Review: Unraveling (Unraveling #1)
Labels: Book Review, Elizabeth Norris, Sci-fi, Unraveling, YA, Young Adult · Posted by Amy Logg at 14:58
Series: Unravelling #1
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Published: 24th April 2012
Genre: Sci-fi Romance
“Those deep set eyes that look like they could tell stories for days, and that wavy brown hair that feels soft between my fingers. I try to memorize the angles of his jaw and the lines of his lips, because I know. I know this may be the last time I ever see him."
It's exciting to see a sci-fi story in the YA section. There was strong X-Files vibe to the story, with Janelle's father being in the FBI & well…of.course there is the fact that it's mentioned several times that they all love watching the X-Files DVDs.
In the blurb it mentions how Ben bring Janelle back to life, however that's not really the focus story. It's more about the FBI cases that Janelle's father is investigating & the mystery where/why/who Ben is. It's a really exciting sci-fi mystery, to say anymore would ruin the fun in trying to work it out!
There was a hint of insta love here, but not enough to make their relationship unbelievable. They do spend time getting to know each other before any declarations of love occur. I also liked the fact that Janelle is actually dating another guy Nick at the beginning of the story. Nick is a nice guy, he's sweet & it's obvious that he likes Janelle. But as Janelle spends time with him, she realises that they don't really click and she breaks it off. I also appreciated that she didn't dump Nick for Ben, she did it for herself.
When Ben & Janelle start getting closer, Ben begins to pull away **major spoiler**>>> because he knows that if he gets the opportunity to go back to his universe he doesn't want to make the choice between leaving or staying for Janelle. Eventually the tension spills over and they declare their love for each other, in a rather passionate scene (involving a washing machine - and yes it was on…) **end spoiler**
Ben is really sweet, and it was a nice change to see that it was the guy who been harbouring a crush on the girl for all these years. He's also smart, as he has been studying anything he can find about <spoiler> the science of wormholes & multiverses etc </spoiler>. Descriptions of him don't just consist of "omg he's so dreamy & has amazing pecs", he actually has a personality!
Janelle could be a little stubborn at times, she wanted to solve everything by herself, even though she could have gone to Struz to ask for help. After all she says on several occasions that he's like family to her. She also ignores her brother when he needs her the most which I didn't really like. But she always has good intentions, even is she does make the wrong decisions sometimes.
Norris has written an intelligent story, she doesn't throw the answers in your face at the very beginning, we are left in the dark as much as Janelle. We have to follow the clues as Janelle discovers them. Not only is this more exciting as a reader, but it also prevent the characters from looking like complete idiots, as we're left screaming at the characters to see the obvious answers that are staring them in face (ie. there are claw marks on the back of his bedroom door, he doesn't like going out on the full moon, and sometimes he growls when we're making out…what could his secret be?? *facepalm*)
Subplot - Janelle's Mother:
I felt the storyline of Janelle's bipolar mother was not really handled all that well. This women is clearly ill and Janelle is left to look after her and incidentally her brother. Why does her father not get her Mum the help she so clearly needs. I felt that her condition was not taken seriously enough, and Janelle just whined that she couldn't take any more of her crap. It's not like her Mum's a drunk or just an angry abusive mother - she has a mental illness. I felt this is a very serious storyline and either needed more attention & be written more realistically or just left out completely.
Overall Unravelling was an interesting and thought provoking read. It's going to be interesting to see where the story leads to in the next instalment. <spoiler>Hopefully we get to see more of the other universes and have that storyline explored a little more</spoiler>
Sexuality: medium / heavy kissing, flashback of sexual assault
Violence: medium-strong / descriptions of radiation burnt bodies, murder scene with characters shot
Language: medium / several sh*t, f**k
Drugs & alcohol: medium / underage drinking at party, **spoiler**flashbacks of main character's drink drugged **end spoiler**