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Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
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.

Goodreads Summary

This book starts out with a bang.  Janelle, the main character, is hit by a truck and presumably killed.  However, she opens her eyes to Ben, the loner at her school.  She knows Ben likely saved her, but she doesn't know how or why.  Why would Ben, notorious for keeping to himself, bother to save her?  What is her FBI father hiding?  Ben and Janelle need to work together to achieve their own personal goals, although Janelle does not know Ben's whole story.

Each chapter is marked by the counting-down Clock, the reader is never able to forget the ultimate plot point of the book.  The Clock appears to be counting down to some mysterious end, but what could it possibly be indicating to Janelle and Ben?  It doesn't take long for someone else close to Janelle to suffer an untimely death to act as the catalyst.  The story takes off from there at a rocket pace.  The reader follows Janelle and Ben into the most unlikely of places and meeting strangest characters.  This book was literally designed to keep the reader occupied until the last page, there is not one page in the novel in which the plot calms down and allows the reader to focus on another aspect. 

Janelle is a great female character.  She isn't the type to lean on others, though she knows when to accept help.  Her perseverance is admirable and her intelligence helps her solve the mystery.  Ben is the perfect match for Janelle.  The reader will be able to tell that the two have chemistry early on in the book and will enjoy watching their relationship develop.  Romance does have a place in this book, but it is certainly not the main focus.  The reader will enjoy ever one of the 450+ pages in this novel, thanks to the length of this book the author is able to develop the characters to the point where the reader is heavily invested in them.  Young adult/teen readers who enjoy action, mystery, romance, and intrigue should mark this book as a to-read. 

5 Stars

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. I do want to read this book

  1. Wow. What a review. I am so glad that you loved this book. I just picked up a copy at my library and I was so excited to dig in and just hoping and praying that I would finally be reading a "blow me away" novel. I think I may have found just that. Thanks so much for this review, and for making me even more excited about Unraveling!

  1. Nikki said...:

    I have been seriously eyeing this book. I think I might have to grab it now! Great Review!!

  1. Just got my copy in the mail and can't wait to read this. So glad you loved it.