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Unraveling #2


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Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.

And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

496 pages, Hardcover

First published April 23, 2013

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About the author

Elizabeth Norris

14 books1,202 followers
Elizabeth Norris briefly taught high school English and history before trading the southern California beaches and sunshine for Manhattan's recent snowpocalyptic winter.

She harbors dangerous addictions to guacamole, red velvet cupcakes, sushi, and Argo Tea, fortunately not all together.

Her first novel, UNRAVELING (Balzer+Bray, April 2012), is the story of one girl’s fight to save her family, her world, and the one boy she never saw coming.

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5 stars
2,913 (40%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 637 reviews
Profile Image for Elizabeth Norris.
Author 14 books1,202 followers
August 22, 2012
I wrote this so by default I read it. I have now officially copyedited it too, which means it's getting closer to the final version. This book and I had a love/hate relationship while I was writing it (mostly the latter really), but now that we've had some time apart, I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

UNBREAKABLE has more Janelle (it's her story), more Barclay (being his troublesome self), more Ben (could there be a sequel without him?), and yes, some more swearing (be forewarned).
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,825 reviews836 followers
December 21, 2013
4.5 Stars

Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t read the first book, Unraveling.

Unbreakable was an action packed sequel that will have your heart-pounding, and you furiously turning the pages to see what happens next. Elizabeth Norris knows how to weave a little bit of everything I love into one exciting story!

The story picks up about four months into the future since Ben and Janelle have parted ways. Ben left to go back to his family and home after seven long years of separation. Janelle is left in her universe trying to pick up the pieces in the shattered world that now exists. She may have adverted Wave Collapse but the earth bears the scars of near destruction. Adding to the survivor’s anxiety is the growing number of people who seem to disappear. Janelle is now working for Sturz as a temp/intern in the FBI, and so each time someone goes missing she is along for the investigation.

Even with all there is to do, Janelle has an overwhelming sadness that nearly consumes her at times due to Ben’s absence. She has no idea if or when she’ll ever see him again. But everywhere she turns something reminds her of him and emphasizes his void.

There’s always a second where I’m lost in the memory and I feel happy and light. A giddy smile will overtake my face, and it will almost feel like he was just here.
Then the heaviness of reality sets in, and I remember that I’m alone. That Ben is gone.
And it’s like my heart breaks all over again.*

The last thing she expects is IA Agent Taylor Barclay to show up in her life again. But he does, and with horrible news. Ben’s missing and wanted in connection to human trafficking charges, and his family will be executed shortly if he doesn’t turn himself in. Janelle is sure there is no way Ben could be involved but the evidence is stacked against him. Taylor wants Janelle to help find Ben and solve this mess. The stakes are pushed higher when a close friend of Janelle’s goes missing and she is sure this mystery is all connected.

Talk about a wild ride! This story had me hanging on for dear life! Ms. Norris sure has no problem putting her characters (or her readers) through the ringer. Janelle and Ben go through so much, but sometimes this barely registers because you’re thrown from one dangerous situation to the next so quickly. I was on the edge of my seat in anxious anticipation in several spots! Still, when things calm down, I had to wonder if these two were going to come out okay, emotionally and physically. In Unraveling the romance, even though it wasn’t the main focus of the story, was the thing that touched my heart the most. So of course I wanted these two to have their happy ending! There’s a bumpy road but there are swoony moments as well:

My thoughts are scrambled, my blood is tingling, and it feels like my skin is on fire. We’re just lips, tongue, hands, and skin—two people who have everything and nothing to lose at the same time.*

Janelle our heroine is more level headed than I think I could ever be, and even when she has moments of panic, fear or sadness, she gets a grip and soldiers on through.

If you haven’t picked up Undone, the novella in Ben’s POV, I highly suggest you do. It’s not very long but it gives some background and understanding to Unbreakable that you wouldn’t have otherwise. I just wanted to wrap Ben up in a tight hug and never let go after finishing it! *sniff*

Unbreakable was a satisfying conclusion, but I am sad to say goodbye to the characters even so. I guess we might see more of this story, because I read on the back of my ARC that the film rights have been sold to MTV with plans to develop this into a TV series. I could easily see this story coming to life in that way, and I think it’s perfectly suited for that idea.

*Quotes are taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in the final copy.

A copy of this was provided by Balzer+Bray in exchange for an honest review.

You can find this review and more at The Readers Den.
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,881 followers
April 15, 2013
4.5 stars
When you wait for a book as long as I’ve waited to read Unbreakable, finally holding it in your hands seems like the most surreal experience. Needless to say, the expectations that come with it are sky high, and there is always fear of disappointment, no matter how much you trust an author. In this case at least, I shouldn’t have feared, not even a little bit. Elizabeth Norris ended her duology just like she started it – confidently and with a bang.

The first few chapters of Unbreakable slowly paint a picture of the aftermath. Janelle’s world is in ruins – her life, her house, her school, her mother… it’s all gone, buried under the rubble. Janelle herself is doing her best to rebuild her life in a small apartment with Jared and Struz. Try as she might, she’s having a hard time finding anything to look forward to, except maybe the time she gets to spend with her baby brother. She is out of high school and working for the FBI, her shifts are endless and her efforts hopeless. People are disappearing all the time, and no one has any idea why.

Enter Taylor Barclay, the IA agent Ben and Janelle have a love-hate relationship with. He knows something about the missing people, but even more importantly, he seems to know something about Ben. He wants Janelle to help him solve the human trafficking case and Janelle is certainly brave enough to try, but first she has to decide whether she can trust him at all.

When I first started Unraveling, I didn’t even dream it would end up being a story about human trafficking. It started as your run of the mill YA speculative fiction and even when it proved to be much more, I somehow pictured the ending as something smaller, quieter. Contrary to my expectations, Unbreakable is full of action, a real attention gripper that will keep you on the edge of your seat. But even as such, it retained two things I’ve come to associate with Elizabeth Norris: elegance and thoughtfulness.

