Saturday, December 31, 2011

Review: Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook

From Goodreads: Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother. But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling - her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons. 

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Since I haven’t been in the mood to write a review in the past few days, I’ll be doing a pros and cons list for Eileen Cook’s Unraveling Isobel.

  • The book is guaranteed to make you laugh!
  • It’s a standalone novel, which means things are wrapped up neatly and there are no cliffhanger endings.
  • Isobel has a great sense of humour and is easy to like.
  • Nate, the love interest, is someone who does his own thing and doesn’t just follow the crowd.
  • Since Isobel’s father is a schizophrenic, Cook does a good job of making the reader wonder whether Isobel is having delusions or whether something more sinister is going on.
  • The secondary characters could have more depth. 
  • While the romance was sweet, it didn’t seem to take Isobel and her stepbrother very long to get together; and once they hooked up, the two never really thought about the strangeness of their relationship.
  • Even though Isobel sees a psychologist to come to terms with her dad’s condition and acknowledges how common mental disorders are, I thought the topic of schizophrenia was handled a little too lightly. As a result, it kind of felt more like a plot device to me. 
A good choice to pick up if you want a fun contemporary with a bit of paranormal and mystery; Unraveling Isobel will be released by Simon Pulse on January 3, 2012. 

Comments About the Cover: I think the cover’s cheeriness fits the overall tone of the novel, and I like how it incorporates Isobel’s artistic ability by having the model pose so that it looks like she’s painting the cover.

In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received from the publisher (Simon and Schuster) for free via Galley Grab.
original image from


  1. so was oke but not a must read!!
    tnx 4 you're ummm pointers
    hope you get wtier inspiration soon

  2. Really, they never really talk about how strange their relationship is considering they're step siblings? That's odd. On the plus side, I feel like I should be making more of an effort to read standalones in 2012.

  3. I was curious about this one so thanks for your pro/con list, which I found really helpful! I do have this one on my tbr list but I don't think I'll rush to read this one. Thanks for your honest opinion. :)

  4. The first pro is all I need to make me want to read this. :)

  5. Great review! I just finished this one last week and I had the same opinions. It was good but I had some issues with it. My review will be posted on Thursday. But I didn't feel like it was very original. And her mom was a bitch! Haha. Sorry but tking your 3 month husband's side over your daughters. o_O Excellent review my dear!!

    Xpresso Reads

  6. I've read a couple of Eileen's previous books so I pretty much know what to expect. Thanks for the review :)

  7. Hmm, this one sounds like a great read for humour, but I'm a bit disappointed to hear the mental health aspect comes off as a plot device. Is the schizophrenia portrayed accurately?

  8. I guess he wasn't so off limits after all, eh? I bet it's pretty common in RL, step siblings hooking up, I mean. I know a few who have. LOL

    The schizophrenia angel does sound interesting, even if it's a little on the light side.

    And I think I'm with Aylee on needing to read more stand-alones!

    Happy New Year! I hope all has been well with you.

  9. Interesting that they never thought about their relationship being odd. I'm not crazy about mental illness being handled to lightly, but the humor aspect of the writing would be a win for me.

  10. Hmmmm yes, I really liked the idea of this book, and some of the aspects were so cool, but it wasn't fabulous or anything. Just pretty good.

    To be honest I was excited about some hot forbidden step-sibling action (does that make me creepy? lol), but yah, it was kind of lacklustre. Like... they were adorable together, but they really didn't take much time to think "hey, this is a bit awkward". So yah, the book was different than I expected in a lot of ways.


I love comments and will reply back via either email or stopping by your blog. Please note that this is an award-free zone.