Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: ARC traded with another blogger
Tagline: Stop the Countdown. Save the World.
Content: A heads-up: this book has more profanity than the typical YA
My summary: High school junior Janelle is a caretaker -- she lifeguards, parents her younger brother, and manages her bipolar mother. On the last day of summer, she's hit and killed by a truck. As she lies dying, wishing she'd enjoyed her life more, Ben, a stoner kid from school, bends over and heals her. Once she's recovered, Janelle pesters Ben for answers. Then more strange stuff starts happening. Janelle's FBI agent dad is investigating cases of strange, melted bodies. The guy whose truck hit Janelle doesn't seem to exist. Janelle realizes that something terrible is going to happen -- something cataclysmic -- and she may be the only person who can put all the pieces together and stop it.
My take: This book was a fun, page-turning read. I loved Janelle. Tough and sarcastic, she's the kind of character Kim Bauer in 24 could have been if the show's writers hadn't made her a dimwitted damsel in distress. Janelle's no dimwit -- she's a renaissance girl who can shoot a gun, keep house for her family, analyze Dickens, and save drowning victims.
Ben's a bit more of an enigma. He and his stoner friends are clearly not what they seem. About halfway through the book, there's a whopper of a revelation that veered the book sharply into X-Files territory. This threw me for a loop just a bit. Let's just say I'm more cynical Scully than open-minded Mulder in the sci-fi department. But I went with it, and enjoyed the ride.
All in all, I'd say that Unraveling is well-plotted and fast-paced. Definitely put it on your list if you're a fan of: