Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Juniper Unraveling #1

Juniper Unraveling

Rate this book
Get ready for a heart-wrenching story of survival, set in the post-apocalyptic southwest, with an all-new dystopian romance from the author of Ricochet and Backfire.

Papa says everyone has a story that deserves to be told.

Most begin years ago, after the second bomb hit, unearthing a deadly contagion that divided the population into the pure, the infected, and the Ragers.

Many recount the moment we rose up from the ashes and started anew.

Others tell of the day we built a wall to keep them out.

For some, they’re nothing more than the vestiges left behind—a simple name carved into the knotty bark of a Juniper tree.

My story begins with a boy. A mute, from the other side of the wall, known only as Six, who touched my heart in ways that words never could, and gave me the courage to face my darkest truth.

Juniper Unraveling is a full-length standalone romance set in a post-apocalyptic world.

464 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 31, 2017

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Keri Lake

41 books3,035 followers
Author of dark romance who specializes in demon wrangling, vengeance dealing and wicked twists.

I love connecting with readers, so feel free to join my reading group: http://bit.ly/2lWjOFg

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
1,105 (44%)
4 stars
845 (34%)
3 stars
355 (14%)
2 stars
104 (4%)
1 star
48 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 464 reviews
Profile Image for jessica.
2,534 reviews32.5k followers
November 22, 2020
dark, grisly, addictive. this is one of the more riveting post-virus survival stories i have read.

i think the mature themes throughout do the story a great service. most dystopia/zombie stories i have read are YA, so it was super refreshing (albeit disturbing) to see a story talking about the dark side of things. KL has a way of making me obsessed with psychologically twisted content, to the point of feeling guilty that i enjoy it, but i wouldnt have it any other way.

so if you pick this up, ready yourself for a story about daring escape, desperate survival, and deviant human connections.

4 stars
Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,017 reviews12k followers
October 29, 2017

This is our fragile dance of understanding and confusion. Pain and lust. Roughness and reverence. This is who we are—two damaged souls trying to figure each other out.

A dystopian romance with Keri's signature grit and dark undercurrents? Sign me up!
I didn't even need a blurb to know that I'm going to love this book. And you know what? I was NOT wrong. This is what would happen if you took Resident Evil, added a dash of Walking Dead, and then mixed it all up with incredible romance. It was, in a word, unforgettable.

Keri just wrote her most tortured anti-hero to date and if you don't fall for him head over ovaries, I'll eat my shoe. Seriously.
Six stares into my eyes, and I drown in that sea of blue, consuming me in his sadness. He’s baring his soul to me. Peeling back his skin to the blackness within.

I feel as if I’ve given away my darkest secrets while taking in Six’s at the same time. There are shades of darkness though, and his is pitch black.

Told in two parts, don't expect an easy read here. Juniper Unraveling is full of grit, violence, and heartache. It's full of depth and emotion. But most of all, it's full of pain.

What happens when the world you grow up in is filled with evil the likes of which you've never known. An evil so dark, that it taints everything it touches. An evil that comes from the heart and mind of human beings. An evil that manifested into something they can no longer contain. What if you had the choice to make a difference for one life? Would you risk yours to save his?
He wears his words across his skin like braille. A story of pain that I wish I could rewrite for him, and take away the chapters that mark his suffering.

I want to tell you more of the plot, but I simply can't. What I will tell you, is put those big girl panties on because this is no walk in the park.

While the first half is slower paced, it builds the backstory that paints the entire picture. It connects you with a character that has so much presence in mere silence, that it was simply magnetic. It paints the story of young love, unbearable choices and heart ache.
I want to lose control with him, to feel the sweat and the power of him, the electricity moving inside of me the way it does when he merely touches me.

Then the second half comes in and pulls you away in a riptide of violence, angst, and grit.

Juniper Unraveling was a dark and suspenseful page turner. Set in a time where survival is everything, the author spares no detail throwing her readers straight into her dark and dangerous vortex of violence, survival, and a love beyond all odds. I was enraptured, captivated, and completely hooked. If you're looking for a read that's just the right amount of different from the norm and will keep you up all night, this is a book that needs to be on your TBRs.

beta read

Find me on:
Follow me on facebook Follow Me on Twitter blog
Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,162 reviews7,563 followers
December 22, 2020

This one was recommended to me numerous time by various people but I’ve always been stuck under Arcs, until now...Because this isn't something I would normally jump on I went in tiptoeing worried that it wouldn't be for me, but OMFG as soon as I started I was beyond HOOKED..Half the time I'd be sitting there mouth open, FLABBERGASTED, not believing half of what I was reading, like the walking dead coming alive in my mind, ready to take over the world, god what a rollercoaster this book was..ALL THE FEELS.

Profile Image for Jen.
1,654 reviews995 followers
November 3, 2017
My brain is going a mile a minute right now!! I just finished this amazing book, and I must say that Keri Lake has taken her writing talent to a whole new level! I am so impressed by what she has written...I was a fan before; but now I will be hanging on every word she writes in the future!!!

This book reminded me a lot of the "Divergent" series, although "Juniper Unraveling" is way darker, grittier, and down right chilling! I loved how even with the story having a major dark tone to it, there was a beautiful love story that evened out the despair, violence, and desperate vibe that colored a big portion of the book.

The characters in this world were so impressive....they all had such a drive to live and survive; even amongst such a gruesome background that their world had become.
I really would love to tell everyone all about what I have read, and believe me...I could talk for hours on it...but that would ruin it for everyone else!! I must say, that if you are a reader that enjoys darker themes, or even a person who loves to try something new...then please give this book a go.

"Jupiter Unraveling" is going down as one of my Best books of 2017! I can say that easily, this is a story I won't ever forget. I love that it is unique and memorable. It is becoming harder and harder to find books like that. So this is hands down a favorite for me. Keri Lake states at the end of the book that she will be writing another one set inside this world, and I can't wait to get my hands on it! Bravo Ms. Lake on a brilliant piece of work. You have a fan in me always!!!
Profile Image for Júlia.
214 reviews3,133 followers
August 8, 2022
Let's start with the long list of trigger warnings: dark themes, suicide, r@pe, miscarriage, children being harmed, torture, apocalyptic/dystopian scenario, murder, sex and violence.

Now that we got that out of the way... I know, this is a dark one, but damn Keri. You do me no wrong, ever.

As you guys are aware, Keri Lake wrote one of my favorite and most loved books of ALL TIMES Master of Salt & Bones.

I have been reading carbon copies of the same romances over and over again this entire week. Same characters, zero dimension, terrible plots in different packages and covers. I am so so tired of reading unoriginal stories, without complex layers or characters worth caring about.

Don't get wrong, I know a romance as dark as this is not for everyone. I also go through stages where all I want is a fluffy, nonsense romance and there is nothing wrong with that. Juniper is not it though. Just make sure you are in the right state of mind to read Juniper and you should be good.

