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Unraveling Isobel

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  2,167 ratings  ·  314 reviews

"Thrilling and creepy, super sexy, and so very hilarious." --Lisa McMann, bestselling author of the Wake trilogy

Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, c

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Simon Pulse
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  2,167 ratings  ·  314 reviews

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May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Unraveling Isobel was a surprisingly good read, this book had received quite a lot of mixed reviews so I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, but I ended up thoroughly enjoying it.

Isobel is forced to move during her senior year to Nairne Island because of her mum marrying Dick, a guy who she met over the internet and had been dating for only three months. Isobel’s not too wrapped with her mum’s decision, she has to leave her best friend Anita behind, move into a spookily big estat
Nov 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, arc
Humoristic and creepy - what a great mix! Unraveling Isobel takes an eerie plot with a sarcastic protagonist and balances it all together for an overall enjoyable read.

She's sarcastic and she's feisty. Isobel is a fun protagonist who easily made me laugh with her quirky personality, but she's also smart. Finally a character who has guts to face things head on. Her interactions with Nathaniel were a joy to read as well. It was a situation that both had me cringing and longing. It's definitely an
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, ebooks, 2012, ghost
Rating: 4.5
What a fantastic story. Unraveling Isobel was so much different than I had expected. Sure, the blurb was interesting enough, but the story and dialect was so much more.

Isobel is moving with her mother, her new step-father and step-brother to Naime, an island off the coast. She has very few nice things to say since her mother dragged her away to some desolate island her senior year with a hot step-brother and a new step-father her mother has only known for 3 months. Yeah, I'd be pisse
Fafa's Book Corner
Mini review:


I have been interested in this book for some time now. I enjoy ghost stories and it sounded right up my alley. Unfortunately it wasn't for me.

The writing style is quirky and funny. Isobel was a sensible character with a good head on her shoulders. The story held promise. But Isobel's mother really bothered me. The woman lacks common sense. I have never heard of anybody marrying someone they've only known for 3 months. On top of that her new husbands wife and daughter passed away
If I were a fan of young adult psycho-thrillers "Unraveling Isobel" would surely represent a jackpot:

High School Senior Isobel, who has just moved with her girly and gullible mom from Seattle to a small island, because her mother decided to marry recently widowed mansion owner Dick, pardon Richard, after a mere three months long internet-based aquaintance, narrates the Northanger-Abbey-touched story with much spunk and verve and an altogether cheeky, slightly angry (understandable) and very funn
I got this book on a whim while picking up books from the library and I’m not quite sure if I should be happy that I did..

Unraveling Isobel is a fast paced story. And when I mean fast, I mean fast. I’ve read this book faster than normal. There’s just something about this book that had me turning page after page, reading impossibly fast. The writing in this novel is authentic. I actually felt like Isobel was telling me this story of how she managed to put a madman in police custody. And of course
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
What a fantastic read Unraveling Isobel is, the serious topic of mental illness is addressed but there is also a spooky ghostly mystery and it has great snarky humour all rolled into one delicious package.

Isobel's mum marries Richard after only dating him for a matter of weeks, Richard's wife and seriously disabled daughter died in suspicious circumstances only a few short months ago leaving Richard, or Dick as Isobel enjoys calling him, and his teenage son Nate living in their sprawling if a li
Bailey (IB Book Blogging)
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Ever since I first laid eyes on this book, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it! The cover is adorable and the title fits perfectly. The synopsis grabbed me from the start! Hunky new step-brother and ghosts? I'm in! I am happy to say that after completing the novel, I was pleased. It has just the right amount of drama, romance, and mystery to keep the reader engaged but not overwhelmed. And the best part is that it is a stand alone! Yay for a nicely wrapped up ending!

Isobel has her fair share o
A Canadian Girl
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Since I haven’t been in the mood to write a review in the past few days, I’ll be doing a pros and cons list for Eileen Cook’s Unraveling Isobel.

- The book is guaranteed to make you laugh!
- It’s a standalone novel, which means things are wrapped up neatly and there are no cliffhanger endings.
- Isobel has a great sense of humour and is easy to like.
- Nate, the love interest, is someone who does his own thing and doesn’t just follow the crowd.
- Since Isobel’s father is a schizophrenic, Cook do
Feb 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
I just couldn't get into this book. There's nothing different about Unraveling Isobel. That's okay, I don't need different. I do need a compelling story (or at least one that doesn't make me skim over pages in boredom) and characters that don't aggravate me. Unfortunately that didn't happen here, where I pretty much just read the book and paused every few pages to say, "Yeah, yeah, your life is unfair and you're upset. Boo hoo."

