Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Eleanor (The Unseen, #1)” as Want to Read:
Eleanor (The Unseen, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(The Unseen #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  256 ratings  ·  84 reviews
It was a gamble for Eleanor to rejoin humanity, but she was driven to it. She’d been too successful forgetting. The last vestiges of her family hung by a thread in her transformed brain and drove her to be reckless. Ten years later, Eleanor hides in plain sight. She is an average girl getting average grades in a small Wyoming town: poor but happy, lonely but loved. Her mot ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Jolly Fish Press (first published January 1st 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Eleanor, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Eleanor

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  256 ratings  ·  84 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Eleanor (The Unseen, #1)
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This book is definitely not what it appears to be, just like it's main character - the author has woven together a mind blowing story about a girl who is learning to cope and live with who she is and accept the good and the bad that happens along the way...

When we first meet Eleanor she is a timid, average, lonely girl who purposefully goes out of her way to remain unseen, to never draw attention to herself, to get by without being noticed. She lives alone with her sick mother, Tabitha, in a sma
Melissa McShane
This beautifully written story about a young girl who is something more than that caught my imagination. Eleanor has a secret she has to keep hidden from everyone: she's a shapeshifter whose family was murdered for being "witches" when she was young. Staying unnoticed in the small Wyoming town where she lives with her adoptive mother is difficult, and she does her best to maintain a reputation as a shy girl, no one anyone would care about. Except, that is, for David, who is the only one she's ev ...more
Carol Nicolas
Sep 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Book Review: Eleanor (Book 1 of The Unseen) — by Johnny Worthen
Wow! I picked up this book and couldn’t put it down. It was amazing.
For ten years Eleanor has hidden what she is by blending into the crowd, never doing anything outstandingly better or noticeably worse. But now her beloved adopted mother’s cancer is worse, and the smell of death fills their house. The social worker is just waiting for an excuse to send her mother into a care facility and Eleanor into foster care. And then her old b
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This is one of those where I liked the concept (skinwalkers of Native American mythology), but it didn’t sound great enough to drop everything and read it. So it took me a while to get around to it. I actually think that was good for my reading experience, though, because I’d forgotten all about what the concept was, so it was a whole lot of fun to wonder what exactly made Eleanor so strange.

Eleanor was interesting, and my opinion of her changed throughout the entire book. At first she was a wei
All Things Urban Fantasy
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review Courtesy All Things Urban Fantasy

Ever since I finished ELEANOR I’ve been trying to figure out a single word to describe it. I still can’t. I was drawn by the ethereal beauty of the cover and then pulled further in by the summary. Then I started reading and spent half the time enjoying the story and the other half trying to figure it out. There’s a lot to figure out, too.

In less capable hands, Eleanor herself would have been a difficult character to like. She doesn’t have much of a sense o
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Over the age of 12.
I can not get enough of Eleanor!
Without giving any spoilers let me say that this girl is beautifully complex and I want to be her when I grow up! (I'm not kidding, as a teenager I would daydream about being like this girl.)
Johnny Worthen is accurately descriptive with many details. From small town life to the secretive behaviors of wild animals. Those were details that immersed me deeper into the story. Every character had a depth to them that made them relatable. I even shed a few tears.
I wou
Fiona Titchenell
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Basics:

This is a tough one to describe without giving too much away, so bear with me. Eleanor is trying to slip through life unnoticed. Apart from her less earthly reasons, she and her terminally ill mother, and only confidante, are on public assistance, terrified of being separated by social services. As her mother's condition deteriorates and David, the only friend Eleanor has ever had, returns to town, she has to decide whether to open up and build a real life, or run away as she always h
Lehua Parker
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jolly-fish-press
You could argue that all teenage girls are self-centered survivalist monsters at heart, at times unlovable, wholly malleable, and subject to the whims of the adults around them.

But in Eleanor’s case these typical teen traits are a little more literal.