These are my roots. I grew up playing Resident Evil and I've always felt such a deep connection to those narratives. Not the stupid silly movies they made but the games. The games have some of the most fantastic storytelling you will ever experience and this book met every expectation I had for a zombie apocalypse romance.

Wren is a 19 year old girl who lives on the right side of the wall, where uninfected humans are trying to survive, thrive and rebuild. While on the left side of the wall, the ragers - infected zombies - still roam around somewhere nearby Las Vegas.

She lives with a doctor, who works on the other side of the wall, in a lab called Calico. Where they run experiments on infected humans in the hopes they will find a cure, but the real story behind the lab is a lot darker than you think.

The mystery and the thriller aspects of this book were mind-blowing. A real page-turner. Absolutely breathtaking, you can easily read this in ONE sitting. So many unexpected twists and turns.

One day, Wren notices a breach in the wall. She is curious, adventurous and she really believes real life happens outside of her safe bubble. Until she meets a boy around the same age as her. She spots him through a small gap in the wall, the mute boy on the other side, with numbers tattooed on his neck and she starts calling him Six.

The most brilliant, riveting, unlikely and intense love story.

Wren will now do anything she can to save him from the people who are hunting him down.

Six was clearly inspired by 11 in stranger things, but the world building in this is so unique and heartbreaking that you don't make that connection until the book is over. The Juniper Unraveling world is way more brutal than anything you have ever seen on Stranger Things.

This book will leave you on the edge of your fucking seat. It will make your heart race, swoon and sob.

You won't be able to put this down.

This has possibly a 3/5 spice scale, the sex scenes are intense but soft-spoken and romantic. This is everything I was looking for. Possibly a book I will recommend to a lot of people for years to come.

Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,439 reviews78.1k followers
September 19, 2022
3.5 STARS rounded to 4


"Civilization has always been divided into those who have everything and those who have nothing. Even when the world goes to shit."

"And I swore that I would keep you alive until the last beat of my heart."

"But there is no monster more terrifying than the human being who lacks compassion."

"Falling in love means you have to be brave enough to accept the pain when it comes to stake its claim."

"...there isn't a vaccine in creation that can cure hatred and indifference to human suffering. They are the most virulent diseases in existence."

"When the world is at its darkest, somehow love still carries the light. Love is strength and weakness. A crutch and a sword. It can leave a person hollow and heal their wounds. It's a friend to the stars, with pain as its shadow. A dichotomy whose time is uncertain. But above all things, love is necessary."
Profile Image for Maria✦❋Steamy Reads Blog❋✦.
662 reviews2,415 followers
December 6, 2017

➦I can't even tell you how long it's been since I've read a dystopian novel. Probably a year. Which is like, such a long time. In blogger years, that's probably an equivalent of 7. Give or take.

➦I won't bore you with details. But, there's a virus. And if you like zombie-like creatures then you'll probably enjoy Keri Lake's variation of them. In the midst of all this awesomeness is a love story and a very very tortured hero. If you're a fan of those types of heroes then I'm sure you will love this book.

➦The writing style is absolutely captivating. The way the story unfolded bit by bit was amazing and I even had a couple of "aaaaaaaaah, now I get it!" moments. Granted I might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer. Just kidding. (so sharp, baby. THE sharpest.) Anywhatever, this was my first book by this author and it will not be my last. Be aware of dark undertones and adult themes here. Meaning, not really suitable for a teenager. :x
Follow us on facebook Follow us on instagram
Profile Image for warhawke.
1,298 reviews1,955 followers
October 23, 2017
Genre: Dark Dystopian Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person - Females

It's been years since the world first fell into chaos, but it didn't made it any less harsh to live. With limited resources, a safe haven was highly sought after, but safety was just an illusion. In order to survive, one must learn to recognize who's friend and who's foe.

I love dystopian stories for the potential of bleakness. This book was not as dark and depressing as I thought it would be, but I still really enjoyed it.

He wears his words across his skin like braille. A story of pain that I wish I could rewrite for him, and take away the chapters that mark his suffering.

There were three main characters in the book. The two young female Dani and Wren, possessed inner strength needed to survive the world. I like how they were not afraid to stand up for what they believed in.

I wanted to touch his soul, but I didn’t anticipate the obscurity of it. The way he keeps it hidden behind a veil of pain.

And then there was Six. Oh how much I love him. He was the epitome of perfectly imperfect hero that I love. I hurt for him and rooted for him since the moment he was introduced in the book. And of course, his dark side made him irresistible.

“The world has no place for heroes anymore. It’s an admirable, but foolish, quality.

For a dystopian book, the setting was a fairly normal, controlled environment. But even though the buildings might look nice, it wouldn't necessarily be the same for the population. I love identifying the sinners and saints.

I like the storyline. Even though I figured things out early in the book, it didn't take away my enjoyment. And the sex scenes were hot and intense just the way I like it.

We’re the perfect, twisted match, destined for pain like a sad tragedy.

Juniper Unraveling is a tale of survival and rising against the odds. It would appeal to readers who enjoy stories of humanity in dystopian setting.

⚔️ 🔥 ⚔️ . . . (F)BR With Loyda . . . ⚔️ 🔥 ⚔️

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

Profile Image for ✰ Liz ✰ .
1,349 reviews1,262 followers
November 16, 2017
"We're the perfect, twisted match, destined for pain like a sad tragedy."

Juniper Unraveling is a simply stunning dystopian romance full of action and grit that will leave you completely breathless the entire read. I have long been a fan of Keri Lake's work and she has truly delivered a blockbuster hit with a gripping plot, complex characters, and smoking hot romance all set in a dystopian society like none I have ever experienced before.

"I can't breathe as he kisses me like he's trying to suck the pain from my lungs and free me from this suffocating guilt."
Set in a different time and place, Juniper Unraveling is told in two parts. As the horrors of this world are slowly revealed, a young girl befriends a mute boy. As young love fights to bloom through the cold hard world that they live in, the young lovers are torn apart. Death, destruction, and heartache coexist with a burning desire to go on, live, and find a brighter future. As the lines of right and wrong are blurred, love still remains.

"We don't see the world. We only see our world."
Told in first person POV, Juniper Unraveling offers an unforgettable love story set in a dark and twisted world. The plot is quite complex and a good majority of the read is focused on setting the backstory in order for the characters (and their relationships) to be revealed. The world in which this story is set is dark and the pain is raw and real and yet, I found a great deal of beauty and tenderness existed. The text flows naturally as the tempo of the read remains intense. The characters face insurmountable situations and yet, they find the strength to overcome any and all obstacles that are placed in their way. Although I would love to elaborate more on the plot of this read, I highly recommend going in blind. Every moment is critical to the story and the stakes are high for these characters to find their way.


