Monday 21 May 2012

Unravelling review

Elizabeth Norris
June 7th 2012

24 meets the X Files in the biggest teen blockbuster of the summer…


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…

As is said in the blurb, Unravelling certain felt like I was reading a big budget action blockbuster. It was really, really fast-paced and I enjoyed the action and the convoluted plot, but I kind of felt an emotional disconnect from it.

Really, the best thing about this book is its plot. It's definitely plot driven, and it really keeps you on your toes.There were so many twists and turns that I couldn't keep out, and I loved that it was so interesting. I also loved the fact that it had a kind of sci-fi twist, and that instead of it being a post-apocolyptic novel, it was kind of a pre-apocolyptic novel? Which again kind of fitted in with the whole action thing it had going on. I really enjoyed learning about Ben and his friends, and all the FBI stuff was really cool too, and I liked seeing how it all came together. I really couldn't predict a lot of the twists.

I really liked Janelle, too. She was a really strong character and she went through a hell of a lot in the twenty or so days we see of her life. I actually liked her a lot more than I thought I would, because I thought she was going to be pretty bland, but she was actually pretty cool. I liked getting to see bits about her life before the countdown and stuff, too, though I did feel like they were placed at fairly random places and perhaps slowed the story down a little.

The romance is fairly standard, but I liked the fact that it wasn't instant like I could've been. It was good to get to see the developing relationship between Ben and Janelle, though I did think it was a little strange that he had been kind of obsessed with her since he first saw her. I mean, it was explained, but still, if I was Janelle I would've been a little freaked out. All the same, though, Ben was really nice. And what he could do was really freaking cool.

I didn't really like the fact, though, that most of the chapters were really short, because I know that it was meant to create tension and action and stuff, but for me a lot of the time the chapter breaks seemed unnecessary, and it prevented me from making a proper emotional connection with the story. Sure, I liked the action, but I didn't really feel anything, even during the pretty emotional parts (of which there are quite a few). That was my main issue with the book, though. For the most part it was really entertaining.

My favourite part was probably actually the ending. I would've liked to have seen a bit more of the aftermath, maybe, but it wasn't a really typical ending. I mean, I guess it kind of was, but at the same time it's not something you see happen in a YA book very often, and I just really hope that it's a stand alone, because a second book would kill that ending.

Unravelling is a fast-paced, action filled book, with a great main character but kind of lacked the emotional connection I wanted. 


  1. I got this off too and liked it up until the part where they said about different universes. It just didn't match up for me. Agreed in that it works best as a standalone, but I'd definitely like to see more from Norris. Great review!

  2. I do enjoy a fast paced book too, but I agree you sometimes lack the emotional connection with those types of books. Definitely want to read this one though

    The Cait Files


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