I just can't commiserate with the main character, Isobel. I just don
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Just when Isobel thought she was going to have the best senior year with her best friend, all of a sudden, her mom decides to marry someone from the internet, someone who she's only known for 3 months. So she has to say goodbye to her old life in Seattle and instead hello to the ports of Nairne Island. Richard Wickham or otherwise known as "Dick" is the widowed mansion owner who managed not only to turn Isobel's life upside down, but it seems like he is purposely trying to wreck it. As if there ...more
Shanyn (Chick Loves Lit)
Nov 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
I should pay more attention to the blurbs of books, honestly. Lisa McMann calls Unraveling Isobel creepy? How could I not listen to that?

I went into this book assuming it was generally about Isobel and her possible mental illness, not knowing that I was going to be so scared that I would only read this in the daytime. Yes, the summary does mention ghosts, but there are different ways for ghosts to be written about. Here's a warning: Eileen Cook knows how to scare the pants off of you. Or that's
Nov 26, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Isobel's life starts to unravel after her Mom marries a man she met Online....and continues after "the family" moves to Step Dad's "estate" on some godforskaen island off the coast of Washington state. Add a hunky, but Untouchable step brother..and you have the makings for some serious Teen Angst (with a side of Paranormal, after the dead step sister begins visiting, and raising questions about the deaths of her and her mother)

All of which would be unbearable, and probably unreadable...except fo
A finished unsolicited copy was provided by the publisher for review.

Isobel is quite a witty character. She likes doing things her own way, no matter who or what stands in her way. Her relationship with her mom sounded as dysfunctional as anyone's is. Although, her mom was scared her own daughter could be as crazy as her ex husband seemed real. Her concern for her daughter was real.

Can Nathinel get any more sexy? His favorite place in his estate is the library. I like characters who like to re
Edit: I just read this book for the second time. I was hoping that my rating would increase but alas. Whilst I do appreciate Isobel's sense of humor, everything else felt flat.

I dont know, I think it could have been better. The book focuses more on Isobel's crush on her step brother than on the ghost haunting her home. I was more intrigued by the whole haunted mansion thingy, missing girls and mysterious deaths surrounding the home than by the silly high school drama or high crush. But thats jus

This book was okay. I usually like supernatural stories but I was easily annoyed by this book for some reason. I think it was the mother who cared more about her new husband then her daughters feelings or the whole 'mean girl' blah blah and of course there was the deranged step father.
Still, I liked Nate and I like Isobel and the history and mystery of it all.
Didn't love it, but it had it's moments.

(Arc provided by S & S galleygrab)
Donna (Jaevenstar)
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow! So this book grabbed me from the first page and held my attention to the very end. It is an awesome ghost story that kept me guessing until the very end! I love Eileen's gift for writing in such a way that kept me second guessing throughout the whole story. Loved it!
You are looking to read a light paranormal read-on.....and on that thought I present before you all my views of Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook .

Here is the summary of the book:

Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbe
Nov 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was really shocked with how good this book was. I had seen it around, but hadn't really thought anything of it until I got it in the mail from Simon Pulse.

Isobel is a teenager whose mother just married some guy she met on the internet three months ago. Isobel and her mother pack up and move to this guy's old mansion on some island. Isobel is told she can pick any bedroom she wants. And she happens to pick the bedroom of her dead step-sister. The first night she is there, she sees a ghost. I th
Jan 16, 2012 rated it liked it
First, I don't think that the cover matches the feel of the book. The cover, to me, says "Hi! I'm a happy and quirky book!" No, Unraveling Isobel, you are not a happy, quirky book. You are a psychological thriller (of sorts) meets contemporary meets mystery meets horror with a slightly depressing story line. I mean, Isobel, the main character is pretty darn snarky and pretty darn hilarious, but I don't think this should encompass the whole book. Anyway...

From the first page, I was immediately dr
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian
This review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.

