Two days before the start of her junior year, 17-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.
©2012 Elizabeth Norris (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
When I first started listening to this book it reminded me of a late 90's early 2000 teen TV show about a group of alien teenagers. The very premise, a girl who gets fatally wounded and then is miraculously healed by a boy who is obsessed with her, is exactly what happened in the very first episode of this TV show. The story took a different turn however, which I'm glad of, but then started to remind me of another TV show, Fringe. I don't want to say too much and give it away, but if you've seen Fringe and listen to this book you will totally see the connection.
I liked the book, don't get me wrong. It kept my interest and there were a few twists and turns that kept me guessing...for a little while anyway.
The main character, Janelle, is smart, strong, and very persistent. Ben, the boy who saves her, is also an ok character. I didn't love him and I didn't find myself overly rooting for their relationship. It was just kind of sweet and a little bland. The relationship that is. I really liked Alex, Janelle's best friend. He was also super smart and witty. A very good sidekick. Everything seemed to flow pretty well and the prose was very readable. The structure of the book was a major redeeming quality. Short chapters and the ever present countdown helped to add urgency to the storyline.
The narrator was pretty good. My only complaint is that I wished she would have deviated the voices a little more. All the male characters pretty much sounded alike. Not a huge deal, mind you. She did a great job with emotions and never became overly dramatic.
Some of the things in the book that bothered me... Well, the first was some of the logic in the book. I really had to suspend belief for some parts. LIke how Janelle seemed to have such easy access to her father's files and his laptop. Her dad is an FBI agent, well no he's the head of a division of the FBI is San Diego to be exact, and it seems to me like it should not have been so easy for her to sneak a peek at his files or get onto his computer and email. HIs partner also seemed to allow her so much free reign into the investigation that it was a little more than unbelievable. And how is it that pretty much all of the central teenage characters in the book are so smart? Seventeen year olds that seem to have such a good grasp on quantum physics...ok? Anyway, the second thing that didn't bother me so much but might offend other people was the language. The F bomb is dropped several times and in general there is lots of cussing. So be warned. The third thing is that toward the last half of the book it felt like it began to lag a little. It was like fifty pages could have been cut out in order to move things along more quickly. Or maybe I was just anxious to see if my theory about the countdown was right?
The ending has me conflicted. In one way I thought, wow that is a brave way to end a book. Spoiler...the author kills off three of the semi-important characters in the story. One early on and two more at the end of the book. But the ending also made me angry, and not just because it was a cliffhanger. But because it was really sad and left me feeling like after what happened maybe I don't want to read the sequel, which there will inevitably be.
Bottom line: This is a decent read. I enjoyed it and I kept listening, which says a lot because I've been known to give up after only getting a few chapters in to certain books. While the plot lines were borrowed from other sources, the writer still made them her own. The writing style was definitely readable and flowed reasonably well. The cussing was a little overboard and the romance was a of the insta-love variety and I didn't find myself really caring about it one way or another. If you like sci-fi/mysteries give this one a try but prepare yourself for a cliffhanger and lots of suspension of belief.
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
You start off at the beach and the initial teen drama fools you into thinking that this is going to be a uninteresting thriller so superficial that you start to think about what else in your library; after all this is a 11 plus hour listen. Then bang, someone is dead, then alive and then another death. I won’t say more – this is not a spoiler since this all happens so rapidly that if you are not paying attention you’ll have to skip back in time.
One of the things I like about the way Norris’ structured the story is she opts for very short scenes. It makes the story move very fast and gives you many point to pause -- briefly because you want to get back to it. Pretty quickly you get sucked into the world of Janelle Tanner; before you know it, Norris has made you curious about the other characters, their relationships. Soon you are wondering when she is going to give you more backstory -- like Alex's mother for example.
Katie Schorr does an excellent job of narration in this first person point of view novel. Her voice is pleasant and melodic.
This is the first of a series. I recommend the first one enthusiastically. It will appeal to anyone who like a teen series. It does have a x-files feel at times, so if that is not your interest you may love it a little less. But I think it is well worth the read. A big thumbs up.
The story is really good but not great. It had the potential of being great but had a few things that detracted from the story.
