Monday, September 10, 2012

Unraveling - Elizabeth Norris

Title: Unraveling
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Release Date: April 24th, 2012, Hardcover
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Group: Young Adult Literature
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, 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.
I don't really know where to start with this review. I had a lot of problems while reading this. I can tell you right now that this book just wasn't for me. I don't know if it was the writing that the author used or just the way the characters developed or what. However the only thing that I loved about the book was the plot. I am being really lenient with a three star rating. I should probably give it two stars, but I thought that the book had a really interesting plot so I bumped it up to three.

Unraveling tells the story of a high school girl named Janelle. Her father is in the FBI, her mother has a really bad case of bipolar, and she has a little brother Jared. One night Janelle gets hit by a pick-up truck and she dies but when she opens her eyes she sees the school's stoner Ben leaning over her.

After reading this book I have come to the realization what the most important element of a story is for me: the characters. If a story doesn't have likable or relatable characters then I probably won't like the book that much. That was my problem with Unraveling. I just couldn't stand Janelle at all. She was rude, stereotypical, and just so cliché at times. She was so stereotypical about Ben and Elijah. She assumes that since these boys dress in all black and keep to themselves than they are supposedly stoners. I got sick and tired of hearing that. I don't know about other people, but at my high school it wasn't like that ever. I remember this girl who would wear Hollister or Victoria Secret and she would smoke pot every day.

Janelle would also be really rude and just mean to people. I really don't know how her best friend, Alex, would put up with her. Alex has an overbearing mother in the book and she won't let him do certain things. Of course Alex is embarrassed by it but Janelle just laughs and makes fun of it and his mother. Is that really anyway to treat your best friend? There is another scene I remember where they are at this party and she tells Alex that the reason why she brought him is because she couldn't let him graduate high school without going to at least one party. Janelle would probably throw a pity party for me because I didn't attend one popular party while I was in high school. I was mostly by myself and didn't have too many friends. I would have interest that nobody else liked; for example reading.

She was also so cliché with her boyfriend Nick. When they break up she tells him that she isn't like most girls. You want to know the type of girls that usually say that? Most girls. I just couldn't get over by how much I disliked Janelle. I don't mean to go on a rant about her but I never disliked such a main character in all my life. Although she did start to become likable towards the end. I tend to like her when she was around Ben, but I did feel like they just fell in love with each other out of nowhere.

I also wasn't a big fan of Elizabeth Norris writing style. It seemed like whenever a huge event would happen, the next chapter would be some sort of flashback that turned out to irrelevant. I guess she did that to let us know Janelle more but I just found it annoying after it happened for the third time. I also didn't really feel any emotion with the characters. There is a big catastrophe that Janelle experiences with her Dad and I just didn't feel anything at all. I felt like I didn't even know her Dad to be sad about it. There needed to be something else done to make us feel sad about her Dad. There was one thing that I did like about the story and that was the plot. There is a countdown to the end of the world and disasters start happening to the earth like hurricanes and earthquakes. The last hundred pages of the book were great! Why couldn't the whole story be like that?

Overall I liked how this book turned out to be science fiction but I just had so many problems with it that I just feel frustrated whenever I think of this book. Honestly, this book was a major disappointment. It was really not my cup of tea, but it might be yours. I feel like I am the only one who hasn't liked it. I just wouldn't recommend it. I still haven't made up my mind if I am going to read the next book or

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