Overall, I highly recommend Juniper Unraveling as your next read. Undoubtedly it is one of my favorite reads of 2017! Keri Lake is an extraordinary storyteller who creates characters I love and never want to let go of. Although this is a stand-alone, I can only hope that Ms. Lake will venture into this world again because I WANT MORE! Bravo Ms. Lake! Bravo!

*ARC graciously provided via author in exchange for an honest review!

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:
Profile Image for Stacey.
1,446 reviews1,156 followers
October 31, 2017

What does a monster look like?

***4.5 stars***

It’s Friday night and I’m having a glass of wine. I feel like I deserve it after spending the whole day reading Juniper Unravelling. I admit that some of this day has been mired in frustration, disgust and horror but most of the day has been sucked into the vortex of an epic read. This was a journey that left me a little battered and bruised but triumphant in the end.

There’s this little part of me that thought that Keri Lake had got this one wrong. I’m kind of used to unwillingly falling in love with her monsters. Her heroes have been known to be part evil and part self-destructive but somehow, I always end up loving them by the end. In this case, I kept waiting for the monster to appear. See, my hero was an angel that could kill with his bare hands, was immune to evil creatures and kept skulls as mementoes. I think Keri Lake has made me delusional. I'm seeing angels in my monsters.

In her usual fashion, Keri Lake does not hide the ugly side of life. This “life” is not what we currently live but it’s an extreme possibility which is bloody scary. People in power scare the bejeezus out of me. We hand over our faith and trust in exchange for hope. Do the people in charge have our best interests at heart? Are they hiding the truth behind a magical barrier? Are we paying a price now, for something that will ruin our future? I found myself considering these topics and frightened by my conclusions. I am a wee bit lead by blind faith.

The characters in this story are ones you can’t help but become attached to. You see them grow and live through the horrors that they’ve faced. They have lost loved ones, formed bonds that became the new member of their family and risk the heartbreak of losing them. I suppose we all face the day knowing that we might lose someone we love.

OK, I admit, the first half dragged for me a bit. Mind you there was a lot of backstory that needed to be explained to give me the epic second half of the story that I loved. It probably didn’t help that the first half was very “young adult”, and you know how much I love my YA reads (slight sarcasm). There are also the usual Keri Lake cringe-worthy scenes where evil has a face and that face…well, it should not have been evil. It’s that whole trusting what should have been good and find out it wasn’t good at all. On the flipside, what you learn to not trust, ends up being one of the people you love the most by the end.

This story has blood, guts and gore. It wasn’t OTT, and I only cringed slightly with the descriptions. There are sexy times of the good and steamy variety, but there are also times that it’s bad (remember the cringe-worthy I mentioned above). Again, while faced with horrifying situations, it was handled in a way that I could compartmentalise. We don’t see the worst, but we know it’s there.

Keri Lake has again blown my mind. Her ability to make me look at “monsters” and see their good side is surprising. I’m a pretty judgemental chicky, so this is an AMAZING feat. If you’re not tempted by the marvellous cover, just know that this is an epic read. You may have to sit tight for awhile at the beginning but the journey is worth it in the end. Some monsters are worth loving.

I spy with my little eye...Amazon is selling Juniper Unravelling for $0.99

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076TCMBXB/...

Stacey is Sassy, received a complimentary copy of this story. The copy provided is not the final copy and may be subject to edits and changes.

Profile Image for Olga therebelreader.
888 reviews680 followers
October 26, 2017
**4.5 stars**

This book was absolutely awesome. I was taken on this incredible ride and hung on to dear life throughout the book’s entirety. Keri Lake is an incredible writer. She has created a vivid, disturbing world. I loved her writing style. It pulled me in quickly and I found myself irritated whenever I had to put the book down.

There's some genuine moments where I was so moved with compassion and emotion. The story, the characters will pierce your heart and slowly, so slowly, rip it out. The character development was simply superb.

Twists and turns and mysteries and conspiracies. The stakes are continually raised and then something happens that you don't see coming and they are raised again.

The story was dark, strange, fascinating and a little creepy…A marvelous addition to the genre. For me it had a deep, rich, intoxicating quality, so if you're looking for an interesting, thought-provoking Dystopian, give this a try!

In short:
Hero 5/5 | Heroine 5/5 | Plot (Point, Originality) 5/5 | Writing Style 4/5 | Steam 3/5 | Romance 4/5 | Angst-Suspense 4/5 | Darkness 3/5 | Humor 0/5 | Secondary Characters 3/5 | Drama-Conflict 4/5 | Mystery 4/5 | Twists 5/5 | Pacing Steady | Action 4/5

 photo 18009131_816557981827901_1142461593_n_zpso3xlzmkr.jpg
Profile Image for Penny.
740 reviews209 followers
June 14, 2018
Actual Rating 3.5 stars.

There are two books here. The first half, which I really liked, and the second half, which I couldn't much care about. I would give the first half a solid 4.5 stars, but the second half is a mere 2 stars review for me. In the end, the first half of the book had such a strong pull on me that I decided to give the book a 4 stars rating on Goodreads.

What I liked most about this book was that you never new where the story was going. That was brilliant for me and very gratifying to read. The first half was unexpected, surprising and refreshing. I loved the misdirections and the continuous guessing and trying to figure out what was going on.
The relationship between the two main characters was riveting and sweet. This first half of the book has two parallel narrations. The connection between the two different narratives and the subtle way we learn about one story from the other is fantastic.

Afterwards, in the second half with the one narrative, it felt like I was reading about different characters and a different story. A complete different book that could have even been written by a different author. A second story that was no special or new, a story that was very disappointing after how unexpected and thrilling the first story was. I don't know what happened, why the writer changed the narrative so much, but it was a let down.
It really is a shame for me the abrupt change in pace, story and character development. I don't mind that it changed, I mind that it went downhill after the change. The first half was so strong and special, that I feel the book had such poetical to become exceptional and a must read for all story. Alas, the writer wasn't able to keep up the wonderment in the second half. Such a shame...oh well, it's too late now. Let bygones be bygones.

I do recommend this book if only for the novelty of the first half.
Profile Image for TJ ☾.
690 reviews1,152 followers
October 24, 2021
i've had this on my tbr for ages and the entire time i thought it was a YA fantasy book, then i start reading and find out it's ADULT DARK FANTASY?? a post-apocalyptic walking dead romance??? yooooo for a minute there i was back on team WINNING


sadly tho, it never managed to hook me. the first half was okay but the second half.... i rly don't understand how they didn't recognize each other. they felt like new characters and my confusion/disbelief over the situation brought my already flimsy investment in the story down to 0
Profile Image for Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth.
794 reviews876 followers
October 29, 2017
Review @ Vanilla & Spice Books

✮✮✮ 4.5 STARS ✮✮✮

...there isn’t a vaccine in creation that can cure hatred and indifference to human suffering. They are the most virulent diseases in existence.

