3.84 (18,466 ratings by Goodreads)
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Like The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Elizabeth Norris's Unraveling blends realistic coming-of-age issues with a gripping science fiction world.

Unraveling's heroine, 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.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 445 pages
  • 148 x 216 x 38mm | 531g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0062103733
  • 9780062103734
  • 303,611

Back cover copy

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.

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.
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Review quote

"If Veronica Mars snatched a case from Mulder and Scully, you'd get this fast-paced page-turner. With a heroine full of moxie, wicked surprises around every corner, and non-stop action, UNRAVELING is an irresistible thriller."--Andrea Cremer, New York Times bestselling author of the Nightshade trilogy
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Rating details

18,466 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 33% (6,183)
4 32% (5,834)
3 24% (4,363)
2 8% (1,394)
1 4% (692)

Our customer reviews

To view the full post and other reviews, click here Unraveling: Book 1 by Elizabeth Norris I read this book three weeks ago, but I didn't get a chance to review it until now. Gore: Yes Magic: Yes Romance: Yes Action: 4 stars Pacing: 3.5 stars Plot: 5 stars Cover: 4 stars This is one book that is going to be hard to review without spoilers, but I'll try, so... here goes. When I first heard of this book, which was months before it released, I though the synopsis sounded interesting (I love mysteries) and I liked the cover, So I immediately put on my tbr list. Then a few weeks later, some early reviews were up, so I read them and that got me even more eager to read this book. After it released, I searched online to see if any of the Chapters, Indigo, or Coles that are not too far from my house had it, but unfortunately they didn't, so then I checked to see how many people requested this, there were a lot, so i decided to read another book, and because of that I ended up forgetting to click on request whenever I went to the library website, since I read many other books as well. Then finally in March I decided to request it, and I was lucky that i was the only one on the waiting list. So yeah, that's my story, nothing interesting, you can skip the above paragraph if you want to Sixteen-year-old Janelle Tanner has more responsibility than many teenagers: her mom has bipolar, and her dad is a FBI agent and he's almost always busy, so Janelle to clean the house, make the meals, and take care of her younger brother Jared, while also working as a lifeguard, and school work. Until she dies and is brought back to life, because that's when her life gets even more busy. She tries to solve they mystery of her accident, how she came back to life, and about what's going on, the unusual FBI case, and the mysterious countdown means. All before it's the end of the world. I liked Janelle, she's smart, strong (by that I mean that so much is going on in her life ans she deals with it better than most teenagers would), she's independent, she's not a whiner, is compassionate, very determined to solve those mysteries, has a good sense of humour (I always love funny characters, funny jokes, situations), etc. Ben isn't exactly the typical YA bad boy, actually, I don't even know if I consider him a bad boy, his best friend Elijah seems more like a bad boy. He's very protective, caring, and mysterious. I was very curious about him and Janelle's dad's case since the beginning. As the story progressed, we learned more about the mysteries, Ben and his friends, and about other stuff too (I can't be specific or I might end up spoiling the story). I'm actually glad that Ben is not the typical YA bad boy because (as I said in my review of Daughter of Smoke & Bone) there are way too many bad boys in books these days, I don't hate them, it's just that it feels repetitive to the point that some of them are boring in my opinion, like Cole from Alice in Zombieland, whereas others loved him. Unless they are somehow different than other bad boys. I love that instead of having the same gender best friend or the opposite gender best friend who's in love with the main character, Janelle's best friend is a guy who doesn't see her in a romantic way, just as a good friend. There are a few other series I've read that do this, for ex: the Covenent series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, etc. Janelle's best friend's name is Alex Trechter. Janelle and Alex are such good friends. He's loyal, smart... ok really smart, he goes along with most of Janelle's crazy ideas,and he's basically a really good guy. He''s one of those smart dorky guys that I can't help but love. I also love most of the other characters, like: Cecily, Janelle's English teacher Poblete, Janelle's brother Jared, her father's partner and best friend Struz, and