It had the feel of a combination of tv shows i.e. X-Files, Fringe, Sliders, Roswell.
The narrator was bad but not horrible. She did deliver emotion but she can not do a male voice to save her life. The female voice is kind of annoying in the way it sounds. It would have to be a really good book for me to want to listen to her again.
There is a sequel and I am looking forward to it but hoping they cast a better narrator next time.
Unraveling is a superb mystery novel for the younger reader. While there are many aspects of the book that are superficial, it certainly hits the mark for its intended audience. It is well written, thoughtful, and entertaining and mixes mystery and scifi in a surprisingly good way. The narration is excellent and is a convincing narration of the novel that is written in the first person. Given my vast experience with mystery and espionage novels it is incredible that it held my interest throughout given the subject matter and less sophisticated mission of the book. Overall it and was a pleasant listen and my expectations were vastly exceeded.
I became addicted to Audiobooks a few years ago. I've developed a pretty good Library selection thus far; however, I must say I hold no feelings of guilt regarding this addiction...
Amazing storyline, I was enthralled the entire time. I'm an adult that enjoys YA books but there are some books that ride a line between feeling like YA and reading like a Paranormal Romance/Sci-Fi novel. I enjoy these types of YA the most, and I gladly place this one in that special blend. It won't matter your age. This book will captivate you and entice emotion as you listen along. The narrator is so easy to listen to and vocalizes each character seemlessly. As many Audible fans know, the narration can sometimes ruin a good book; You won't have to worry about that here. I would easily recommend this audiobook to others.
There was a lot I liked about this book, but perhaps my favorite thing was the heroine. She had just enough teenage angst, but she wasn't swallowed by it like so many other YA heroines. She seemed to have a good sense of herself, which was refreshing. I also liked that the plot was totally different than anything I've read in the YA genre.
I had no problem at all with the narration. I found Katie Schorr to be pretty terrific, actually.
The story wasn't perfect. The adults seem placed only to forward the story for the teens, but that is forgivable in a YA book. Overall, there were more good things about the story than bad, and I'm looking forward to the next one.
This was a well written and well narrated story that didn't end with the inevitable cliff hanger that becomes a dozen books or more. It wasn't a pie in the sky story where good guys wear white hats and live out their lives. Some of the good guys actually get killed. The heroine of this story is Janelle Tenner who is smart, well read, stubborn, and doesn't use a lot of cliche driven conversation. Everything isn't tied up so neatly that she isn't challenged in her young life. It does leave the door open for a potential sequel but this volume can stand on it's own merit as written. I enjoyed it very much.
I'm so sorry that I can't leave a longer review but I don't want to throw out any spoilers.
Great narration by Katie Schorr. I only wish the pauses between chapters had been shorter. That's really being picky.
Yes. I've heard The Immortal Series, and loved it Katie's voice.
The book is good. Has a good story and make you wish a second part. Book I think is good for teens, or someone who is looking just for a distration. Isn't so amazing as I thought, but is not bad at all. Is different.
Young self made business man with plenty of time on the road to enjoy the world of audiobooks.
Im really starting to like teen romance fantasy books since listening to twilight but the book just felt half done. its like half way through E Norris realised she needs a character with a secret and then there is a guy with friend all from another world.
Books not bad and i reckon if you you dont have something else in your wish list give it a go but the Norris could of taken us on an amazing journey which she didnt.
Uncertain... probably, I would listen to another story from Elizabeth Norris, as long as Katie Schorr is NOT the narrator. Elizabeth's story is ok, although it was hard to catch up because she changes the timing and characters a lot.The real story doesn't start until really far into the book, and by that time either you stop listening or like me, you continue listening hoping it gets better.
the theory of the multiuniverse and black holes, was interesting but there's to many things going on at the same time... the countdown was kind of confusing.
She seemed to be bored out while telling the story, she sometimes forgets shes playing guys and speaks all girly and plain, she lacks emotion on the love story and the feelings of the main character.
it's just quite slow and although it stats with a very important action, you are at the very beginning of the book so you don't understand what's happening and why. The ending is quite depressing and sad.
beware of a very X file kind of reading with a forced teen PG13 impossible love story.
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