Good pacing is so hard to achieve in books like Unbreakable, but Norris knows how to keep a tight hold on her reader’s attention. The short chapters just added to the overwhelming sense of urgency, as did the countdown we all remember from Unraveling. It was impossible for me to sit still and read – I paced anxiously the entire time instead. It breaks my heart to think that my time with Ben and Janelle is over.

And now we finally come to the part I’m sure you all want to know about: Ben and Janelle. Once again Norris found a way to seamlessly blend action and emotion. In Unraveling, they faced external challenges, but their feelings never came into question. By the time they found each other in Unbreakable, they both had to do things they weren’t proud of and while neither of them ever doubted their love for each other, they were both well aware that sometimes love just isn’t enough.

I strongly recommend reading Undone, a HarperTeen Impulse novella from Ben’s POV, before Unbreakable. It covers some of the most important events from Unraveling, which will help you remember the details, but even more importantly, you’ll find out what happened to Ben between the two books.

Profile Image for Ariana.
936 reviews1,303 followers
March 20, 2015

They were not kidding when they said the book is action-full and completely addictive. I have only 2 regrets, that I couldn't read it in one sitting (as I was not able to fully apreciate the suspense this way) and that it ended so fast - I wanted more *sigh*


-- 2012 --
Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris - Cover Reveal
I loved Unraveling, can't wait for this one!

-- Feb 2013 --
Later update: And what about these matching covers?
I want them both so badly I think I'm gonna cry!

-- Early March --
Another late update: If someone else starts writing reviews for this one, I will really start crying!

-- 28th March --
Preorder for the prety cover: 70 days to go?!
But that will be like in.. June... And here goes away my beautiful birthday present *cries, cries, cries* (I know, I'm being quite overly dramatic. I'll still get it eventually *cries some more*)

-- April --
We shall have an ebook too for my birtday ^_^ (as an early gift - thank you, dear!)
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews837 followers
June 16, 2018
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris
Book Two of the Unraveling series
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Purchased copy

Summary (from Goodreads):

Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.

And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

What I Liked:

I read Unraveling six years ago, but somehow I never followed up and reading this book. I love that this series is a duology, because there's less waiting and less commitment involved. At this point though, it has been years, but I probably forgot about this book in the year of waiting after Unraveling published. In any case, I'm sorry I waited so long to read this book because I was missing out, after having read Unraveling! Unbreakable was even more thrilling and engaging than Unraveling. I almost wish there was a third book!

Warning: there will be spoilers for Unraveling (but not Unbreakable).

The end of Unraveling was quite shocking, as it was somewhat cliffhanger-y. Unbreakable begins four months later, and in those four months, Janelle hasn't seen Ben. He hasn't returned to her universe. Her universe is in shambles, but the pieces are coming together... until Barclay shows up, and explains why he's back: he needs Janelle to come with him to find Ben. Why? Because Ben is possibly a wanted man, and Janelle is the key to finding him. Ben's brother is kidnapped and imprisoned and if Ben isn't found, his family will be executed. But it's not just Ben's family that has been kidnapped - someone that Janelle knows in her universe has disappeared. Tensions are high and time is running out to save Ben, or let his family die.

I usually don't like it when the sequel involves a long separation between the couple, but it actually seemed to work for me, in this novel. I was pretty sure Ben was not behind the human trafficking operation, but at the same time, what if he was? What if he's a villain and not a hero? The separation was good, because Janelle had to decide just how far she was willing to go for Ben. And we got to see just how far Ben would go for Janelle.

That being said, the romance is present but the two characters don't share a ton of page space, until about three-quarters of the way into the book. Which worked, given the structure of the story. The romance has some longing and pain and sadness, but it becomes stronger as the story progresses. Ben and Janelle needed the distance to clearly see how important the other was to them. There were a few swoons, a few sweet scenes.

Janelle is even more bada** and fierce in this book. She is by no means an invincible, fearless warrior - she gets scared, vulnerable, and insecure - but she is mentally tough and physically tough too. This book presents all kinds of difficult situations for her, but she labors on. She does so much for all the people in her life, and I wanted to see her get a happy ending.

Same with Ben - he was selfless to the very end. The author will make you question his values and his decisions. But Ben is still selfless and brave, no matter what is in his path. He and Janelle are always putting everyone else first, and each other, and I really wanted him to get a happy ending too.

You'll have to read the book to find out about Ben's suspected involvement with the human trafficking between universes, and how all of that went down. It's a complicated web and politics play a role in this book, towards the end especially. It all comes together in the end.

The ending has a lot going on (as does the book in general), and everything happens at a rapid pace, though not to the point where things go confusing. The author had a good balance with the pacing throughout the book, and I actually enjoyed the faster pace at the climax. You really have to digest everything to understand the magnitude of the actions. Norris executed the climax and ending very well!

Yes, there is a HEA. That's all I'm going to say! It's a lovely HEA. You should check out the series!

What I Did Not Like:

I mean of course I wanted more swoons! But I get that the romance was set up with Ben and Janelle being separated for most of the novel. But still. More kisses is always a good thing.

Would I Recommend It:

I highly recommend the entire series (it's a duology, so the commitment is low). I love sci-fi novels and thrillers, and this sci-fi thriller had me hooked from page one of Unraveling. The first book had a few spots that were slower or had some info-dumping, but once we get past the initial setup of the world-building and the big reveal (Ben is from an parallel universe), the series zips by. I liked the fast pace, and I adored the characters (Ben = swoon! Janelle = bada**!).


4 stars. I would love to read more by this author! This series is perfect as is, but something new by Norris would be awesome. I hope she publishes something soon. This backlist reread/read has been fun and I plan to do it more often with other "older" books on my TBR.
113 reviews
June 30, 2013
So I was like this....

funny gifs

when I heard there was a sequel.

Then I was like this...


when I heard it was coming out NEXT YEAR. D:



We climb the stairs. They're sagging and crumbled in places, but we climb the anyway, and to make Barclay less nervous, I try to keep from touching anything.
When we get to the fourth floor, I hear something.
Correction. I hear someone.
I can hear him singing."