Keri Lake ventures with Juniper Unraveling into uncharted territory. I am convinced that she can write anything she sets her mind on but I was a little nervous on her behalf. She is one of the authors who takes feedback and criticism with grace and humility but I have an idea of how much this story means to her so for her I wanted to love it. So let's see how she fared!

But there is no monster more terrifying than the human being who lacks compassion.

The world we enter in this story is reminiscent of one of the darkest of mankind - Nazi concentration camps, barbarous, inhuman treatment of innocent people, but also the glimmers of hope and kindness, it's all reflected in Juniper Unraveling, set into a post-apocalyptic world. The author captures that heavy, devastating and hopeless feel accurately. But where there is shadow there is also light and that comes with the characters.

Wren is a brave young girl, curious and maybe a little too reckless for a time when one wrong move may kill you. But it's that courage that keeps her alive. There is a darkness inside of her she doesn't understand, something that itches under her skin. When Six comes into her life they take every chance they have to create pockets of happiness in this hostile environment.

A mute boy with the heart of a lion and a gentle sweetness and innocence you usually don't get with Keri Lake's characters and is a miracle after all that was done to him, won me over from his first appearance in this story. Six is everything that is good in a world that has gone to hell. His adoration and fervent reverence for Wren was spell-binding and gave me hope that everything would be alright.

His hands are heaven, and his eyes are home.

The story is separated in two parts and while the first part definitely was a 5-star read for me it lost me a little bit in the second part. The author follows her usual recipe for anti-heroes, good people doing bad things but it's the first part of the story that still lingered in my mind when we met the hero again. I was waiting to see a glimpse of the main characters' younger selves. While I get that the things people have done and have been done to them will change them irrevocably I still expect to see glimpses of their former selves in them to make them redeemable. I wanted to see a bit of the sweetness I loved so much in Six. I didn't get that until the last chapter and the epilogue, which was perfection. That is not to say that I disliked the man, no, but I loved the boy so much that it was hard to reconcile them in my mind until the end.

He is fire in a rainstorm. A sweet poison that intoxicates me. A force of nature that defies everything I know— both dangerous and extraordinary at the same time.

As mentioned the story can be separated in two parts and the twist is so cleverly executed that I didn't see it coming. I had my theories but I wasn't expecting that.

When you are pulled into this dark world and your heart hurts from the atrocities it's the unexpected beauty and gentleness that keeps you from falling into despair. And this is where Keri gives testament to her immense talent and shines. One of my favorite and most beautiful quotes in the book is in the epilogue.

When the world is at its darkest, somehow love still carries the light. Love is strength and weakness. A crutch and a sword. It can leave a person hollow and heal their wounds. It’s a friend to the stars, with pain as its shadow. A dichotomy whose time is uncertain. But above all things, love is necessary.

I really want to sneak into the author's mind to see what's going on there, how somebody so sweet and gracious can come up with the most disturbing stories.

This book is not meant to be enjoyed. It has some grim, dark and twisted moments that will have your stomach churning and in a knot but you'll read on, eyes glued to the pages. Juniper Unraveling is a reminder of the inhumanity and atrocity that happens when the wrong people come into power and have free reign to spread cruelty and horror in the world. It's a mirror of the current state of affairs. However, it's also a cenotaph of extraordinary courage, the one that makes people go above and beyond in times when heroes are needed.

Keri Lake took a chance with this story and I'm so glad she shared it with us.

Profile Image for Bee.
147 reviews431 followers
December 21, 2020
Updated 12/21/2020

This is still one of my favorite reads, and I often come back to think about it. I especially think about the ending, as it is the main thing that still bothers me. I didn’t really acknowledge that when reading the book the first time, because as a whole, it was amazing. But I can now admit that the ending soured my enjoyment quite a bit. So, I’m taking a star off for that!


Original rating: 5 stars
Profile Image for Bex (Beckie Bookworm).
1,960 reviews1,247 followers
December 14, 2020

Bloody hell this book!!
I don't even know where to start with this review all I know is this was just so magnificent from start to finish and words can't do justice to how much this actually managed to impress me.
Everything about this worked for me and I was transfixed from the second I picked this up.

A totally new author for me but one I will definitely be reading again.
So this was set against a dystopian postapocalyptic backdrop and for humans, life has essentially evolved into a battle of daily survival against the Ragers.
Ragers are essentially people infected with a virus called "Dredge" that in stages regresses them back to the basic functions of feeding and breeding.
So in some ways like zombies but unlike the undead, these infected individuals are still very much alive and as the disease progresses they eventually develop a taste for human flesh, there is at this time no cure.

So this is a story of two parts and though this does contain a romance at its centre this is not really all this is.
The romance itself is really just a piece of the bigger picture and there is so much more going on here than what I originally expected.
So as I said two parts or essentially two POV's Wren a girl who lives with her Papa within a community of the Pure safely living behind a wall that separates them all from the Deadlands and the contagion and Dani an infected girl taken from her home by soldiers and thrown into a living nightmare of daily survival.

There's one other major contributor here Six, a mysterious and mute boy from the other side of the wall that Wren encounters and feels an almost bonded sense of solidarity towards.
The atrocities being committing here were both heartbreaking and at times so hard to comprehend.
This is a compelling and hard-hitting rendition of what could happen if you strip back the layers of supposed humanity and expose the underbelly of corruption all in the name of the greater good.

This is also a coming of age story between two young individuals set amid some horrific circumstances, A story of love and surviving against all the odds.
I Loved Wren and my heart hurt for both Dani and Six that fragile organ broke many times over at what these individuals were forced to endure living in such a nightmare.
An incredibly brutal but also a beautiful love story set against a post-apocalyptic landscape.

This story will most certainly wring you out emotionally so don't go expecting to walk away from this unscathed, This will and did leave deep battle scars.
This was hands down one of my favourite books this year but please do be aware that it is also a dark and at times bleak portrayal of human corruption and cruelty and as such contains major triggers throughout, Highly recommend this one.
I voluntary reviewed a copy of Juniper Unraveling (Juniper Unraveling, #1)


Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm
Profile Image for Natalie  ~ The Biblioholic.
2,502 reviews1,215 followers
October 22, 2020
I strongly recommend going into this story blind. I did and it made the experience way better than I could have expected!

I've never watched an episode of The Walking Dead, because...

I'm scared of all things ZOMBIE or WALKER or UNDEAD.

However, Juniper Unraveling read like what I imagine a romantized version of the show would be. The world was destroyed. There were survivors and there were the infected. It was scary and it was thrilling and I enjoyed the heck out of it.

This story was about a girl who had to do everything she could to survive. Women and children were the first to go. They had no value, but she made herself invaluable. She made allies, she learned secrets, and she found love.

Six was my hero and I couldn't get enough of him. Seriously, this man was such a wonder to read about. The author did an incredible job bringing him to life without giving him a voice. I would have loved getting his perspective, but I was still able to feel so much without it.

