Author: Elizabeth Norris
Publication: April 23, 2013
By: Balzer + Bray
I *cupcaking* love you Ben Michaels!*
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?
Thank you YABC and Balzer + Bray for this ARC and a HUGE THANK YOU to Elizabeth Norris for writing this piece of amazingness!
I'll be the first to admit that Sci-Fi isn't my favorite thing to read because most of it feels over my head. (Code for: I end up feeling like the loser on "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?) But every so often an incredibly well written, creative idea catches me off guard and sends me through a wormhole of awesome which is exactly what happened with Unbreakable. (I read Unraveling, Undone (novella) and Unbreakable in quick succession and was unable to put them down.)
What I loved: The word building is so detailed it's visual and I kept forgetting that I was reading and not watching this story play out on a screen. Fast-paced action, complex characters, multi-layered relationships and a heart wrenching romance makes Unbreakable very difficult to put down. Janelle is a fantastic female MC - smart, fearless, sarcastic and doesn't take crap from anyone - yet she's selfless, often putting the needs of others ahead of her own. Ben is tall, dark and full of swoon. His love of family, friends and Janelle is fierce but he doesn't allow it sway him from doing what's right.
Cecily was thoroughly enjoyable as was Elijah even in all of his potty mouth glory. Janelle and Taylor Barclay find themselves in a situation where they must work together for either of them to succeed, and the relationship that develops is interesting and endearing.
Janelle and Ben's romance is complicated at best and anyone whose survived a long distance relationship (and lived to tell and/or love again) can attest to the struggles these two face. I'm a huge fan of romance and kissing and all that goes into it, however, what makes this story really enjoyable is that the romance isn't the only focus but when it is, