Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Review: Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris

Title: Unbreakable (Unraveling #2)
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Release date: April 23rd 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Format: ARC
Pages: 481
Source: Publisher

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?

I'm kind of completely blown away by this book. I had very high expectations for Unbreakable, and it topped them all! This was one of my most anticipated books of 2013, so I was beyond excited when I began reading it. And I couldn't put it down! I devoured the whole book within a day, because it's just. That. Amazing. Seriously, I can't stress enough how much I loved this book.

Unbreakable begins four months after the events of Unraveling. Oh, before I get into the story, I want to mention that it's a really good idea to read Undone, the novella, before reading Unbreakable. It's not exactly necessary to, but I'd recommend it. In Unbreakable, the whole world is trying to rebuild itself after the repercussions of Wave Function Collapse. Even though Janelle managed to stop it from happening, the impact it had on Earth was humongous. There are shelters everywhere, and Janelle and Cecily are doing everything they can to help. But no matter what, Janelle can't seem to get Ben out of her head. His smile, his eyes, his voice - everything. Imagine her surprise when Taylor Barclay shows up, needing her help! Janelle is whisked right into the middle of something she has no idea about, but she knows it's terribly important. And she needs to do whatever she can to save Ben.

Ever since I read Unraveling, Janelle has been one of my favourite YA heroines. She's such an awesome badass, and so incredibly tough. Janelle can withstand anything, and everyone feels that way. She's strong, kind-hearted, and very loyal to her friends and family. I loved her determination throughout this book, and her dedication to saving Ben and all the Unwillings. I admire her so much, and I can't believe this is the end of her story. I'm going to miss her so freaking much.

Ben only shows up halfway through the novel, and I was a little miffed about that. But it was okay, since the book was unputdownable even when he wasn't there! I fell hard for Ben in Unraveling, and I couldn't wait to see him in Unbreakable. Ben's different, though. A lot has changed in the four months since he last saw Janelle, and the horrors he's experienced have changed him forever. I felt so sorry for him after reading about what happened. Ben's made quite a lot of mistakes, and he's trying to do everything he can to rectify them. I still loved Ben in this book, because I believed that he could get past it all. His love for Janelle outshines everything else in his life, and that's what gives him - and me - hope.

I admit that the scene I was most looking forward to in this book was Ben and Janelle's reunion. But it was so different from what I expected. I honestly never saw that coming, and there's a wedge driven between the two of them. I think the song We Are Broken by Paramore relates perfectly to Ben and Janelle's relationship when they finally meet again. If you know the song, you'll know that they have a lot of obstacles to get through, and they don't know whether they can make it past everything. But I always had faith in them.

Okay so when I first read ARC reviews of Unbreakable, I was confused to see that everyone loved Barclay so much. I mean, he was kind of an egotistic asshole in Unraveling, and I just couldn't see how he could suddenly become everyone's favourite character in this book. I totally get it now, though! I freaking love Barclay! He shows a different side of him in this book - a softer side. And I love how supportive and caring he is of Janelle, and how he can always make her laugh no matter what. There was definitely something there between Barclay and Janelle, but Elizabeth Norris didn't let it go anywhere, because of Ben. But seriously, I have to say that the Barclay scenes were some of my favourites in the book!

Unbreakable is jam-packed with action. I'm not even exaggerating! Once Janelle leaves with Barclay, they're in a race against time. Much like in Unraveling, which I liked. There was a countdown before each chapter and everything! Elijah and Cecily join in, and the five of them together go all over the place and risk their lives to shut down the human trafficking ring. People are not who they seem, and there are so many surprises in this novel. I was left breathless in all the intense scenes! They were all so damn vivid. I absolutely love Elizabeth's writing, because it makes me feel like I'm right there in the book alongside Janelle. And it makes me fall in love with her characters.

I definitely teared up towards the end. I won't say why, but I have a feeling a lot of people will be sobbing by then. It was devastating, but at the same time, beautiful. And that's why I loved Unbreakable so much - the way you can feel two conflicting emotions simultaneously, and you actually enjoy the feeling. I cherished every second of reading this book, because it's the end of Janelle, Ben, and Barclay's story. Of course I wish there was another one, but it ended at note that gave me closure. I liked that - nothing like Requiem by Lauren Oliver, leaving us hanging! I hope Elizabeth decides to revisit this world in the future, because I'm dying to know how some of my favourite characters in YA literature are doing!

*Thank you so much to Sarah at HarperCollins International for sending me an ARC for review*

Rating: 5/5

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