanks to HarperCollins Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!
These numbers right here are the very first thing you see when you start reading this book and with every chapter, instead of a clever 'witty' title name or having the simple use of chapter numbering, a countdown begins to tick away until the end of this book. Yup that's right, there's a countdown which is pretty awesome and I was straight back to the good old days of the tv show 24! So to not disappoint my readers, UNRAVELLING runs exactly like 24 in so many ways what with its fast-paced storyline, thrilling adventures, addictive and interesting chararacters, and not to mention there are a whole lot of "WHAT THE HELL?!" moments occuring. . . so there's honestly a lot to like about this book and its sci-fi-ness which happens to be one of my favourite genres of all time, especially in young adult!
In Elizabeth Norris's debut novel UNRAVELLING, seventeen-year-old Janelle is almost like every teenager in town: She has the perfect family, a good paying job and a super-hot and popular boyfriend to boot. However, despite her seemingly perfect life that she lives, with her father working for the FBI and with her curiosity getting the better of her, she soon discovers something really big and catastrophic is about to happen in less than 24 hours and without her even realising it, the countdown begins to set in motion after she is hit by a truck that appears out of nowhere. And everything - everything including her life being 'mysteriously' saved - all leads back to the loner boy from her local high school, a boy named Ben Michaels, and it's up to Janelle and her new friends to unravel the secrets, the mysteries and even the whole masterplan of what could be possibly the end of the world.
UNRAVELLING was not the book I was expecting. To be quite honest with you I didn't really know what to expect from a book such as this one except that everyone I know has been praising it up and since I'm a huge sci-fi book lover I was suddenly on the bandwagon and so eager to read it too. But as much as I hate to say this, I wasn't overly impressed with this book. From the start I was going "yeah, yeah, this is an okay read for me" but there were other times too where I was a little bit unbelieving with some of the events involving the FBI and I was also a little bit bored by the storyline itself, simply because there wasn't enough sci-fi elements to keep me really, really interested. I mean, of course there is some sci-fi in this book but it wasn't the type of sci-fi I was looking for. That's not to say that this story wasn't enjoyable, because it was in certain aspects. The author, Elizabeth Norris, after all builds up some interesting company for her main lead, Janelle, and the events weren't as predictable as I thought they would be, so I was really entertained by that part of the book.
On the plus side of things and for our leading female heroine, I'd thought Janelle was a great gal to have behind this type of setting and I loved the similarities she had shared with one of my other favourite heroines from the past, Veronica Mars. With her being smart, resourceful, tough-as-nails, sometimes witty and with a tiny smidge of naiveness about her, I actually found Janelle was someone you could easily relate to on a general basis. Sure, her actions and her motivations for doing certain things weren't the least bit rational but I loved the way she would always want to protect her younger brother, Jared, and her parents as well, which I know - if I were in her shoes and in her current situation - that I too would do the same thing as her, so I loved her character for that.
Alongside Janelle on this crazy journey of hers, there was also the enigma of the love interest, Ben Michaels, whom was probably my favourite character in the entire book. I mean his other friends were pretty cool, but Ben had really cut it into my hottie books. Without revealing too much about his character arc (because that would spoil everything in the storyline) I will say the thing I loved most about Ben was how the author had written him in - you know, when the author continually makes you question whether or not you should trust this particular boy or not and I love those types of boys and their mysterious ways. Sure, it's clear to everyone that Ben is hiding something important from Janelle (it's so obvious) but all in all I trusted him, and by the end of the book I was 'kind of' in love with him. Heck, ditch Janelle already and give me a book all in Ben's POV right now . . . yes, yes thank you Elizabeth Norris! *wink wink* Loved him!
Overall, UNRAVELLING may not have been the book I was expecting nor did it exactly blow me away in the way I hoped it would, but it was good enough to make me still want to read the sequel and it'll be interesting what happens next in the life of Janelle and Ben considering what happened at the very end.
The Rating 3 1/2 / 5 stars