Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Unravelling (Unravelling #1), Elizabeth Norris

Title: Unravelling
Author: Elizabeth Norris (author website)
Release Date: June 7th 2012 by HarperCollins Australia
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Sci-fi
My Rating:1 star2 star3 star4 starhalf star

If the words ‘Science Fiction’ make you want to run for the hills, it’s time to reconsider*. Unravelling is certainly sci-fi, but it’s not what you’re expecting: this is no lycra-covered space opera, but thrilling mystery, heart-stopping action and a heroine with enough snark and savvy to give Veronica Mars a run for her money. If you’re running anywhere, let it be to the bookstore. You need this book.

From Goodreads:
STOP THE COUNTDOWN. SAVE THE WORLD...

Leaving the beach, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit head on by a pickup truck.

And killed.

Then Ben Michaels, resident stoner, is leaning over her. And even though it isn’t possible, she knows Ben somehow brought her back to life...

Meanwhile, Janelle’s father, a 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...

The Story:

With a largely absent—but painfully wonderful—FBI agent father, a bipolar mother, and a kid brother who doesn’t get fed if his sister’s not around, Janelle Tenner’s had to grow up fast. Too bad no amount of ‘grown up’ helps when you find yourself dead by the side of the road, hit by a speeding truck. But when Janelle wakes up, she’s sure of two things: that she absolutely, positively was dead, and that Ben Michaels—the stoner bad-boy she’s known most her life, but never even spoken to—brought her back.

Janelle’s not-quite-death raises a series of impossible questions that cannot go unanswered, the least of which being that the driver who killed her doesn’t exist. So who is Ben Michaels? Who killed her? And how is all this tied up in her father’s FBI investigation—one involving the appearance of horrifically burned, melting bodies, and a countdown that will stop in twenty five days? But the most important questions is: a countdown to what?

The 101:

Janelle’s slightly more than ‘near’-death experience changes everything for her: Given a second chance at life, she refuses to waste it, and it renders Janelle a very interesting character indeed. Faced with the crushing, the impossible and the heartbreaking , she approaches everything as an opportunity. Janelle’s smart, tenacious, sarcastic and badass, but most of all, she is completely irrepressible, and it makes for a truly fantastic heroine.

From her loyal, hilarious best friend, Alex, to her geeky, sci-fi obsessed dad and his FBI super-hero sidekick, Struz, its rich cast of characters are one of Unravelling’s highlights, and also allow for a very unique story to be told. One girl saving the world would seem inconceivable, if it were not for the people Janelle's surrounded with. How many seventeen year olds do you know with access to top secret FBI case files, guns, and crime scenes? Unravelling’s tightly plotted, impossible mysteries and edge-of-your-seat action are tense and breathtaking, rich with both thrilling and heartbreaking outcomes.

And then there’s the romance. The chemistry Janelle shares with Ben Michaels, the boy who may just have brought her back from the dead, is electric. From glancing touches to deep, bone-melting kisses, the heat is undeniable. But, as you might expect from a boy with the powers of resurrection, this is not smooth sailing, and Ben may be the key to unlocking some alarming secrets—and saving the world. There is little more that can be said without betraying some extraordinary mysteries, but Ben and his friends, Janelle’s accident, the FBI, the gruesomely deformed bodies inexplicably appearing across the city, and the countdown that numbers Unravelling’s chapters are all inextricably linked, drawn together in a twisted, precarious danse macabre.

The Verdict:

Slick, sexy, and action-packed, Unravelling is the literary lovechild of a Fringe and Veronica Mars pairing. Its unstoppable smart-mouthed heroine is the perfect match to end-of-the-world high-stakes, and its extraordinary sci-fi-leaning mysteries make for an electrifying debut. There’s only one problem with Unravelling, and that’s the twelve month wait for the sequel.

* No, seriously: IT’S TIME TO RE-CONSIDER. You’re talking to a card-carrying Browncoat, Whovian, wannabee Jedi-Knight who went to Star Trek conventions as a kid. Watch yo’ self.

Books in This Series:

  1. Unravelling (2012)
  2. Unbreakable (2013)
An enormous thank you to the amazing Harper Collings for providing a review copy of Unravelling

29 comments:

  1. So glad you enjoyed this one! I really loved UNRAVELING, from the plot to the characters, right down to the sizzling romance, which I sorta wish Elizabeth Norris had expanded on a lil' bit more. :P Then again, I'm quite thankful there wasn't any insta-love.

    I can't wait for the sequel, too! *groans* WE HAVE TO WAIT A YEAR.

    Anyway, great review, Sarah!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Meg! I LOVED it! And oh goodness, the romance was HOT... I was really surprised about just how... heated the romance was, but YES--I would have loved MORE, and it broke my heart a little.

      I just... can't even about the wait O___O

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  2. SARAHHHHHHHHHHH YOU LIKEDDD IT<3 YAYYYYYYYYYY! Okayyy I'm so going to watch VERONICA MARS and FRINGE one day :D hahaaa Ben and Janelle's chemisry is CERTAINLY ELECTRIC! Goshhh I freaking LOVE THOSE TWO! Awesomeeee review Sarah:D Seriously, I AM SO GLAD YOU LOVED THIS.