OMFG....or maybe in the spirit of this book I should say "ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY" (haha Elijah). This book is too perfect for my horrible reviews, but I just need to get my feelings...OUT.

This book felt like I was in another WORLD where there is a multiverse, the "black hole", portals that transport u between each Earth. It's not even just these things that made it feel like I wasn't just reading words on paper; it was each characters. I LOVEDLOVEDLOVED the characters SO MUCH.

Speaking of characters, lets go right into that:

First off, Ben and Janelle's relationship *o*. BEST THING EVER TO HAPPEN IN A BOOK. Seriously, each intimate moment made me squeal, smile, and become all giddy. BEN IS THE MOST AMAZING GUY I WOULD ASK FOR. He is perfect, and even though he made a rough mistake towards the middle of the book, he handled it so well. Alright, before I make a whole ESSAY about Ben, I have to move on.

Okay, Janelle was so kickass and she adapted to the tough situation quickly which is one of the things I love about her. The other thing I love about her is how quickly she thinks of a solution. Damn, if I was in the same place as her when she was trying to break Elijah out, and she had to jump through the fire. I would probably say "screw this" and kill myself. BUT, she found the best solution you can at a time like that.

Next, Elijah. Alright, since I want Ben to stay with Janelle, I'd probably pick Elijah has my newest fictional guy crush. The picture of him on the cover (all the way to the left) is so HOT, and his personality/attitude is awesome. He made me laugh a couple of times, and the way he talks to Janelle, as a friend is so nice/hilarious.

Now it's Cecily. Oh my god, her bubbly attitude and high spirits were all I needed to make me love her. She just makes every bad situation at least a little bit better with her optimistic remarks. She was a good add to this book, and I love how she gets along with pretty much everyone she talks to.

Lastly, Barclay. HE IS THE BEST. At one point, he'd be serious and do his kickass job, and another he would smile and drink tea and tell Janelle his childhood. He would be one of the fictional characters that I'd want to meet. I could seriously picture him in my mind, with short brown hair, bright blue eyes, his high jawline. Maybe a little like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but a little younger and with blue eyes.
That's him!^^^

Okay, now the overall plot (which I should've done before the characters, but whatever :) ) Once, IT WAS JUST A HESITATION, I thought it would be awesome to be in Janelle's world and have a multiverse, where you can portal anywhere and try to kill them bad guys and make out with the best guy I've ever met AKA BEN and have a BFF like Cecily and have an awesome guy friend like Elijah. BUT, I realized that then, basically most of everyone I loved on my own Earth would be dead, and I'd have a DOUBLE from another world which would be awkward... ALSO I'd have gotten so beat up and almost killed so many times that I'd probably need therapy afterwards. Anyway, EXCLUDING all of the killing and doubles and stuff, Janelle's life would probably be my paradise haha.

Continuing, this book was so well thought out with the idea of the human trafficking between universes. Also, the different people (a lot of people from the IA) who were apart of it. ALSO, the Struz idea was AWESOME. Same with when Janelle sees Ben's double and knows it's not him :D, and the Ben sees Janelle's double, but doesn't realize that it's not her. >:( ;)

I think I covered everything, and I HOPEHOPEHOPE (I haven't done the research yet) that there is a third book. OMG THERE BETTER BE A THIRD BOOK!!!!!! Especially the last sentence of Unbreakable made it seem like there was a third book! "And we're going to face whatever comes next together."
Profile Image for Sabrina.
93 reviews9 followers
May 23, 2013
Actual Rating: 2.5

After my initial hype over Unraveling, I immediately dove into Unbreakable with overly high expectations.
My mistake.
I don't care gif photo: I don't care. tumblr_ltmb2wHgYV1qb0bobo2_500.gif

I found myself skimming lines in Unbreakable which is so unlike the situation that happened in Unraveling. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen to spark back up my interest, only for it to be sedated with Janelle wondering about Ben. It also irritated me that Janelle doesn't even bother to think about her mother who may be "dead"
Janelle thinks about Ben and whines more about him then I expected. I also think that Janelle and Barclay had something going on, only for it to never be addressed. The author DID kind of set them up together in the beginning, they had tension, and they emotionally cared about each other. I feel as though they were much too intimate only to be passed off as friends. I think my main problem in this book besides for the writing, the obvious weird plot drops and the dropping of Barclay and Janelle even though they had chemistry was that Ben practically cheated on Janelle. I don't even want to hear about the fact he didn't know it was her. That's so unlike the Ben in Unraveling. Janelle ran into Ben's doppelganger and within a minute knew it wasn't him, you'd think that this Janelle. with her highlights and perfect set eye brows would have been a good give away that, Hey! Wow maybe this isn't Janelle.
idiot gif photo: are you an idiot? tumblr_lvwjpbAYFK1r2iskuo1_250.gif

Not only that, I would have never expected Janelle to forgive him, and she didnt for a whole day. Which then I expected her to move on from him and that whole Barclay thing to be addressed.
Only it wasn't.

I don't know you guys, maybe it's only me, the reviews for this are so stellar that I feel like the awkward 1% over here. I just wanted MORE from this book than it delivered. More spark... more...character development... anything. So yes, unfortunately I didn't finish probably the last 15 pages of this book, I was too lazy and frankly didn't care.
Profile Image for Maggie ☘.
530 reviews647 followers
March 10, 2017
“Fear kills swifter than bullets.”

Unbreakable was action packed and full of suspense from start to finish. The pace of this story was more even, and unlike in the first book, here I didn't feel like the book could've been shorter. Much more heartbreaking and epic than Unraveling, which was a great surprise.
Janelle's character got even better then before, if that's possible. I seriously admired this girl while reading. I also really liked agent Barclay in this one, which was really shocking to me, since he wasn't among my favourite people in book one. But now, I loved his and Janelle's partnership and kick-ass teamwork. They were epic. One of my favourite relationships in this book for sure.

“You suck at working with someone," I say, because it's true.”


