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Unraveling    by Elizabeth Norris order for
by Elizabeth Norris
Order:  USA  Can
Balzer & Bray, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Elizabeth Norris debuts with a thrilling YA sci-fi unlike any others on the market today. Unraveling is an engaging and sometime gruesome tale that takes readers for one wild and mind-bending ride.

Janelle Tenner is excited to be finished with her last day of lifeguarding before school starts. On her way home, though, she is struck dead by a runaway truck. She wakes to find Ben Michaels, a slacker boy she vaguely knows from school, hovering over her. He disappears before she gets a chance to ask him what happened. Later that night, she sneaks into her father's home office, rifles through his FBI files and discovers two disturbing things: the driver of the truck that killed her had already been dead from radiation burns and there is a countdown of some kind happening ... but what it is counting down to is anyone's guess. With the help of her neighbor and best friend, Alex, Janelle begins investigating. Her foremost order of business is to ask Ben how he brought her back to life. What she learns from Ben, though, is enough to crumble her world literally.

Unraveling reads almost like a YA version of the TV series Fringe. Unexplained phenomena, unknown victims, and unbelievable secrets surround Janelle after her death and reanimation. Norris is not afraid to pull any punches, knowing that YA readers can handle death and some appropriate gore. This helps to amp up the suspense and keep the reader engaged as Janelle's world unravels faster and faster as the countdown event closes in. And Janelle herself is one kick-butt heroine, making the reader root for her every step of the way.

For a fresh spin on YA sci-fi, definitely check out Elizabeth Norris's Unraveling. Luckily, this is not the end of Janelle and Ben's story as it continues in the sequel, Unbreakable.

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