Good men are supposed to made of sturdy bones and steel flesh, but Six is neither. He's shadows and pain wrapped in a broken husk.
But there's goodness in him too.
I've felt it. Touched it.

I know there are more books to this series, developing other characters, but I'm so happy where things ended up here that I'm not sure if I'll go any further. I probably will though just to see some sort of final resolution for these people. Will they find a cure? Will they find somewhere to call home? So many questions, I guess I have to keep going.

Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,573 followers
October 31, 2017
4.5 Brilliant stars ❤

Wow it was amazing , at the beginning I didn't know what to expect and what I found was brilliant.What a wild ride, I was on the edge of my seat most of the time wondering what will happen next.I never get bored, it has action,it's dark,emotional and romantic.

I loved everything about it and especially the world Keri created.It's not your typical story, it's so different and unique.I’m not going to say anything about the story because you need to experience this one, but believe me you have to do it!! Juniper Unraveling grabbed my attention from the beginning and I couldn't put it down.

This is the perfect read for Halloween!I highly recommend it!


Profile Image for Optimist ♰King's Wench♰.
1,765 reviews3,849 followers
November 5, 2017
3.5 Stars

First, let me get a couple of caveats out of the way. I don’t do zombies. They gross me out and I don’t like them. Though Ragers aren’t labeled as such, that’s what they are. I also don’t like motorcycle men/clubs/whatever. They aren’t my jam. Guess what’s also in this book? I got about 2% in when I figured out what was what and you should’ve seen the look on my face when I realized I’d chosen a %^&%$# zombie book! Fit to be tied, I was. God damn cover being all intriguing and whatnot.

Now, having said all that it’s a miracle I even finished this thing much less enjoyed it, but I did. I didn’t LOVE it, but there’s a lot to like about it, so bear the caveats in mind if you’re at all interested in reading it.

Keri Lake is a new to me author and she has a writing style that draws you in. There were times when I thought the pacing dragged, but the overall story arc was engaging and kept my attention despite the zombies and motorcycles, owing mostly to the strong worldbuilding.

I don’t want to get a whole lot into the plot because of spoiling but I will say the romance reminded me a lot of The Notebook only set in a post-apocalyptic dystopia that’s 14 different kinds of fucked up and you could legit have your face eaten off at any second. But, details. Anyhoo, remember how cute they were when they first meet? They’re always together just hanging out and doing nothing? I had those feels except these two like to bone. I’m not mad about that either. For some reason I liked the first half of the book better than the second half, though I can’t really pinpoint why exactly. However, the heart of the romance is one that should speak to the inner squishy marshmallow of all romance readers.

If there is a weak point in the narrative it’s these characters. They don’t really pop off the page. I didn’t love any of them nor do I feel like I know them like I feel I should. They seem mostly cookie cutter post apocalyptic/trying to survive/general badassery… think Katniss. The rest of the cast is made up of caricaturish villains and an alpha to top all the alphas in all the land and there were any number of alphas. I would’ve liked to have had his POV or maybe just to have understood his mindset better, though.

Let’s talk a minute about the violence, because there is a lot of it. Trigger warnings for off page rape, child abuse/neglect and a whole lot of gross monsters doing gross things. Some of it I thought veered towards gratuitous, but I can’t say that I didn’t get the Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! message and lest you forget I am a delicate flower so, grain of salt. I would caution anyone who is squeamish to know your limitations. Also if you’re a stickler for your protags being upstanding and moral… errrm, this might not be the book for you? Heed the dark tag warning!

The sex is fairly frequent and rough with some breath play. Some of it’s hot, some of it’s fair to middling and none of it changed my life.

What Lake does that spoke to me was subtext. This world she’s created is built on lies and illusions that led me down the yellow brick road to a comparison with contemporary society. She also has great insight into human nature that speaks to an inherent compassion that resonated.

You see the world as it is. I see the world as it isn’t. But what we see individually is molded by our past, our experiences, and our hopes of what’s to come. Always remember that everyone has a story, and you’ll never know hate for another human being as long as you live.

I pray, in time, your generation will heal from our mistakes. Perhaps you’ll come to know the truth that somehow escaped us along the way- there isn’t a vaccine in creation that can cure hatred and indifference to human suffering. They are the most virulent diseases in existence.

Preachy perhaps, but I liked it. These sentiments seem to be fitted into the narrative in organic ways rather than shoehorned in to make a point.

Recommended to zombie, post apocalyptic, dystopian and romance fans. Just watch out for that violence; it’s a killer.


An ARC was provided by NetGalley.
October 2, 2020
Well, that was a pretty messed up book, with A LOT of triggers. Literally all kinds. The ones that were the hardest to read about was the abuse (sexual and otherwise) and experiments being done on the kids and heroine's little brother. And I read a lot of dark books, so I'm surprised by how much all of that affected me. It may be because this story was so well written and detailed though, making it all the more realistic and hard not to feel for anyone. So just a fair warning to anyone who decides to read this book, that while there is a hea for the couple, and romance, this book isn't by any means happy or lighthearted in any way. It's dark and sad through and through.

The first 25% was hard to totally get into, and I think part of it had to do with the dual female POV which I didn't expect and had to get used to. But the reason for the dual POVs was a plot twist that I never expected (I'm also horrible at guessing, so there's that). When that 30% mark hit though, I was fully immersed in the story and loved every bit of it, well, up until 70%. I was fully on board with giving this book a 5 star until that last about 30% of the book, which was just okayish.

The reason for that though, was because at 58% the couple was separated for 8 years thinking each other has died. Now, I was trying to give this book the benefit of the doubt because I loved their romance and believed they could withstand everything, so while the separation was disappointing, the book was still entertaining... Until the MCs reconnected again. The whole meeting got my blood boiling a bit I admit. Pretty much as this happens, for 15%ish the whole book turns into some sort of MC melodrama with the hero being Prez. So she pretty much walks in and the hero is just sitting there with a woman on the ground who is on some kind of s*x drug frenzy, naked, writhing on the floor. Then the heroine gets groped and has fingers invade her to see if she has any weapons or anything on or in her, and this is all right in front of the hero. Soooo...wtf? Where did the super protective hero go that loved her unconditionally? I guess the reason would be that neither of them recognized each other which just doesn't make sense. The last time they saw each other was when they were 18/19. Your face does NOT change that much in those years to fully not be able to know each other anymore.

Then we go onto how the heroine is treated like a prisoner and is punched by one of the women, which the hero does nothing about. We also learn that the hero has women throwing themselves at him left and right. And that the whole MC is set up where women choose to pleasure the men as a job to stay with them to live, because "everyone has a job". So pretty much a woman harem. So not only has the hero completely changed, but this whole part of the book came so far out of left field that it was like a total different book.

Then they recognize each other and immediately fall back in love, which I despised, especially because of how she was treated by him and everyone there and she just forgives them all without even a sorry, and the hero does literally nothing about the woman that punched her, or the guy that basically assaulted her in front of him. I also felt like their love for each other was cheapened big time during the separation and how much the hero had changed.