Eleanor the Unseen is the first in a trilogy by Johnny Worthen that explores love in many forms: redemptive, passionate, maternal, transformative, first, true, self, and sacrificial. It’s a theme repeated in metaphor and action both gentle and terri
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Eleanor is the story of a girl who is not what she appears. You think you know her story, or at least the biggest piece of it, from the opening scenes – scenes that are so well written they pulled me in and had me thinking about the hinted mystery immediately. But as it unfolds, you learn that what you think you know might only be the surface of what is really at the heart of Eleanor – a smart, feisty girl trying to hide in plain sight. She knows little about her true nature and what she does kn ...more
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to get around to reading this book. I know the author from high school and downloaded it on my Kindle to support him, but I must admit that I haven't always loved books written by people I know, so I didn't get around to reading it till I was stuck waiting in a doctor's office with nothing to read and pulled it up on my phone. I was hooked instantly!

I was engrossed with the "secret" that was hinted at but wasn't obvious till later in the book. I loved Eleanor and her relations
Christine Nielson
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Like many teenage girls, Eleanor feels awkward and prefers to fly under the radar. But unlike other teenage girls, Eleanor has to stay invisible to survive. Pulled into humanity by the draw of family and love, she faces a very difficult decision when she loses everything.

This story fed my love for the paranormal, but it also blew my mind with its character development and emotional depth.

Writer of the Year for the League of Utah Writers, Worthen has quickly become my favorite author, proving to
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing

David Venn loves her as she is. But she knows that she is a monster.

That is Eleanor’s biggest problem. Though she has plenty of other problems. Like high school — where she does her best to be the unseen Eleanor, always in the background, because it’s safer that way. Because if anyone finds out that she’s really a skinwalker — a shapeshifter — she’ll have to run away to survive. That’s what she did before, when the Navajo came to kill her parents, and she hid for fifty years in the form of a coy
Leah (White Sky Project)
May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
I was curious about this book because of the whole “rejoin humanity” bit and “Eleanor is not what she appears to be.” Immediately, I thought, great, this girl’s got some deep dark secret, count me in. It’s a little hard to talk about the book without giving away the story, but I will try not to spoil anything.

Eleanor is an odd, strange girl and she does her best not to stand out or get noticed. She’s smarter than everyone, brilliant even, and pretty athletic, but she can’t allow herself to excel
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“She was known by everyone, liked by some, and loved by two.”

Definitely mysterious and captivating, I definitely got drawn into this one. Eleanor is a unique individual and the author did a great job in slowing revealing all the particulars. It’s a big mystery throughout the story with bits and pieces revealed throughout the characters and the flashbacks. I thought I had it solved only to realize that it was a combination of a couple things I was thinking about. Living with her mother Tabitha, t
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
While the story was compelling, the writing and characters were painful. The writing itself seemed forced and contrite and incredibly judgmental. I get that Midge was chubby - mentioning once would have sufficed, but every time this girl would get brought up, Johnny Worthen wanted to shove it down our throats that she was bigger. Literally. Every single time. The main character was a whiny brat, too. I sympathized with her at first because I, too, am painfully shy. But I also realize that someti ...more
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
I came. I read. I grew bored at 5%. I pushed on. I returned after 20%.

Boring, boring book. It didn't even have a stupid love triangle to make things interesting. It was just about Eleanor, who apparently can do everything much better than anyone else, in her daily life of doing subpar high school work.

That's all.

You get the whiny edge of Eleanor that comes through very well. She considers it harassment that she has to give her name to the bank teller in order for her to check her account. Truly.
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have heard rave reviews about this book and about the author himself, so I decided to give it a go. I spent the first 1/3 or so confused as to what was really going on. I had my suspicions and theories but it was hard to understand what was really happening to Eleanor and who/what she was. I'm so glad that snippets were given here and there, but once a full explanation was given I found myself thoroughly enjoying the story. I wish that explanation had been given much sooner.

