Review: Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on May 1, 2013 | 10 Comments

Review: Unbreakable by Elizabeth NorrisUnbreakable by Elizabeth Norris
Series: Unraveling #2
Published by Balzer + Bray (4.23.2013)
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 496 pages
Source: I own it
Buy on Amazon

5 Stars

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?

My thoughts

Wowza! Unraveling blew my mind, and I shouldn’t have expected anything less from the sequel. It’s fast paced and will have you on the edge of your seat! I couldn’t get enough of this book – even when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it.

You can always count on Elizabeth Norris to yank the rug out from under you. There were a few times where I gasped out loud or just stared at the pages agape because I could hardly believe what I was reading! The shock factor is high, the stakes are high, and time is running out. That’s something that is still present in this one that I loved about Unraveling: Each chapter is a countdown, adding a sense of desperation and anticipation to the story. 

The characterization in this book is fabulous. Each character has his/her own individual personality, and they’re so realistic you feel like you know them. Which, in turn, makes you even more attached to them. And you know who I really loved, that caught me by surprise? Barclay. I didn’t care about him in the first book and he came off as a bit of an asshat. But I found myself loving him more and more as the story went along, because even though he was a pain in the arse, deep down he was a good man and he protected Janelle no matter what. And insanely enough, there were certain scenes when I actually almost shipped him with Janelle. Crazy, right?! Not that I don’t love Ben anymore. Because I still do. But he did something that really disappointed me, and I felt the hurt right along with Janelle. 

I still adored Janelle! I mentioned in my review of Unraveling that she reminds me of myself. She’s a bit more badass in the sequel than I could probably ever be, but I could still relate to her and I felt a connection to her and her feelings. I still loved Ben even though the two of them had some issues and distance between them, even though he wasn’t perfect by far (but who is?) and made mistakes. He was still a sweetheart with good intentions.

The world building is fabulous as well! The idea of interverse travel is absolutely fascinating! And the way everything was done was so convincing. It was cinematic! Very easy to picture, very realistic. This would make an AWESOME movie.

Something that did kind of annoy me was Elijah’s cursing. I mean, I actually know people who use that kind of language that frequently (even I curse like a sailor sometimes), so it was realistic. But in YA I don’t think the F word should be used that much. A few times in the whole book, fine. Like I said, it’s realistic. It’s nothing that a teenager wouldn’t hear from their peers. But once a chapter gets to be a bit much, and Elijah grated on my nerves. But that’s the only complaint I have.

I love a book that is engaging to the point that I’m 100% emotionally invested. The ending ripped my heart out! I cried. I did. It was like Spell Bound [Rachel Hawkins] all over again! Gahhhh, I love you dude. Seriously, seriously love you. *hugs book to chest while sobbing* If you’ve read it, you know what I’m talking about!

Even though things were tied up pretty neatly at the end, I’m still kind of hoping there’s another book. Or that Elizabeth Norris will write something else. Please? *puppy eyes at Elizabeth*

Favorite character: Barclay, surprisingly enough!



“Giving up on something is like admitting you never wanted it in the first place.”

“I’ve thought of you every single day since I left, about the way you look up and pinch the bridge of your nose when you’re thinking really hard, the way your lips curl into this tiny smile when you’ve figured something out, even the way you roll your eyes. I remembered every moment we spent together. I replayed them over and over in my mind. Every morning when I woke up, I would forget that we weren’t together, that you were a world away. […] Even though I wasn’t there, you were always with me. Always.”


Plot: 5/5
Writing style: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
World-building: 5/5
Pace: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall rating: 5/5 starfish 


Jessi (Geo)

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10 responses to “Review: Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris

  1. I totally agree with your review! I loved Unbreakable so much, and Barclay especially <3 <3 And I admit to shipping him and Janelle too, at one point! I really hope Elizabeth revisits this world sometime, because I can't bear to let go of it. Amazing review!

    Richa @ City of Books

  2. *dances through singing “I need to read Unraveling….*

    I totally will. Promise. Hehe. I’m SO GLAD YOU LOVED THIS ONE! I’m bound to love it. I’ve been loving all these action and thriller books of late. The tense feelings are kinda making me itch to ride a crazy roller coaster. Is that a weird connection? Am I weird for thinking that?

    ANYWAYYYY. I’m SOOO FREAKING GLAD the characters are not paper dolls. This is like one of my recent pickies. I’m like “SUCK UP AND BE A CHARACTER”. So I’m glad to hear that hehe. AND Barclay. He sounds fascinating. Hehe. I love how you share your favorite character! Way cool. Hehe. DUDE NATOR TWIN. The cover alone screams “MAKE ME A MOVIE.” It’s CRAY-CRAY Epic.

    Oh no. Another emotionally gut-tearing-twisting-wrenching-ending. Yay. That is becoming more popular and it’s got me on this whole love-it-hate-it track. Whatev. I’ve kinda heard about all the language. Bah. Yeah, you know I’m a cleanie-weenie, but hmmph. I still get your point. I can put up with some. But I HATE WHEN IT BECOMES AN ADJECTIVE. That’s doesn’t show great language skills. Okay now I’m getting to weird and letting my writing brain kick in. I will shut up now. Loverly review from a loverly girl!!

    I. Am. Your. Inescapable. Nator. Twin………
    ..Inky Out!

    • Better do it soon!!! :D
      ROLLER COASTERS FTW! Not weird at all!

      The cursing may bother you, but it’s just the one character. Worst case scenario, hopefully you’ll just end up hating the potty-mouth character. Hopefully!

      Heheee I’m fine with the inescapable part! ;D


  3. OMG, the scenes where Janelle and Barclay were growing close, a part of me was screaming NOOOOOOOOO! while another part of me was screaming YES, BRING IT ON! So conflicting LOL.
    And I definitely agree, the characterization is fabulous. Nothing falls flat and everyone has their own unique personality.
    Awesome review Jessi! (:

  4. OOH I’m soooooo glad that you loved love LOOVVEEEDD this one! The world-building sounds amazing, as does the characters the plot. I was a little meh on Unraveling but I may read Unbreakable soon anyway because it sounds like it gets even better and I’m so happy it was realistic! It sounds like it WOULD make a fantastic movie, fantastic review Jessi!

    • You were meh on Unraveling?!?!! D:
      You may be meh on this one too, because it’s very similar. But try it anyway, if you don’t like it you can blame me!

  5. 5/5! Yay! I bought the first one last year (so forgive me, I sorta skimmed your review to get your overall impressions,) but glad you had such a fab experience with it, girl! Everything about this series appeals to me – alternate universe stuff makes me SWOON. I will definitely be trying to get to the first one soon to see what all you were talking about!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  6. starlynn

    Totally agree with all that you said. About halfway through I was totally shipping Barclay and Janelle but at the same time was worried about Ben. I was conflicted on who I wanted to get together at the end. The whole betrayal part with Ben really upset me for Janelle. I felt that a lot of the sparks went away after that and I was really hoping for Barclay and Janelle at the end.

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