Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

PJV Quickie: Five stars, five stars, four stars…I give up on joining the majority view point as far as books, because this one, for me was nothing close to a four star read. In fact at around two-thirds, this one is a big fat DNF.

Title: Unraveling
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Series: Unraveling #1
Publisher: Balzer + Bray April 24, 2012
ISBN: 0062103733
Purchase: Amazon
Author Links: Blog | Twitter


Playing to the marketing, Elizabeth Norris churned out a very trendy YA novel. I would compare this one book, to say opening a Coffee shop. We’ve seen a million of them before…but for some reason we keep on forking out $5 for a damn coffee. If you like that hype sort of thing, then yes, ‘Unraveling’ will be for you. But, if maybe, you can see past the regurgitated slop that is being force fed YA readers…I would step to something more original.

Look, I know you will see certain reoccurring themes in books, we are people and we act a certain way, thus books will be written in a certain way. We want a HEA (most of the time), we want romance, we want danger and intrigue. I’m all about that and at first ‘Unraveling’ seemed to have it all. Norris is a competent writer, she sucked me in with her story-telling and her fast paced urgency that she imbued within the chapters, but then my brain clicked on and pulsed “Haven’t we seen this before?”

My first reaction was, yes, I have SEEN this before. A show called ROSWELL that I was addicted to when I was a teen. It all starts with the main character, who is saved from a fatal car accident by a boy, by of course, paranormal means. This saving, leads to the main character to notice the boy, whom she’s never paid attention to before, and fall in insta-two-week-love. The boy of course is paired with two other friends, one sort of accepting the other almost out-right hostile. Sound familiar? (More details would lead to spoilers)

The fact that this one is also being touted as a Science Fiction genre bender makes me almost do a face palm, because yes, I guess this would be considered Science Fiction, even though the science of it, kind of went like this – we drank something and then turned on a machine *POOF* – then everyone’s faces fell off!!!! I give some credit that this is a YA novel, but really, isn’t it insulting to have this sort of dumbed-down fiction shoved at our teens? Do we really believe that a teenage girl would be allowed to sneak around FBI crime scenes? Black-mail agents? And come to the hypothesis that the end of the world is coming because there is a box that can’t be opened with a digital countdown?

I could have lived with this if it was a regurgitated YA, the story-line and writing would have carried it, along with the more moralistic stance that the author takes. Yet, I don’t want to sit back on auto-pilot when it comes to my novels. I like trying to figure things out and when you give me a plot with a mystery, I don’t like to be TOLD things, I like to figure them out with the characters. Everything was told. The science was rudimentary, with no explaining, just conclusions that the characters just “thought up.” The plot was borrowed from other books and television series. I personally can’t see how this is such a hyped book. Judge for yourself though. Because, I really do put my science fiction up a to a certain standard (harsh harsh PJ) and this one isn’t even on the same shelf as that standard.

Parents there is nothing to worry about, in fact Norris makes a point in lecturing readers on moral behavior in the book. Even though the characters do at sometimes act in morally objectionable ways, it is always expounded upon. So, nothing to be afraid of. On the other hand, I would not recommend this for Science Fiction fans, it might be a good transition novel, but for fans of the genre, you’ll probably find it lacking.

Like That, Like This Better:
Gone (Gone, #1) by Michael Grant
Being Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram


Hot Mess Readscience fiction