My biggest question was, were there any people they were sexually involved with, or were they celibate? And to answer it, I have literally no clue. For the heroine, she made it sound like she hadn't been with anyone because she can't stand when men touch her, but then she made more comments such as how she's had men's mouths go down on her before, or nonchalantly saying she jacked off one of the guys before, or how she has tried to compare all these men to the hero which makes it sound like she has maybe tried to be with other men? But then the hero asked when was the last time shes had s*x and she said it was with him. Then we have the hero who has had a couple guys say he loves when women do what that s*x crazed woman was doing in front of the hero, and loves to watch them. They also said the hero has a type which is when they look like the heroine. Let's not forget that those men intended to give her as a gift to the hero because she was his type, which again makes it sounds like he became a manh*e. And the heroine has to hear about how women throw themselves all over the hero, and how he never lets anyone sleep with him through the night, and how he's almost killed a couple women who have offered themselves to him which confused me, because why? By s*x (he's very primitive) or because he didn't want them? But again, then we have stuff like how he hates being touched and when she says she doesn't want to share him, she said she has no clue why she's jealous because no woman has even come close to touching him, and I forgot what else was said but it just made it sound like he hadn't been with anyone. Especially because if he was, I just think the heroine would have been a bit more jealous or mad or SOMETHING. Then when they get together the hero makes a comment about how they aren't allowed to f**k anyone else, which why would he say that unless they both were with other people? I'M SO CONFUSED. WHERE IS THE CLARITY?

So ya, that whole separation just didn't make their love and romance as epic as it started as. I do love when they got together though, and how crazy and strong the hero is still, and i love how he shows emotion when speaking of how much she means to him. But idk, I just didn't feel as much as I wanted to when they got back together. He kept saying how much he loves her, but it just felt off. Like when it seemed like he didn't believe her when she says she didn't let their prisoner go who took Lea (the woman who punched her). He kind of brushed her off and was angry with her. The heroine finds out Lea was the one who let him go and tried to make a deal with him to save just her family, and the heroine lets her go, and I hate how we never got any closure where the truth of that came out and the hero finds out. We also never got any closure on the blackout episodes the hero has, or how we spent more than half of the book with him not speaking then all of a sudden he's fine. Ugh.

Overall, because the end totally sucked, I'm just gonna pretend it was something totally different and that separation never happened. I did enjoy most of the book though and it was very well written. I also love apocalyptic, dystopian books, add in zombies and romance, how could I not be entertained? So I'm definitely looking forward to the next book, especially because the hero is one of the men that were experimented on to become killers, so hoping that one is even better.🤞


Rape and sexual assault (a bit on and off screen)

Abuse and torture (pretty descriptive)

Child abuse and death



Non virgin h/ ? Hero

Separation of 8 yrs

Hero most likely with OW in separation, heroine maybe tried?

No OW/OM drama

No Cheating (unless you count separation, still not sure about it)
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Pam Godwin.
Author 43 books8,934 followers
September 14, 2019
Unputdownable, unforgettable, and utterly brilliant, this book is a must-read for all romance enthusiasts. It's emotional, action-packed, and simmering with filthy sensuality. Gawd, I love a tortured hero, and Six doesn't disappoint. He's guarded and vicious, broken and strong, delicious and captivatingly complex. Put aside any bias you might have for the sub-genre, and read this book. I can't recommend it enough.
Profile Image for Deborah.
3,351 reviews434 followers
October 11, 2020
Re-read 7th - 8th October.

I love a good dystopian and this book is fabulous. I will warn you it’s not an easy read. At times I was well outside my comfort zone. But it was worth it. This book hooked me early on and just never let go. My only real cause for concern was the eight year jump in time. I’m not a fan of losing years and I wasn’t happy. But I soon got over my mini tantrum and continued on. ...

The world has been decimated by the Dredge. A virus or prion designed to spread. And spread it did annihilating over half the population. The “zombies” here are Ragers. But they’re not the slow mindless Walking Dead zombies.

The story starts with fourteen year old Dani.

They only take boys.” My mother’s hands tremble, drumming against the top of my closely shorn head, as she snips scissors over the few stray hairs she missed. “Only boys.”

She lives in a hive which is being raided. Danielle now Daniel along with her three year old brother Abel are taken. While her mother and three year old sister are killed in front of them. Every male in the hive is taken. Every female is killed.

They are taken to Calico. Their lives are worthless in this hell. And Dani realises the doctors here are monsters that rival the Ragers found outside.

Dani’s story runs concurrently with Wren’s. Wren is nearly eighteen and lives safely within the walls of Calico. We meet her as she’s sneaking into the forbidden Deadlands. Here she meets a mute boy. A boy that intrigues her more than anything ever has.

She names him Six and he’s a complex and wonderful character.

I rarely give 5* and the fact that I’m giving it now shows how good I think this book is. Normally I’d cut at least half a star just for the eight year later jump. Yes I am that picky. But I just can’t give less. I really hope the author writes another book. I’m nowhere near ready to say goodbye to these characters or the world that’s been created.
Profile Image for Birjis.
435 reviews312 followers
November 3, 2019
Rating: fucking infinity stars.

A deadly contagion has the population divided among the pure, the infected and the Ragers. The hardships faced in this dystopian world is plagued, heart-breaking and twisted. Among this blossoms a love story of Wren and a mute boy Six. Young love blossoms only to be ripped apart. Juniper tree holds a beautiful sense of series in this imperfect, intricate existence.

Juniper Unraveling is built up with dystopian era where there are lots of actions and horror. How Keri Lake makes us stumble and then dropping us in chaos of curiosity. When she connects the dots of the story it's totally unpredictable. She brings us unconditional love between a father and daughter.

I would like to add a little bit of warning. The story has violence, rape, miscarriage and horrific scenes. Here death don't come easily.

This book was brilliant. I've enjoyed Keri Lake's books so far and this book took me so deep in it's web, I'm still having a hard time entangling from it.

I highly recommend this book.

Finally this little quote from Papa to Wren reminds me when my Dad would try to put sense to my careless self -

"We don't see the world. We only see our world"

And to the little boy Abel from this book, my heart goes out for you.
Profile Image for ✩ Yaz ✩.
494 reviews1,304 followers
January 9, 2021
5 - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

He wears his words across his skin like braille. A story of pain that I wish I could rewrite for him, and take away the chapters that mark his suffering.

My head is still reeling because there wasn't a moment's rest... like wow... I could not put this book down.

It was utterly gripping and insane.

Juniper Unraveling is a dark romance set in a brutal post-apocalyptic world that sheds off humanity's morality and brings out its most depraved and heinous instincts.

Because I am sick. And so is he. We're the perfect, twisted match, destined for pain like a sad tragedy.
The moth who fell in love with the flame.
He's the reaper, and I'm his disciple.

