Monday, April 29, 2013

Mini Reviews: Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris and Riptide by Lindsey Schiebe

From Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle's mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared. And that was before she died ... and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth's destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet.

My Rating: 4 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: I can’t fully put my finger on what I enjoyed about Elizabeth Norris’ Unraveling so much, but I ended up loving the book. The writing was simple but fluid; and I liked how Unraveling started off with a bang, with the main character getting hit by a truck. From there, the story continued to remain action-packed since the plot involved humans being melted by radiation, an unstoppable device ticking down to the end of the world, and the concept of alternate universes. I also liked Janelle, who I found very relatable because she sounded like a typical teen, and yet didn’t disappoint me by making stupid decisions. The secondary characters like Alex, Ben, Cecily and Elijah were great as well. The only thing I didn’t really love about Unraveling was the romance. Yes, it was sweet, but I thought Janelle developed feelings for Ben quite quickly. 

Unraveling was released in April 2012 by Balzer + Bray.  

From Goodreads: For Grace Parker, surfing is all about the ride and the moment. Everything else disappears. She can forget that her best friend, Ford Watson, has a crush on her that she can’t reciprocate. She can forget how badly she wants to get a surf scholarship to UC San Diego. She can forget the pressure of her parents’ impossibly high expectations. When Ford enters Grace into a surf competition - the only way she can impress the UCSD surfing scouts - she has one summer to train and prepare. Will she gain everything she’s ever wanted or lose the only things that ever mattered? 

My Rating: 2.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: When I requested Riptide by Lindsey Schiebe, I figured that there would be a lot of surfing in the novel. What I wasn’t expecting was Riptide to be an issues book that used surfing as a metaphor for Grace's life – and quite heavy handedly, I might add! Another problem I had with Riptide was that I couldn’t care about Grace, which made the book feel even longer. Lastly, Riptide had a second, unexpected main character – Ford. Unfortunately, Ford’s POV detracts from Grace’s story rather than being a meaningful alternative perspective because the two narratives aren’t linked very cohesively. Also, Ford’s POV made him came off as sort of a jerk. (Grace, on the other hand, seemed kind of selfish from both perspectives.) I think Riptide would have been a better story if it had just been Grace’s story. Ultimately, when I compare Riptide to Kirsty Eagar’s Raw Blue, another issues book with a lot of surfing scenes, I find Riptide to be severely lacking. If you’re an older reader or enjoy New Adult, I’d definitely recommend reading Raw Blue instead.  

Riptide will be released by Flux on May 8, 2013. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Flux) for free via NetGalley.


  1. YAY!!!! So glad you loved Unraveling Z! I loved it as well and I was so surprised by it. I didn't expect to adore it the way I did. Too bad on Riptide though, I thought about requesting that one for a long time, I thought it might be similar to Raw Blue which I loved, but I'm glad I waited now. I'd probably just compare the two, and like you, find this one lacking. It's hard to top Raw Blue!

  2. When it comes to books that feature surfing, I automatically think of Raw Blue now. I can't see many other similar titles living up to it for me. It's a shame it didn't work for you, but I'm really glad you liked Unravelling! I loved it too and should be picking up the sequel very soon actually. Great reviews, Z. :)

  3. You loved Unraveling! That makes me so very happy. I agree with you about Norris' clean, fairly simplistic but beautiful writing. I just adore her style.
    Riptide wasn't even on my radar, to be honest, and it's best that it stays that way. And I ADORED Raw Blue! Go us.

  4. I'm glad to see you enjoyed Unravelling too. I also loved the secondary character, but I really enjoyed the romance too.

    It's a pity that you didn't get the same enjoyment from Riptide, though I don't think that would really be one for me either.

    Lovely reviews hun :)

  5. Unraveling sounds amazing! I love action packed stories & I can't wait to read this one. I probably will wait untill the sequel comes out & then buy the first two books together. :) Great mini reviews. :)

  6. Unraveling was a great read, but I didn't love it as much as others did. I also found the romance a bit on the insta-love-y side. However, Unraveling definitely had a lot going on for it! But I think it was just too typical for it to stand out to me. As for Riptide, it definitely does sound like a surfing book! I'm not one for contemporaries with heavy issues in it, so I think I'll pass. Fantastic mini reviews, Zahida! :)

  7. You know, I had a hard time describing what I like so much about Unraveling, as well. Sometimes a book is just plain enjoyable! That, and Janelle is awesome.

    Hamfisted metaphors bug me to no end so I can't say I have much interest in Riptide after hearing you say that. Meh, I think I'll pass. But I really appreciate the review!

  8. I loved Unraveling! I'm hoping to read the sequel soon. :)

  9. Great reviews! I have Unraveling sitting on my shelf and just haven't gotten to it yet. But the main character being hit by a truck? That truly sounds like a novel with bang!Need to move it up on my TBR pile. Thanks for your honest reviews:)


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