“This was my dream, as a kid, to be IA and to make a difference.” His voice cracks slightly, and he takes a deep breath. “There have to be people left who are like me.”
“What if there’s not?” I say. It’s callous, but I have to say it. We can’t walk into a trap because Barclay is feeling sentimental.
“Janelle, there are terrible people out there, in every world,” he says. “Trust me, I know that just as well as you do, but for every one of those people, there are people like you and me.”

But when something gets better, something also goes wrong.. And the thing that disappointed me a great deal in Unbreakable was the romance. I liked Janelle and Ben quite a bit in the first instalment, but here their relationship took some serious blows. Not only were they separated for most of the novel, but when they did finally meet, it got very very annoying and underwhelming for me. I couldn't help feeling that if there was no romance at all, I would've enjoyed this story much more. So I guess, while I did like them once in Unraveling, I'm not the biggest fan of this ship anymore. Unfortunately, It made the weakest point of this book for me.

“This is epic monument-style shit we're in.”
- Barclay

On the other hand, I loved Janelle's relationship with her little brother and Struz and Barclay a great deal, so that's something to make up for the aggravating romance. Also, I loved the world-building and the mystery of dimension human trafficking, corrupt government, conspiracies and prison breaks behind this book, it all came nicely together and made for one hell of an epic ride.
Unbreakable was heart pounding conclusion full to the brim with action and adrenaline inducing moments. I'd definitely recommend for readers to give this duology a try.

“I was here.
I lived.
I mattered.”
Profile Image for Nicole.
630 reviews263 followers
Want to read
July 3, 2013
Oh Good Lord in heave there's a sequel *facepalm* I'm gonna go broke again, I just know it.
Profile Image for Ferdy.
944 reviews1,098 followers
April 30, 2013

I enjoyed Unraveling (the first book in the series) but this one was a bit of a let down… It was still mostly entertaining but it wasn't as good as I thought it'd be. The main reason I was disappointed was because of the love interest, Ben… He really went down in my estimation as he made a HUGE fucked up mistake — after that it was hard to believe in his so called love for Janelle (the heroine).

-The plot was interesting enough — people in various parallel worlds were being kidnapped and Janelle had to help Barclay (a multiverse agent) investigate and find her twu wuv, Ben, as he was the main suspect. It was engaging but at times it felt like the story was kind of all over the place - Janelle and Barclay just seemed to run from one disaster to the next and it was frustrating to read about.

-I did enjoy the amount of action and how fast paced it was — it made for a very quick read.

-I've read a few reviews that mention the series being a lot like the TV show, Fringe… Since I've only ever watched a few episodes of Fringe, I didn't really notice any similarities except for both of them having parallel universes of sorts.

-I liked Elijah, Cecily and Barclay, they were great secondary characters. I especially liked that Cecily was a decent female character — most YA females are written poorly in order for the heroine to look good in comparison… So it was nice that Cecily had an appealing personality of her own. I suspect that Cecily and Elijah will eventually get together — they did complement each other well.
I was pleased with the development of Janelle and Barclay's friendship. I felt Janelle had more of a stronger and organic connection with Barclay than with Ben. Also, I generally preferred reading Janelle and Barclay's back and forth over Ben and Janelle's nonsense.

-I really really disliked Ben. He went from being a decent love interest to just being plain awful. Why? Ben spent five days with Janelle's doppleganger yet he had no idea whatsoever that she wasn't the real Janelle. It would have been fine if he didn't realise straight away but after five whole days of being alone with doppleganger-Janelle (who btw had a completely different personality to the real-Janelle) he was still clueless. What's even worse is that when Janelle saw doppleganger-Ben she knew that he wasn't the real-Ben after a mere few seconds. It just made me think that Ben only ever noticed Janelle's appearance rather than her personality.
I didn't understand how Ben didn't clock on to the fact that something wasn't right with doppleganger-Janelle. She may have looked like real-Janelle but their personalities were worlds apart. How was he not even a little bit suspicious? Especially when he was aware of there being different versions of everybody. How could he claim to be so in love with Janelle yet not even know her enough to recognise the real her from her double? It makes Janelle seem easily replaceable. And it makes Ben's feelings and 'love' for Janelle come across as shallow and false.
Also, its pretty clear that Ben must have slept with and kissed doppleganger-Janelle or at least been emotionally involved with her… So yea, he's a cheater to boot.
I don't believe Ben ever loved Janelle. I mean the guy couldn't even tell the difference between his so called love and some other girl with a whole other personality.

-Janelle was a doormat forgiving Ben. He showed that he didn't love her yet she still took him back. She didn't even question him mistaking someone else for her or question him about how much he physically and emotionally cheated on her. Nope, she just magically forgave him without discussing the implications of everything that went down. I bet the whole thing won't even be mentioned in the third book — it'll be brushed under the carpet and I'll just be expected to believe that Ben is deeply in love with Janelle even though the events of Unbreakable proves that he's not. Ugh.

All in all, I did enjoy Unbreakable but I'm no longer a fan of Ben or his relationship with Janelle… Which to be honest was the main reason I initially liked the series. For that reason, I'll just be borrowing the next book from the library rather than buying it.
Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
March 10, 2013
4.5 stars

It's been four months since Ben Michael's slipped into the portal that sent him back to his home universe, and with the crumbling world that has been swarmed with natural disasters that left earth in catastrophe and the insane amount of missing people disappearing, Janelle has been doing what ever she can to find some kind of normal. That is, till IA Taylor Barclay shows up at her doorstep. He knows what is happening to the missing people. Someone is organizing a massive human trafficking ring and stealing them through the portals. And Ben, is the prime suspect. So when someone she loves also goes missing, Janelle doesn't have a choice but to go with a man she doesn't trust.
The countdown begins. Five days. Five days to find Ben. Five days to prove him innocent. Five days to find the missing people and Five days to solve this case before all hell breaks loose and Janelle may lose someone else she loves.

Unraveling was one of those books where I simply couldn't get enough. I adored the world Norris creating, it's characters and the riveting plot. So I couldn't wait to get this book in my greedy little hands.
Unbreakable is an unstoppable sequel that will leave you breathless and on the verge of your seats!