In all, it was a qu
Dan Allen
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful modern tale of transformation centered on what makes us most human: our weakness, our passion, our attachment to those we love. Johnny Worthen will give you thrills, chills and tears as you read about a creature so like yourself that you can hardly believe she is a being called a monster. Beautiful. Cathartic. Transcendent. This is beyond a mere novel, though you'll read it straight through. Be prepared to think differently about life as you see it through eyes of Eleanor. ...more
Kate Jonez
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Eleanor is a passionately told tale of an outsider girl with a secret. Worthen does a masterful job of balancing the horror with a realistic depiction of teenage concerns. Recommend!
Sandy Wolters
Review to be posted on the Paranormal Romance Guild website
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
I can't remember the last time a book has caused me such distress. I read the entire book with a clenched jaw and stiff shoulders. I told myself to keep reading because honestly, I was bored. Eleanor made me angry. She's supposedly 60 years old yet her "mother" ( who is younger) is constantly giving her advice. I mean I understand that the author was trying to develop a complex character with a diverse outlook on life however, I found myself being more and more confused as I read the book. I tri ...more
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
The book started off with an interesting plot but I didn't like the dark scenes or the ending. There was an overall exaggerated feel to the book. David was obsessed with her. Mrs. Hart loathed her and treated her horribly. Russell was on the war path. These behaviors repeated constantly throughout the book and it got boring. The characters were written so black and white and full of teenage angst that it made it annoying to read. I liked his writing style and thought the plot had potential but I ...more
Brenda Wright
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I actually loved this book, read it in one sitting! I’m so tired of dragons and zombies and vampires so this book was quite refreshing with a new breed of magical creature. The twist and turns and morals dilemmas were just right to make it a deep thought provoking fantasy ride
May 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
1 star (abandoned) + 1 star (great premise) = 2 STARS
Jun 15, 2017 rated it liked it
A cool story idea, but the execution was lacking. It moved so slow & left the reader in the dark a lot
Holly Stripling
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this - random selection for me, but I was intrigued the whole way through.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a fun and eerie book, I had a hard time putting it down and can't wait to get the next book. ...more
Monique Snyman
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing

I've been sitting pretty, patiently waiting to put my review up of Eleanor: The Unseen by Johnny Worthen, which in short is a remarkable piece of work that keeps you wanting more. No kidding, I've already tried to get the next two books out of him just to see what happens with sweet-but-deadly little Eleanor. Unfortunately the man's made of stone, so poor old me will have to wait like the rest of the masses. But I digress. You see, Eleanor: The Unseen is a shifter book, but don't worry it doesn'

Jul 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
Paranormal meets Native american legends !

Eleanor is Paranormal at its best! I was so excited about this book when I read what it was about! Filled with Native American Folklore and legends, such as witches and skin walkers, it was a type of Paranormal novel that seemed logical and believable. I felt on edge the whole time as I found out what Eleanor was, and her journey so far to this point.

Personally I find this book is difficult to describe because I feel that no description can give it just
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy free to facilitate an honest review. This review originally appeared on my blog Christy's Cozy Corners.

To quote Nine Days, "This is the story of a girl...." But Eleanor is much more than just a girl. Hers is a tale seeped in legends of shape shifters, skin walkers, and ancient curses. And to complicate things even further, her mother Tabitha is dying. They live from government check to government check trying to pay for Tabitha's medicine and still have enough for necessities.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Love, Rosie
  • Pacifica
  • Invictus
  • How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
  • Steal Across the Sky
  • Of Neptune (The Syrena Legacy, #3)
  • Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2)
  • Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1)
  • Evil Has A Name: The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation
  • The Auschwitz Escape
  • Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain & Ireland
  • Early Riser
  • The Kommandant's Girl (The Kommandant's Girl, #1)
  • Side Life
  • 1969: The Year Everything Changed
  • The New Voices of Science Fiction
  • Summer Hours
  • Earth
See similar books…
Johnny Worthen is an award-winning, best-selling author of books and stories. A Utah Writer of the Year. Trained in modern literary criticism and cultural studies, he writes upmarket multi-genre fiction, symbolized by his love of tie-dye and good words. “I write what I like to read,” he says. “This guarantees me at least one fan.”

Johnny is best known (so far) for his award winning, nationally accl

Other books in the series

The Unseen (3 books)
  • Celeste (The Unseen, #2)
  • David (The Unseen, #3)

Related Articles

  Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people love books about falling in love. Every month our team sorts through...
45 likes · 8 comments