so on. A lot happened in Unraveling and it was really interesting. There is kind of a twist from the middle, which I didn't expect at all, I was thinking mundane stuff when the problem actually ended up being something different. The writing is good too. I was suspecting a few people who could have been the person behind all this, but then near the end, Ben and Janelle started suspecting someone else, but then I remembered that it's always one of the people that you suspect the least, so I then I guessed who i though it could be and I was right. I love that Janelle was still really determined to solve the mystery instead of "letting the grown ups handle it," even though it was illegal for her and her friends to get involved. And it was a good thing too, otherwise they would have all been dead by the end of the novel and that would have sucked a lot. Many of you know that I love mysteries and stories that are action packed, I started reading this hoping that I like it, and it did not disappoint, except for that thing that happened, I was really upset about that, but other than that I loved it. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the awesome characters, and the plot. Unraveling is fast paced, entertaining, suspenseful, has good writing, interesting characters, has a cute and sweet romance, witty banter, unique, and is an enjoyable read that'll keep you up long after the sun sets. I will definitely be reading the sequel and luckily I don't have to wait long. There will only be two books in total (at least that's what I heard): -Book 1 Unraveling (published April 2012) -Book 2 Unbreakable (April 2013) I rated this book: 4.5 stars.show more
by Nazish Ahmed
When I first initially heard all the buzz surrounding Unravelling I immediately put it down as a must read, thinking it would be absolutely mind blowing but, now that I've picked it up and read it for myself? I'm slightly disappointed. I don't know why though, it was quite an enjoyable read but it just failed to draw me in the way other books have and not to mention that unspeakable thing happened to one of my favorite characters! The novels protagonist is Janelle Tenner who is one tough kicking bad-ass but in the sense she's fiercely protective over the ones she loves and does what needs to be done in order to protect them. Janelle basically brought up her younger brother Jared from a young age, as her mother is mentally unstable and will occasionally have a few melt downs here and there, while her dad is off solving crimes for the FBI, hardly ever home to deal with the mess around him. Janelle is obviously very selfless under taking the task of parenting her brother while her parents really should of been. The relationship between the siblings is very strong/sad as we see how they have come to the routine of fending for themselves. In the first half of the novel we see Janelle going through the motions of her life but not really living it. It's not till she's rammed down by truck dying in the process- yes she actually dies!- then coming back to life seeing the face of Ben Michaels- the schools 'stoner'- that she realizes she yearns for something more in life. More then her quarterback almost boyfriend nick, more then snooping around her dad's cases playing FBI. Janelle wants something real and genuine-incoming Ben Micheals here! The relationship between Janelle and Ben quickly progressed throughout the novel, it didn't have one of those intense build ups, with the 'will they' or 'won't they' thing going on. It was established very early on that Janelle and Ben had feelings for each other, and maybe that's why I didn't completely love this book. I couldn't help thinking that maybe the only reason Janelle started having these feelings for Ben because he saved her and now she's got the falling in love with your savior complex going on? Either way it was enjoyable to see how their relationship played out. One of the things I did love about this book was the countdown! On every chapter there's a countdown to some mysterious item that the FBI found and can't seem to solve or stop at all. All they know is that bodies being found in the most gruesome ways and if they don't stop the countdown it's going only going to get much worse! Janelle and her lovable bestfriend Alex- who I must say was my favorite character- try to help the FBI in the case whether they know it or not. While trying to solve the case Janelle follows the clues and they all lead to BEN!!! Ben and his friends are hiding a dark secret, one so out of this world that its imperative that Janelle must tell no one. Janelle and Ben join forces to stop the countdown before Wave Function Collapse occurs and trust me, that would not be good for the human race. Overall Unravelling is a fast paced sci-fi that has easy to love characters, I may have a few issues with it but it'll have you tittering on the edge right up to the ending, and with a ending like THAT I'm positive the sequel Unbreakable will be even better.show more
by Taylor Weeks
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