I gotta tell ya, x-file kinda stories isn't something that I've ever been really interested in. They tend to really freak me out and give me the hebejebes since they feel so realistic, but the way Norris tells it makes me want to be a fan.
This book felt like one giant roller-coaster. It's constantly moving with suspense and excitement. The pages couldn't turn fast enough I was reading so fast. The story line -human trafficking- did make me feel very anxious and uncomfortable at times, it's not exactly a light topic after all, but Norris didn't make it overly graphic and it made the entire situation feel more desperate and worth fighting for. But during the running and planning and escaping, we also have a really great love story. Ben and Janelle have one of those magical connections that you can't help but want to hug.

I've really missed these characters and was surprised how attached I felt for them.
Janelle is all kinds of awesome. The length in which she'll go to save the ones she loves is inspiring. She may have had a doubting thought here and there but it's only natural, anything else would have felt fake.
Ben wasn't in this book till almost half way. But once we do get him back it's like he never left. His part in this whole plot was shocking but justified and I still love him to bits just as much as the first book.
It was good to see Elijah again, mouthy as ever and rough around the edges, but still good people.
And last but not least, Barclay really surprised me in this book. The man as stepped up and really took the lead in this book. He's earned my respect.

All in all, I had a blast with this book. This is one of the better sci-fi thrillers I ever had the pleasure of reading. It's gripping and entertaining and I loved the rush I felt while reading this. Fans of Unraveling will not be disappointed!
I also heard somewhere that MTV has the film rights to these books with the plans to make them into a TV series and I have to just take a minute and applaud that decision. It's gonna be epic.
A perfect hit for sci-fi and x-file junkies as well as fans who love a romance worth fighting for! I can't wait to see what Elizabeth Norris comes up with next.

This review and more can be seen at WinterHaven Books;

winter haven books
Profile Image for Andreea Pop.
320 reviews2,123 followers
Want to read
October 28, 2012
28/10/2012: May I just say that the cover is pure awesomeness?? When I saw it, I was like this for a while:

I admit, I was staring.

After reading Unraveling and feeling its gutwrenching emotions, I have to say that I can't wait to read the sequel. Good job, Liz!
Profile Image for Experiment BL626.
209 reviews352 followers
June 21, 2013
I liked book 1, but book 2, Unbreakable, not so much. The book was split into multiple parts, and I didn’t like part one because it was a slow beginning. The book could have reduced part one to a few pages and included it in part two where the plot commenced.

I liked the plot. It wasn’t stingy with the action, and the conspiracy showed good depth. Same as book 1, the plot didn’t hesitate in killing off important characters and it killed more characters than book 1 did. Yikes. Note to readers picking up the series: don’t get attached to any of the characters.

+ the heroine

What I didn’t like about the book was the heroine and the underdeveloped science fiction elements. Janelle was both a positive and negative of the book. She was a positive because she was smart and courageous. She thought carefully before she made a decision, and when dangerous things needed to be done she got them done. Need to intentionally surrender so she could get inside a prison to rescue a friend? Done. Need to kill the dudes actively shooting at our heroes? Done. Need to bring down a criminal organization whose evil ties extended to the one of the highest echelons of the government and across parallel universes? Done, done, and done.

Even so, Janelle was as much of a strong heroine as I wanted. She was negative because her narration was too preoccupied with Ben, her love interest. Ben this, Ben that. Love of her life! I understood that she severely missed Ben, but I wished she would have showed some attempt to move on with her life. She thought about him more than she thought about her friend who died in book 1 and her other friend who got kidnapped in book 2.

+ the romance

Janelle made the book too dramatic for my liking. When she finally found Ben, he was accompanied by a second Janelle who was from a parallel universe. Oy. It was one of the many hurdles that arose and made their relationship run hot and cold, all of which could be blamed on Janelle. Janelle needed to quit letting her reactions get the better of her and tidy up her feelings. Her narration was so muddled with useless emotions.

The romance was like a jelly blob covering every part of the book, weighing the book down. I was not a fan of the romance since book 1, and I came to dislike it in book 2.

+ the science fiction side

The science fiction elements weren’t as strong and coherent as they were in book 1. There just happened to be a material that made inter-universal teleportation impossible, which somehow extended to the characters who had the inherent ability to teleport unlike others who needed the gadget. Parallel Earths were brought out with no organization, with little diversity, and with great convenience. The world building went heavy handed with the apocalypse theme as if there was no peaceful parallel Earth.

If there wasn’t a token peaceful parallel Earth I would have thought practically all the Earths in the multiverse were apocalyptic. However, that peaceful parallel Earth came with its own issue. It was peaceful because it hasn’t gone through the Industrial Revolution yet. I didn’t like the close association between apocalypse and science where all the apocalyptic Earths resulted from abuse of science. In a certain angle, the book seemed to have a strong anti-science message however unintentional it might have been.

In Conclusion

I rate Unbreakable 2-stars for it was okay. If you like this science fiction series, check out the Blood of Eden series by Julie Kagawa.
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,250 reviews187 followers
June 28, 2013
I am super excited to be reading this book. I absolutely loved Unravelling last year and I have been counting down to the release of Unbreakable what feels like forever.

Unbreakable picks up after the events of Unravelling, Janelle has saved the world but not without losses. She has lost family and friends, thousands of people are dead and the entire planet has been destroyed. Houses, shops, roads, and people....gone. The devastation has swept across the world with tornadoes, tsunamis, wildfires, all life is suffering and to make matters worse people are still disappearing each and every day. Janelle has been one of the few lucky ones, she is in a small military house with her brother and Agent Struz. She also helps at biggest evacuation centre in San Diego, Qualcomm, an abandoned stadium that was run by Cecily's uncle. She has a home, a family, clean water and food. Her life that she now knows is soon to come to a halt when Taylor Barclay turns up to enlist Janelle's help in finding out what is happening to the people who are disappearing. He wants Janelle to go to Prima and free Elijah from jail in the hopes they can find Ben, who is suspect number 1 on the IA's list.

