Book Review–Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris


I’m skipping Book vs Movie until I figure out what to read/watch next. If you have any suggestions, let me have them!

This is the 8th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

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Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Published April 24th 2012 by Balzer + Bray


Sixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle’s mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared.

And that was before she died… and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth’s destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet.


So I was really looking forward to this book since I first heard about it about a year ago. I’m very disappointed. For this one, it’s easiest to do my review via list format.

Things I Didn’t Like:

1. It felt too much like Roswell, the TV show.

I know that the author was inspired by the show, but I felt there were too many similarities. So many that I couldn’t help but think of the show the entire time I was reading. While I love the show, that doesn’t mean I want to be constantly reminded of it in this book.

2. Janelle.

I really wanted to like her, but it was hard. While she did have a lot on her plate, I just had a hard time connecting to her.

3. The Writing.

While the writing wasn’t bad and was in short chapters (which I do like), it also didn’t draw me in. At all.

4. Repetition.

I felt like certain details were repeated so often throughout the book that I could have played a drinking game. Refreshing the reader’s memory is one thing, but to bring something up constantly is annoying.

5. Plot wasn’t well executed.

While the plot itself was interesting all Roswell aside, it didn’t feel well executed.

6. How badly I wanted to finish this (and not in a good way).

7. Sometimes these teenagers didn’t sound like teenagers.

Things I Did Like:

1. Janelle’s family life.

2. Janelle’s dad.

3. Alex and his relationship with his mom (though sometimes it bordered on being humorous).

4. Ben. I liked him.

5. The “marriage” debate in English, particularly between Ben & Janelle. Loved the “fucking marry me” part.

6. Struz.

7. Alex’s first memory of Janelle–it was sweet.

Final verdict: 2.5 stars. Had potential, but missed the mark for me.






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