Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Publisher: HarperCollins Publisher
Rating: 5 stars--Go get this and read it now.
I picked this book up (okay, I downloaded this book to my nook) because I couldn't decide between this and another (which I can't actually remember now) and made my niece pick.
Lemme just say, Thank you, Niece.
Unraveling stars with a bang. The main character, Janelle, get hit by a truck. How's that for a opening scene? Of course, someone rescues her--brings her back to life, and when he does, she sees a bit about him that is just so perfect it's worth flipping back to, just to reread the paragraph a few dozen times.
Janelle has a difficult time. She's the oldest child of a workaholic father and a bi-polar mother, and much of raising her younger brother falls on her shoulders. What really impressed me about Janelle is how strong she is. Even when she wanted--even needed--to be weak and broken, she was strong because her brother needed her, her friends, her mother, anyone.
But that doesn't mean she's perfect. She's strong to a point where she doesn't trust the adults in her life as much as she should. There were a few points in the book I wanted to reach out and slap her and say, 'Give your FBI father and Strutz the info, you idiot!!'
Which is why I think Ben is so perfect. Ben is the bad boy who isn't, the stoner who is really smart (and isn't actually a stoner) the boy who has been almost stalker-ish in his devotion to Janelle, and in the end, the one who allows Janelle the ability to be weak.
Also--the chemistry between them is freakin' hot. Just throwin' that out there.
Norris does a really great job with some difficult theories. Although I did call a few plot twists before they happened, I was kept pleasantly surprised and guessing. And her writing is to die for--Janelle's voice, and the occasionally perfect line that is still repeating in my head.
All around, this book is perfect, and has hit my top ten of 2012. Go get it. Read it. Tell me what you think.