It took me a few days to read Unbreakable, and that was a few days too long. With work and training it was hard for me to sit and read this book in one sitting, so when I finally had a few hours spare I found a nice comfy spot and did not move until I had finished Unbreakable. From the moment I began reading I was hooked, and as the story progresses the world and plot build up slow and steady, making sure you understand everything going on, and what is going to happen. The tension is high, the stakes are even higher, and even though I wanted Janelle to win, to find Ben and clear his name, there was still doubt in my mind about whether she could do it. Don't get me wrong, Janelle is a kick ass heroine that I would want on my side any day, but with the stakes and risk factor being so high and so many hoops to jump through I was never certain of their success rate, and it just made me want to read faster and faster to see what happens, will she find Ben? Will his name be cleared? Will they stop the kidnappings?

Even getting down to finding Ben takes a while, 265 pages to be exact, but by keeping him in the distance we get to focus on Janelle and her capabilities. She is strong and tough, and although she has doubts about the plan, about what she is able to do, and the occasional second guessing of Barclay, she still forges ahead, determined to save others even if it means sacrificing herself, even if Ben is a traitor.

Elizabeth has a way of drawing her readers in and making them feel part of the world, that the characters are friends you are truly invested in. Each risk that brings them closer to death brings you closer to the edge of your seat, and just when you think they are safe something else comes along that takes you back to the edge again. Her characters stay in you head even after the adventure is over, replaying things they did or things they said to each other.

I look up, my nose brushing against his cheek. "Remember when the world was ending?" I whisper.
He nods.
"We didn't say good-bye or make promises then, and we're not going to now."

Unbreakable is not without its losses, but it also has its gains, which I am not going to go into detail about. I loved getting to see characters that we know in their different 'bodies' on alternate worlds, seeing how they differ from the 'real' one we know, both in personality and dress sense. The last chapters were bitter-sweet for Janelle, but I thought it was perfect touch and a great link back to Unravelling (I know this sounds confusing but you will understand when you read Unbreakable)

Unbreakable ended far too soon for me, even though it was over 400 pages long, and I was ecstatic to discover there would be another adventure next year for these characters. I am already counting down to the next instalment.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Deanne.
915 reviews3 followers
April 27, 2013
Unbreakable was definitely the most exciting, heart-breaking, hold-your-breathe-till-your-blue kind of story. I cannot express how much I love Elizabeth Norris but this kind of love has it's own monument!!! *wink* If you haven't read this book or it's buried in your sky-high tbr pile well, I can tell you that what is hidden between those pages is something completely out of this world!!! No, really, it's out-of-this-world.
Profile Image for Ayşenur Nazlı.
Author 31 books68 followers
March 24, 2020
İlk kitaptan sonra ikincinin bu kadar iyi olmasını beklememiştim, şaşırttı, güzeldi.
Profile Image for Soumi.
Author 1 book378 followers
August 9, 2013
Before I begin my review, I have a question for the author. Why?

In the last one, you killed Alex, and in this one….okay let’s not make it spoiler, but why Miss Noris?


And I heard it’s a two book series.

Really Miss Noris? How can you be that unfair?

Okay, let’s start with the story.

In the last seventeen years old Janelle was hit by a truck, and died, but Ben, a boy with unique multiverse travelling ability, brought her back. However, their love story didn't have a quite happy ending and Ben ended up going back to his world, Prima, the parallel earth, one of the finite possible universes.

Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal, Janelle, still devastated, was trying to move one with her life. If I may quote Shakespeare, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” But unfortunately for her, it wasn’t. And when the workaholic, perfectionist, arrogant Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up with, with horrible news of a human trafficking racket, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earth and worse Ben is the prime suspect. Now Janelle has no other choice but to team up with Barclay and go after Ben, but what she doesn't have is time.

The book was a thrilling roller-coaster ride for me, roved with action in a way that nearly detonated my brain. First I was a bit sceptical on return of Taylor Barclay, but as the story progressed I actually forgot Ben was the protagonist, not Barclay. Barclay even overshadowed Janelle. I discover a different side of him that was never seen before, the side that led me believe Barclay does have a heart. He was a lot more than the smart ass, arrogant, ambitious guy I met in Unravelling.
Janelle was same as I remember her being in the first novel, the headstrong girl next door. I admired her loyalty to ben, even after spending time another guy. When Ben and Janelle finally reunited, it was not as I expected, and definitely not a sweet one. They went through many ups and downs, crossed many mountains to be with each other (not to mention there was a whinny Prima version of Janelle).

And for Ben….okay let’s not go there. I kinda overlooked him throughout the book. So, yeah! I have nothing to say about him.

The ending. Mhan! That ending. It killed me right there right then. I wish there was a bit more emotion to punch my heart bleed.

To me, Unbreakable was almost everything a sequel should be. I love this book more than the first one. Of course its not same without Alex, but Barclay...you rock wonder boy.

Profile Image for Anne.
3,869 reviews69.2k followers
January 10, 2014
2.5 stars

I gave a 4 star rating to the 1st book basically because it was fun. I'll be the first to admit that I knew it wasn't high literature, and I'll also admit that I (purposefully) overlooked a lot of things that were wrong with the plot. I think it's ok to do that sometimes, you know?
Unfortunately, this time around I just couldn't overlook quite as much of the wonky stuff.
My biggest problem was with Janelle.

And at this point I don't have any interest in her wishy-washy feelings or in what she thinks she knows.

Another big problem I have is all the unnecessary...things that happen.

I may read the next one, because under all of the crap there's a cool multiverse story, but I'm not in any hurry.
Profile Image for Claudia.
Author 9 books650 followers
June 23, 2013
Oh. My. God. *girlie squeals*

When I finished the first book, I was tearing up at the end. I mean, how could Elizabeth Norris do that? I WAS SO SAD I thought that was going to be the end and then i went on goodreads to check if there was a sequel. AND THERE IS! I WAS SO HAPPY. I hope Ben comes back because I hate to see Janelle alone. And Ben is HOT HOT HOT. <3 Can't wait for Unbreakable!
Profile Image for Amber J.
868 reviews54 followers
July 12, 2022
Ok so I'm going to start by saying how in love I was with the first book, I couldn't put it down. This book was a little harder though. Despite all my upcoming complaints, I really did enjoy this one, just not as much as the first book. I might still even buy the set to own, but we will see. There are some fun surprises, but how many depends on if you are coming from book 1 or coming from the companion book Undone as Undone does spoil some of this book right away, big wowzer at the end though.