Keri Lake crafts such a solid story and her writing pulled me right in and although I am not a fan of dystopian books however Lake's take on this genre gave me what I expected and more: a dark, gritty and intense story that kept me restless. She brings out the worst of humanity or let's say the surviving humans whom rose from the ashes of their fallen civilization.

In a reborn world infested with a vicious virus that absorbs the brain and halt its normal functions eventually disconnecting its carrier from their human selves and becoming frenzied individuals with an appetite for human flesh.

In other words, the virus or as the book calls it, the dredge, turns humans into monsters known as Ragers. They are led by three instincts: to survive, to feed and to breed.

As a reader, I always keep my distance from books that include zombies (a cool concept of zombies) and a simple reason for that is:
it's not my cup of tea.

However, I enjoyed Keri Lake's storytelling and writing in Master of Salt and Bones, and I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed.

There were quite a few scenes that made my stomach churn. This book was quite the experience and despite its grittiness, I enjoyed it mainly because the author did not hold back from creating such an intensely dark atmosphere throughout the book because that brings out the horrific reality of how far humanity had fallen.

When you no longer have greed on a leash, it leads you astray, committing the most heinous actions for the sake of power and survival.

What strikes me is the non-existent spectrum of good and evil and I absolutely love that. Every character comes in different shades of grey. While the villains are easy to spot it does not put a damper on the questionable actions the main characters do because even those we are rooting for keep their monsters within.

The little girl who would curl into herself, cursing and shaming her body, is no longer here. In her place is a woman. One who's seen the darker side of man. Who's felt the raw brutality of the world. One who can bathe in the aftermath of her sins.

The story follows two alternating POVS following Dani and Wren. The author ties the threads of their storylines effortlessly in such a clever and effortless way that I was left impressed.

The book shifts halfway through and that helped in igniting my anticipation of what's to come because trust me I gave up on predicting on what happens after it had hit me with plot-twist after plot-twist.

The world-building was nothing short of epic. The author showcases the ugliness of this dystopian world in a way that makes you truly reflect on would humanity ever go that far if they lived in such a horrific reality? And with the world currently living through a pandemic, we most probably do question the fate of humanity.

• There is an empire that seeks to establish a totalitarian rule.
• Small communities of survivors known as The Hives.
• A research facility inhabiting mad scientists subjecting their victims to the most heinous and horrifying experiments.
• An established system of armed forces dividing to: Mediators (men that guard the wall and solar panels) and the Legion (they hunt down Ragers and keep rebels out).

I hope I'm doing a good job at writing this review because I honestly have so much to talk about but I won't bore you with the details because this is a book that should be experienced!

Note that this book is not a book for the faint-hearted, It is intense and disturbing and I will add the trigger warnings at the end of the review but let me tell you that this book will push you out of your comfort zone yet will keep you absorbed and invested in every word and page.

We have covered the dystopian aspect of the book, let's move on to its main theme: Romance

In such a world, the romance sprouted like a single flower in the middle of a wasteland. It was done beautifully and my heart melted for Wren and Six.

Wren is the 17-year-old daughter of a physician and Six is a mysterious 19-year-old mute boy, a prisoner and a victim of mad scientists.

What brings the two together? How do their hearts find the love in one another? My dear reader that is for you to experience, there is so much more to their story.

Let me just say that it is a beautiful and heart-wrenching romance.

This is our fragile dance of understanding and confusion. Pain and lust. Roughness and reverence. This is who we are—two damaged souls trying to figure out each other.

In all honesty, I definitely can say that I haven't read such an amazing dystopian book that combines a heart pounding romance. I'm very glad that I have found this book and I look forward to continue the series even though I think each book is considered a standalone but within the same universe.

Trigger Warnings: explicit language, explicit sexual scenes, rape, sexual assault, death, highly disturbing scenes.
Profile Image for Betül.
987 reviews238 followers
July 27, 2018
**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review**


4.75 stars

"Two damaged souls trying to figure each other out."

I absolutely LOVED Juniper Unraveling. Dystopian/Post-apocalyptic romances are my guilty pleasures, and I am always on the hunt for more books in this genre. When I read the blurb and early reviews of this book, I just knew I had to get my hands on it. This is the first book I read by Keri Lake, also this was her first book in this genre, so I didn't know what to expect. Keri did NOT disappoint! She grabbed my attention from the start and didn't let go of it until the end. This book was long and there was no dull moment at all. It was action-packed, emotional, dark & twisted, romantic, heartbreaking but also hopeful and uplifting.

"No one else has ever touched my soul this way, stolen a piece of me."

So much bad things happen in the first half of this book, it just broke my heart and had me in tears. I was fully connected to the main characters Six and Wren. Keri Lake really knows how to put the reader in suspense to find out what will happen next. The story was unpredictable and I loved it. Everything just fit perfectly together, and it was written beautifully. I couldn't get enough of the story and characters. I didn't want the story to end and I did my best to read as slowly as possible. There are multiple groups that are the villains in this book, and the group people you think that should protect you are the worst.

"We're the perfect, twisted match, destined for pain like a sad tragedy."

I love this book, however the last quarter of it was rushed in my opinion. There are some things that ended too quickly and has left me with unanswered questions. So I really hope there will be a sequel or a book set in this world that focuses on other characters. Because there are just so many directions the author can go with this unique world. The writing was really good, and she did an incredible job in making me feel connected to the story and characters. I was living in this book and feeling everything Six and Wren were feeling. I can't wait to check out Keri's other books.
Profile Image for Lo Bookfrantic.
766 reviews566 followers
November 13, 2017


Genre:  Dark Dystopian Romance
Type: Standalone 
POV: First Person – Females


"Where survival is concerned, tears have no place. Stay focused, and stay alive."


In "Juniper Unraveling" we meet three main characters; Dani and Wren which both were young and full of strength and a will to survive the madness their world has become.  We also meet Six; a young male who was strong but at the same time broken.


The book opens up immediately in a world of chaos, where people are trying to stay safe and others are getting killed.  There was no such thing as freedom; in order to survive they all have to take risks and honestly there were so many things that happened that had me all nervous and full of anxiety. 


I was intrigued from the beginning; I felt so much for everything Dani was going through.  The feels were ridiculously good which something that I loved about this story is.  The time and place was set where survival was everything; the book was dark and suspenseful and dangerous.  There was a big twist I honestly should have guessed it but I didn't which made the story more interesting for me. 


"We're the perfect, twisted match, destined for pain like a sad tragedy. The moth who fell in love with the flame. He's the reaper, and I'm his disciple."


Six stole my heart; even after meeting his dark side I still loved him. He was a perfect but at the same time damaged soul and I hurt for him; he had so much darkness within him but he was also so vulnerable and I loved that about him.