Unraveling Isobel has a little bit of everything - romance, humour, mystery, and a dash of creep factor. Everything in Isobel’s life is changing and she has absolutely no say. Add to that the fact that she’s worried some of the strange things happening around may be happening in her mind, and you have a story that’s both engaging and entertaining.

I liked Isobel a lot. I tho
The teenaged Isobel isn't happy to be moving to the island of Nairne. Nor is she pleased with her stepfather, the result of a short online romance with her mother--or Nate, the gorgeous stepbrother that comes with him. The new house is too old, too creepy, and perhaps too haunted. With romance and thrills in tow, Isobel begins to delve into what happened to Nate's deceased mother and sister...

The Good

This was really, really cute. If you want a YA mystery with a touch of romance/creepy crawlies,
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
3.5 stars

What a fun, creepy, sarcastic, entertaining read! I was really surprised by how much I liked this book, and I think a lot of that had to do with the story's protagonist Isobel.

Isobel is one of those characters who's so easy to like and she's someone that faces everything head on. Plus she's a strong, stubborn, snarky character who provides the right amount of humor to this story's at times creepy plot line. Then there's Nathaniel, I won't give away too much about him as the relationshi
Amina Nakhuda
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fast, thrilling, and exciting are words that can describe Unraveling Isabel, by Eileen Cook. This book was a really fun and fast paced read for me. One of the things I really liked, was how the author used indirect characterization. Isobel's personality really shined by her actions, and how she thought of things. Throughout the whole book, each character had a very strong voice, which made the book a lot better. Another thing I liked, was how there was a mix of genres. A bit of suspense, mystery ...more
Nov 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
A couple weeks ago I had the honor to go to NCTE in Chicago. I was so happy that I was able to attend the conference. Some great authors were speaking there, and they were also having signings at the publisher booths. While I was there I was able to meet some great people and they will always have a special place in my heart. During this time I remember going and meeting some people at the Simon and Schuster booth. While I was in their booth, I saw this book and I picked it up and read the back ...more
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Willa by: Katie
Shelves: ala-midwinter
When I first saw Unraveling Isobel, I fell in love with the cover, because you understand that Isobel is an artist, but nothing more, yet you are immediately drawn it. I wanted to know what the vines were representing, and why they were wrapping around her limbs, which was answered in the novel.

The storyline was never boring, and I was constantly on the edge on my seat, waiting for the next clue towards the mystery of what happened to Nathaniel’s mother and sister. The mystery of that night haun
Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a simply fun book that contains all the elements of an enjoyable read. Let's go through them:

Likeable protagonist. She could be anybody. She isn't any "type" of person. She also isn't a blank slate. She has a personality but can't be pigeon-holed.

Possible love interest: Three dimensional. Not Mr. Popular. Not Mr. I'm-So-Bad. His name is Nathanial because it sounds so proper. So Isobel calls him "Nate." Just to be contrary.

Dialogue: Told first person from Isobel's perspective, it is snark
Kelly Hager
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am quickly running out of Eileen Cook books. This cannot be allowed to stand. (Note: I do still have Unpredictable and Do or Di, plus she's apparently written three middle grade books that I can turn to when the withdrawal really hits.)

Isobel's mom has just remarried, meaning that they are moving to this giant estate in an island on the middle of nowhere. That would suck enough, but it's just before her senior year, which obviously makes it even worse. (Who wants to start over with one year le
Dec 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My Thoughts

Creeptastic. Humorous. Unraveling Isobel was thrilling and well-paced. And the characters Isobel and Nathaniel were real and likeable.

I immediately fell in love with Isobel. She is her own person. She is also a snarky and slightly crazy. I. Loved. Her. There was a punch to the story, and Isobel was the one with the fist.

Nathaniel made me swoon. With his good looks and intelligent depth, my knees weakened the moment he apologized to Isobel for being a jerk. I have an amazing soft spo
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Also Found On: A Book and A Record

Unraveling Isobel was such a fun read, and finally a stand alone book that we really well written! I have been so sick of series lately, and this one was such a well done single that I couldn’t help but like it.
First I want to talk about the relationship that Isobel has with her mother. Although it falls into the classic “despondent” mother/daughter relationship that so many ya books fall into, however Cook justifies it by focusing on the “why” of their relation
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Eileen Cook spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer.

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.


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