When things were happening the book was great. But there was a lot of dialogue, and I love dialogue, but this was the type that didn't really go anywhere. It spent a ton of time explaining exactly how the human trafficking ring was working and who was in it, what the people were being sold for, etc. I'm just saying, half of it was not needed and the other half could have been explained more briefly.

Then a lot of the book was spent dwelling on the past. Like her childhood which only had minimal relevance to what was happening in the book at the time if any at all. And dwelling on everything that happened from book one. I think all writers should give a small prologue at the beginning of their books to summarize what happened in the previous books and then just move on from there. Why? Well because sometimes if it's been a while since I've read the previous book I could use the recap, but then if we just finished the previous book we can skip all that and just continue on with the story.

The end was missing something and I can't quite say what, the feels weren't there like in the first book, I cried at the end of book one, in this one I closed the book and just felt, "that's it?" Still the book is certainly worth reading, especially if you enjoyed the book.
Profile Image for Rissa.
1,386 reviews48 followers
December 5, 2017
For not having read the first book (my mistake for not checking GR first) but i really enjoyed the characters and the action kept me entertained. I think i will have to pick up the first book and then i will really love this book.
Profile Image for Once.
2,344 reviews69 followers
April 19, 2013
After seven long years Ben has finally found his way home. That was exactly four months ago. Janelle can't help but think if she'll ever see him again. She has this hole in her heart that can't be filled with him gone; so she distracts herself by helping the best way she can. She joins Struz's team in the FBI as an intern/temp. She teams up with Deirdre taken on cases of people disappearing. Step in IA agent Taylor Barclay. He's come to tell Janelle some devastating news. Ben is missing and is the prime suspect in a human trafficking case. If he doesn't turn himself in within the next five days everyone he cares about will be executed.

Three words: non stop action. That is exactly what Unbreakable is. There was never a dull moment. Every page you turned kept you on the edge of your seat trying to guess what could possibly come next.

Throughout the whole book you know that Janelle is crushed about Ben leaving, but not once does she put her life on hold. Even when she's in the middle of trying to find him she doesn't let her feelings get in the way of whatever crazy plan Barclay has in store. Believe me when I say that Janelle goes through an emotional, physical and mental roller coaster in Unbreakable so for her to go through all of that & not once falter still amazes me. She has a good head on her shoulders.

The lengths that Janelle would go to, to save the ones she loves is awe-inspiring. She goes through so many traumatic events in such a short period of time that I know for a fact, I wouldn't have been able to stay as level headed as she was.

Taylor Barclay took me by complete surprise! Yes, he might be arrogant, but he is an incredibly strong and loyal character. He was an absolute joy to read. I love the direction Norris took when it came to these two. (No worries, no love triangle here)! Love the interaction & of course the bickering isn't too far away. ;) I wanna say so many amazing things about this kick-ass team, but I don't want to give anything away.

Unbreakable is an action-packed sequel with twists and turns that will have you holding your breath, stressing yourself out while worrying about your beloved characters. If you have any expectation for Unbreakable believe me when I say that Ms. Norris will take those expectations and demolish them!! Go out & get Unbreakable because you absolutely need this book in your life.
1 review
July 3, 2012
love the first book!
only concern: come on, man. since alex isn't going to be in this i am really sad. he rocks.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Hermione.
596 reviews207 followers
July 17, 2013
4 stars. UGHHHHHHH

update: Okay, hold the fcking train — no one told me Unraveling and Unbreakable were the only two books in this series! WHAT! NO! BLASPHEMY! I DEMAND A THIRD BOOK! I DEMAND IT! How is this fcking possible? HOW??



^ Those are my tears. My stupid, long, can't-stop-crying tears.

But I should probably start from the beginning, shouldn't I?

What Happened:

◦ After four long months since Janelle's seen Ben, her world has turned into a post-apocalyptic environment. She helps however she can, working with the FBI, but suddenly a new problem arises — people are missing. And then when Taylor Barclay, the loyal agent from the Interverse Travel Agency arrives on Janelle's doorstep, she knows there's something much more worse at play than just a few "missing people" — and it can only be up to them to stop it.

The Characters:

◦ Oh, man, oh man. How did I end up rating Unraveling three stars? Do I have to re-read it? Or is Unbreakable just x100 times better than its prequel? Because whatever happened, I loved Janelle's character. She was cynical, she was badass, but most of all, she was focused and determined to meet her goal. She didn't get sidetracked by her feelings for Ben, which I loved. It made the story and mystery and countdown that much more exciting.

◦ I think my favorite character, even through Unraveling was probably douchebag Agent Taylor Barclay. And even through this, where we see different sides to him, Barclay was a funny, dry, gruff character who never failed to make me smirk or laugh or just — I don't know, enjoy the book. There were some sneaking suspicions about the fate of this lovely character, but I either a) refused to believe it or b) didn't make sense to me.

Ben is probably my least favorite character. I don't all that care for him, and I don't see his personality as developed enough, seeing as he was a stoner-biker-leather-jacket-but-secretly-smart guy in the first book, and was barely here throughout the second to broach on his personality. So as of now, I'm feeling particularly nothing towards Ben — which, in a way, means I'm feeling essentially nothing towards Ben x Janelle. (Though I love Janelle's character.) I don't care what any of you guys say, Janelle x Barclay is my favorite couple here. I DON'T CARE.

The Plot:

◦ As with the first book, if there's one thing Elizabeth Norris excels at, it's her plotting skills. There was straight action throughout the book, with Janelle and Barclay (along with other characters, each in their respective time) either on the run or invading the secret trafficking society's headquarters. All the shooting and action and everything sounded amazing — in my mind, at least.

