K's Reviews > Unraveling

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
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's review
Jul 19, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: library, i-bought-it

It started out innocuously enough (though it even did that with a bang) that I didn’t realize when it went from contemp paranormal to full on science drama. By the end it was every justbarely sci-fi show that’s managed to make a fan out of me. Is this genre? Because I want more of it.

Janelle’s walking home after some car trouble, on the phone with her best friend when she gets run over by a truck. She dies. Or at least for a few minutes before Ben Michaels, all around screw up extraordinaire, manages to actually put her back together. She wakes up to her heart restarting, her bones mending, and that bright ever after light fading. He takes off after that, after making sure she’s okay, and the doctors, her family, and her best friend are all pretty glad she’s fine. But no one believes she died—she can’t quite figure it out herself.

Since she’s up and walking without any ill effects, Janelle’s back to old routines. School starts again and she and best friend Alex are back to snooping her dad’s FBI case files. Her dad joined the FBI because he was a big X-Files fan, he wanted to see some freaky stuff. Usually he doesn’t, but the case he’s working on now is plenty weird. Dead bodies disfigured by radiation (in San Diego?), unidentified tech, and—the scariest thing of all—an unstoppable countdown to the end of the world in the form of a mystery UIED.

I liked Janelle and Ben, together and separately. There wasn’t anything lazily written or that read cliché about them, they felt believable. In the beginning he was just Ben Michaels to her, the way that the people you know but don’t know require both names. (I did keep seeing ‘Bret Michaels’ and there was a part where he hops on a bicycle and rides away that was made especially hilarious by that.) So they get to know each other. But Janelle’s her father’s daughter and she wasn’t above being suspicious of Ben and his loser friends. He did bring her back from the dead, after all.

It all seems disjointed but like I said, it becomes the kind of story that makes me think I might be a sci-fi fan: Roswell, Quantum Leap, Sliders, Fringe, LOST (are we calling that sci-fi?), Invasion. The unexplained is crazy cool. And the possibilities for the next book actually *are* endless. Totally looking forward to it.

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