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I Belong


Review: Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris

Title: Unbreakable

Author: Elizabeth Norris

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: Unraveling (Book 2)

Publication Date: April 23, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 479 Pages

ISBN-100062103768 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062103765 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Michelle

Synopsis:

Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.

And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

Quick & Dirty: A strong sequel filled with alternate universes and a heroine that’s a force to be reckoned with.

Opening Sentence: Some days are so perfect, they just don’t seem real.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

When I met Elizabeth Norris at a signing, she had said that Unraveling was planned as a standalone. I was elated when she followed that statement that there would be a sequel. Unraveling is a sequel that I never imagined could exist. Norris has filled this story with so many wonderful elements, that it has become one of my favorite reads. Strong characters? Check. Incredible plot? Check. Imaginative world? Check. Staying up all night to finish the book because you HAVE to finish it now? Check, double check, and triple check.

It has been four months since Janelle said goodbye to Ben. She has felt a void in her life, and it just hasn’t been the same. In this science fiction world, there are parallel universes. Each one with a duplicated persona, altered by varying personalities. Where Unraveling ended in resolutions, Unbreakable tore it all apart. Barclay came back to Janelle’s Earth, to ask for her aid in helping Ben. There are people missing from different worlds, and all fingers point to Ben. Janelle must travel to an unknown world, to save Ben. But the most difficult part? Having to say hello again, when it took so long to get over the goodbye.

Janelle is different in Unbreakable. She became an introvert, with strong determinations. Norris made sure that you could feel Janelle’s bleak mood and dejections. Janelle became a shadow of who she was in Unraveling. She lost the people she loved the most, and she wears her emotions on her sleeve. It was heartbreaking to read the turmoil and heartaches that she felt inside. She never voiced it, and her inner thoughts spoke volumes. It was easy to connect with Janelle again. Every person has lost someone in some way or manner. Norris just used those emotions and pulled.

In Unbreakable, the supporting characters were renewed. Each one had their own personality transformation. Barclay, for one, was a surprise. He became a show frontrunner, taking the reigns when necessary, but showing sympathy and vulnerability when called for. I enjoyed getting to know him a little more in Unraveling, and I think you will too. Ben surprised me in a few ways. Norris didn’t spare him from the changes. He became this hard person, trying to survive with every part of his being. I fell out of love with him in a few scenes, and I think it was needed. I had to see his flaws, for me to understand why I cared about him so much.

Norris’ world in Unraveling takes us out of familiar San Diego and into a whole different universe. It was nice to see death and destruction, where every corner was the wrong side of town. The setting was as much a characters as the people were. Each place was an unknown variable that altered the outcomes that I imagined. It became this other thing that I looked forward to get to know.

I enjoyed the story. It was different, but had several familiar subplot points. Some things were a little predictable, but it never took away from the enjoyment of reading Unbreakable. There are many surprises, a few heartaches, and enough swoony moments to fill your mental journal of love. The story was meaningful and well thought out. Norris may not have planned for this sequel, but it was written with zeal.

I highly recommend this book. Norris brought out so many emotions from me, and at the end of the day, that’s what I love about reading.

Notable Scene:

I wonder if I’ve made the right decision.

Barclay wanted me to go with him. I haven’t changed my mind– I still don’t understand what I can do to help. And I still don’t think that following Barclay blindly without knowing his plan is a smart thing for me to do. I’m not Ben. I can’t portal around on my own. He wouldn’t want me lost on some other world.

But even knowing all that, even repeating it to myself, I can’t silence the thoughts that say: Maybe Ben needs me.

Maybe I should go.

Unraveling Series:

1. Unraveling

2. Unbreakable

FTC Advisory: Balzer + Bray/Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Unbreakable.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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