The Ending:


The Conclusion:

◦ A much more fast-paced sequel than its prequel. Lovely characters, lovely plot, lovely conflict, with an all in all, great book and sequel to the Unraveling series.

Profile Image for Danielle.
251 reviews124 followers
September 29, 2013
Read more reviews at What Danielle Did Next

UNRAVELING was nothing less than a thrill-ride so you can bet I had my helmet and crash pads ready when I cracked open UNBREAKABLE! Not to mention a pint of chocolate chip ice-cream for the wallowing bits because let me tell you...Elizabeth Norris? She likes to gut-punch! I have visions of her laughing maniacally as I wail when she delivers that blow and I gotta admit...I ADORE her for it! She takes risks, doesn't pander to readers and serves up amazing characters and storylines.

When we catch up with Janelle, her world has literally been turned upside down! Millions are dead, infrastructure destroyed, loved ones departed and oh so dearly missed and Ben...Ben is gone back to his own dimension. Struggling to keep it all together for Jared, Janelle has had to grow up even faster than she did in UNRAVELING. Graduating early from High School, she now works alongside her guardian Struz investigating the disappearance of several refugees scrambling to find normalcy in the centre run by Janelle's friend and personal cheerleader Cecily.

When Cecily disappears and Barclay, antagonist from Unraveling shows up with some shocking information about the disappearances and the involvement of Ben, Janelle teams up with Barclay to prove her boyfriend's innocence, get her friend back and try and find her way back to normal.

Janelle was just as likeable in this instalment and just as admirable. Despite clearly feeling low about all that happened in the tumultuous months leading up to UNBREAKABLE, she ensures that her priorities are sound. Jared, her little brother is top of the list and making sure he has a stable home in a world of instability is her goal. With the help of her father's colleagues and friends Struz and Deirdre she is determined to rebuild.

When Barclay showed up I was a little unsure how I would feel about him and Janelle interacting. I wasn't his biggest fan in UNRAVELING but I have to admit he definitely proved to have more than one layer and it wasn't just prickly! I liked how he was a strong support for Janelle however I did find their changing dynamic odd. At one point I was torn whether I should be 'shipping them and had to repeat Ben's name as a mantra in my head ;)

Aside from the death (yes that's not a spoiler, you're reading a Liz Norris book you need to know this) there were plenty of emotionally charged scenes particularly when Janelle finally catches up with Ben. The tension and hurt seared through the pages and I felt like I had to catch my breath.

The pacing is again stellar and you can't help but get caught up in the story and race through the pages as the tension builds to one amazing climax. I didn't think it was possible for the themes of the book to get any darker but the story behind the disappearances was chilling. I love how visual Norris's writing in, reading her books is really the literary equivalent to a movie playing out between the pages. The characters are so realistic and well developed, apart from Barclay the biggest surprise of the series for me was Elijah and how much I grew to love him plus E + C = True Love!

Sacrifice, Truth and Honour play just as big apart in UNBREAKABLE as they did in its predecessor and you cannot help but root for Janelle as fights for what she loves. I'm in two minds about the fact that it's a duology but I did love how Norris delivered a satisfying conclusion to an awesome and original story! Highly recommend!
Profile Image for Valerie.
972 reviews36 followers
June 28, 2013
It's always disappointing when you don't enjoy the sequel as much as the first book, especially since Unbreakable started off soooo good and I was sure I was going to like it more. The things that threw me off- 1. Ben. I loved Ben in Unraveling but his character this time around seemed flat and there was no spark for me between him and Janelle. He was whiny and beaten down the whole time. Where was the smart, funny, thoughtful Ben from Unraveling? I never thought I'd like Elijah and Barclay more than Ben but they were way more entertaining and interesting. 2. Speaking of Barclay 3. The ending. It just felt so anti-climatic after all the awesome action and the heart-wrenching moment a few pages before. I wanted a better declaration or something and instead it was pretty cliché. So why the four stars still? I really loved Janelle. She's still totally awesome and sarcastic and kicks some major butt while managing to save the boy again. And the action is pretty much non-stop from the beginning. There were times I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see what was going to happen next and I was constantly on the edge of my seat. Those things were enough to keep it at a strong four stars because I really enjoyed the vast majority of the book. I just really, really hope we get another book in this series because I don't want to leave it thinking Ben is kinda lame.
Profile Image for Chester Carstairs.
185 reviews75 followers
December 29, 2014
No one told me it was but a duology.

So this series was recommended to me by the best person in the world. And since we love pretty much the same type of books, when she says, "Read this." I do. No questions asked.

That's why I was really surprised when I found out this is the last book of the series. And if I'm going to be honest about it, I'm happy that that's the case. I think making this a trilogy would have sucked (at least the third book would have). But I really, really, really, REALLY want a spin-off. *sigh*

Now I shall add Norris to the never-ending list of authors who kill mercilessly. Damn. She knows how to push my buttons. And not knowing that this was the last book had me feelings tons of emotions before that last chapter. I can't believe it's possible but I love this even way more than the first book (and believe me, that's saying something). The action mixed with romance was still superb. I won't even discuss the characters cause I don't think I'd ever do them justice so let me just say these two things...

One: I ship Elijah and Cecily. Those two are just too cute for words.
Two: Ben+Janelle = NEW OTP

This review also appeared on Amazon.
Profile Image for Sierra Abrams.
Author 2 books461 followers
May 21, 2015
May 2015 update: Yessss also even better the 2nd time. SO WONDERFUL. SO MAGNIFICENT. WHYYYYY THE FEELINGS. SUCH BARCLAY FEELINGS.

This doesn't happen to me that often - but I was seriously worried about half way through that I wouldn't like how the book ended. I was SO WORRIED. But wow. Wowowowowowowowow. Yep. Mmmmhmmm. What else an I say? I cried. I laughed. I cried some more. I hyperventilated. I FREAKED OUT. And then wow. Just. Wow.
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