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    1. I swear I loved it SO much, and the CHEMISTRY! SHIIIIRLEY! YESSSSSSSSSSS! &HEARTS;&HEARTS;&HEARTS;

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  3. ESDRFTGYTREDRFTGYTGFRGVBHNUYBIUTRE#RTSASDFGHJREWQWERTFDFVGB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I loved this book SO FUCKING MUCH, YOU HAVE NO IDEA!! AHHHHHHHHH!!! I love this review!

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    1. DAJAFDJAF WHAT YOU SAID. Seriously, Unravelling appealed to every tiny fangirl part of me. The romance. The action. The protagonist. The sci-fi. THE NERDISMS. OMFG I LOVED JANELLE'S DAD. DFGAJFHDLA :D

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  4. Haha...This book sounds awesome!! I don't think it's like anything I've ever read.

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    Replies
    1. Seriously, it's not. And... sometimes that can be scary, but KRISTIN. IT'S SO EFFING GOOD I COULD CRY.

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  5. OMG I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!!! It's seriously one of my top 10 FAVORITES of 2012 :D Awesome review, I couldn't have said it better myself!!

    Anna @ Literary Exploration

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    Replies
    1. I seriously think it's going to make it into my top ten, too! SO EFFING GOOD. Thanks so much, Anna! ♥

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  6. YAY! I'm really glad to hear that you loved this :D The action and romance were indeed wonderful, and I can't wait to see more in the sequel! Great review, as always ;)

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    1. Lisa! *hugs* Loved it SO much. SO can't wait for the next one, either... like SERIOUSLY can't wait... I couldn't believe how... HUGE the ending was :O

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  7. Amazing review! I really enjoyed this one too! :)

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  8. i love both shows]
    great review sarah

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    Replies
    1. Oh seriously, same here! Fringe is SOOO good ♥

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  9. I'm so glad you ended up loving this one too! Gah, I absolutely loved it and I just need the sequel NOW. Seriously awesome. And your review? <3<3<3 Perfect, as usual!

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    1. GAH! *HUGS* Thanks, Bex! Seriously, I thought it was a FANTASTIC book and and and... oh it was SOOOOO good.

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  10. Oooh, Sarah! I just read this! And I wasn't going to pick it up when I saw it in the library, because while I don't DISLIKE sci-fi, it's not really my genre. [Totally random and unnecessary side-note; when I was younger, there was a period of time when one of my brothers and my favourite imaginary games was set on the Tenth Planet, the oh-so-imaginatively named 'Ice Planet', where we mined Ice Crystals. As I recall, I was a redhead named Kate, and we fought aliens and the cold. Good times.]
    ANYWAYS, as I was saying, I wasn't going to pick it up, but I did, and I was so glad. I kinda loved that I was able to follow what was going on - it wasn't like, too way-out-weird.
    And I loved that Norris never veered into proper love triangle territory - at least, not between Janelle and Alex and Ben, because Janelle NEEDED Alex as her friend, not as Potential Love Interest #2.

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  11. Wow, I had to read the summary twice to get it. It seems so cluttered at first glance. But it does sounds good overall.

    Great review.

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  12. Is this the Aussie version of the cover? I like it heaps more than the other one. Have been dying (no pun intended) to read this book. How I wish for the days to be longer.

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  13. Really fantastic review! I'm so glad you enjoyed this as much as I did Sarah! I loved the romance between Janelle and Ben too. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book! :)

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  14. Fab review! I wasn't a HUGE fan of this book, but I still enjoyed it. It'll be interesting what happens in the sequel considering how everything ended and all . . .

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  15. I didn't like it as much as you did but as always, LOVE reading your review! Janelle was a great heroine and the description "the literary lovechild of a Fringe and Veronica Mars pairing" is so apt.

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  16. FANTASTIC review, Sarah! Oooh, you make me want to read this straight away! I can't, but oooh! I am SO excited for this book. Thank you! :D

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  17. "Faced with the crushing, the impossible and the heartbreaking." Dang, great great review!! I've been meaning to pick this up ;) Now I sooo will!!

    Haley@www.passingthepages.blogspot.com

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  18. I didn't love this QUITE as much as I was expecting, but still loved it. Make sense? Nothing makes sense to me right now *eyelids very droopy* but I still have enough awareness to recognise the AMAZINGNESS of this review. AND YOU MENTIONED FRINGE AND VERONICA MARS! *fangirl squeal* I love the whole..... erm... you know-whatsis... the "Fringe" element (don't want to be spoilery), I'm always searching for new books with... THAT. So I was insanely excited to see it done here and I'm really eager to see where Elizabeth takes it next.

    Ugh, 12 month sequel wait?!?!

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  19. Fantastic review! Must get my grubby hands on this one :)

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  20. Literary love child of Fringe and Veronica Mars? I MUST READ THIS!!! Lol. I actually need to catch up on Fringe as well. I watched the entire first season, but then got behind. Hmm...I DO have another week and a half off before orientation and school/teaching begins. Maybe I'll kill time with that!

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