"Six is like a lighting storm in the desert, as mesmerizing as he is dark and violent, with the potential to destroy in one merciless strike."


teaser 11-13-17_Fotor.jpg


Overall I loved everything about this story; this book would be appealing to readers who enjoy dystopian stories.


This was a (F)BR With War

Book Order:
Juniper Unraveling by Keri Lake

Available Now:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2gFKRTs
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2ySfMpM
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2lgHLds
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2z7SrBk


For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

Profile Image for Eliza.
664 reviews837 followers
December 22, 2017


I think it’s fair to say I had a slight cause for concern when going into Juniper Unraveling. I’ve never had any interest in reading a dystopian novel before, but such is the power of Keri Lake, I couldn’t have trusted a better author to take the leap with. The fact that it also hinted to harbouring one of her darkest heroes yet may have also given me reason to clear my throat with nervousness.

I’m the first to admit I’m a wimp when it comes to reads such as these. But if you were to ask me if my fears and hesitation warranted I would say, absolutely so. It’s been days since I finished Juniper Unraveling and I’m still reeling. Keri’s immense talent and creativity make for such a visceral reading experience it’s impossible to not be drawn into the world she’s created. To put it simply, she blew me away.

Set in a desperate time when human life is exploited and its sacredness disabused, Juniper Unraveling is story that needs to be experienced and not told. So vital is the plot there is not much I can without taking away the enjoyment of its unraveling. My emotions were at war with themselves and I was flitted between being unequivocally terrified to basking in unmitigated message of hope.

As is usual of Lake, the integrity of her characters was paramount to my enjoyment of the story. Wren and Six were courageous and their tenacity was admiral. In all my anxiety and it’s their romance that grounded me.

Writers like Keri Lake are very important to a reader such as myself. She takes me out of my comfort zone and pushes my boundaries in terms of new experiences. She’s imaginative and fearless and that is reflected in writing and body of work. My wits may be frayed but her status as one of my favourite authors is here to stay.

Profile Image for FMABookReviews.
635 reviews392 followers
November 12, 2017

❝We're the perfect, twisted match, destined for pain like a sad tragedy. The moth who fell in love with the flame. He's the reaper, and I'm his disciple.❞

As a blogger, I am amazed and honored each time I am given the offer to read books before they go on sale. I cannot always read what is offered due to time constraints, as well, I don’t sign up for every book available to me, no matter how much I love the author, because if the book is a genre I don’t typically read (ie PNR, Fantasy, Dystopia) or if the subject matter isn’t what I enjoy (has my hard limits), I politely run the other way. But sometimes, because I have faith in the author, I preorder the book and quietly read away. This was the case with Juniper Unraveling. I had no intentions of drawing attention to what I was reading because I don’t read Dystopia and if I didn't like it, how would I go about explaining not liking a book from an author I admire? Well, that was unnecessary. Because I could not stop talking about it. To any and everyone who would listen and even those who pretended to be listening, I shared my updates and my gasps and my tears. This story and these characters would not leave me alone, they demanded to be heard.

There is a storm of thoughts swirling in my head right now. Many of them too strong and harsh to put in words, however, the ones that are bubbling to the surface demanding to be heard are winning the fight of speechlessness. Keri Lake is an author who demands respect. Respect for her storytelling and respect for her craft. She is hands down, undeniably one of the most outstanding authors I've ever had the pleasure of reading. You don't read her stories, you become them. Unfailingly, she immerses her readers in the anguish, and despair of her characters. And just when you think you can't take anymore, she tempers the pain with joy and love. If ever there was an author who deserves to ride the tide of fame, it is Keri Lake.

In case I've not made myself clear, I don't read dystopia! And I can count the number of fantasy and PNR books I've read on ONE HAND. But somehow, Keri Lake crafted a story so smart and so magnetic, that I had no choice but to devour it. Juniper Unraveling captured my thoughts. Each day, I would go to the office and share updates with my coworkers. I demanded they listen. I didn't have a choice but to share my enthusiasm with them. It was as if I had been bitten and would soon turn into a Rager, myself. I went to the office Friday having reached the 70% mark and my coworkers told me not to read anymore over the weekend because they didn't want me to forget what happened next. Clearly, they don't know me well, nor the power of Keri's words because waiting was not an option. Even though I did contemplate not reading any further when I reached 91% because I didn't want this story to end.

I think what I liked most about this story was how it was rooted in real life. While we are not in threat of a zombie attack (at least I hope not), our past and present are riddled with races, nationalities, and religions who have been singled out and persecuted for being *different*. While reading Juniper Unraveling, I couldn't help but think about the people who have been shunned, mistreated and tortured because of their differences. Many people fear *different* and sometimes when we act on our fears, rationality and common decency escape us.

❝You see the world as it is. I see the world as it isn't. But what we see individually is molded by our past, our experiences, and our hopes of what's to come. Always remember that everyone has a story, and you'll never know hate for another human being as long as you live.❞


That warning was at the beginning of the book. To say I was frightened to proceed is an understatement. I know Keri can write dark stories, ones that have me reading with one hand over my eyes while I peek through my fingers to read, so yeah, that warning started my heart palpitating. And, what do you know, this book held 2 of my 3 hard limits. So now, not only am I reading a romance genre I never read, but I am also reading a story with topics I never read about ...

And yet it was still brilliant!

When bombs unearth a deadly contagion, the population was divided into the pure, the infected, and the Ragers. The pure rightly fear Ragers and do not know enough about the infected, causing irrational fear. A community is built keeping the pure "safe". But safety is an illusion. It is the monsters walking among them they should fear the most. They blindly follow Andrew Szolen, the designer of the self-sustaining city and "leader" of the community the pure live in. Brainwashed by fear, they follow and do not question things like the smoke coming from the stacks at the hospital beyond the walls, or the many trucks going in and out of that building. As long as they are safe ...

❝But there is no monster more terrifying than the human being who lacks compassion.❞

Wren isn't like the others. She's curious, she questions and doesn't settle for "because I said" or "that's the law". She wants to know what goes on in that building with its smoke and its guards. Inexplicably drawn to the building, she often ventures into restricted areas. On one of her trips, she see's another human, a boy who is scarred and bruised, and looks to be starving for food, companionship, affection. Through the breach in the fence, she brings him food. While he doesn't speak, the two find a method for communicating. When she can no longer accept the brutality she knows he is enduring, she devises a plan for his escape. Unfortunately, living among the pure will not be easy for the boy from beyond the wall.

A constant rollercoaster ride, Juniper Unravelling is about what happens when you no longer accept the status quo. When you ask questions and push for answers. It is love at its purest.

❝Isn't that the way of love, though? It's like a flame, a magnificent gift of nature that draws you into its warmth. The closer a person gets, the more they sacrifice themselves, until they're burning in that unforgiving fire, wishing to become numb, as they turn to nothing more than ash on the wind.❞

Displaying 1 - 30 of 464 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.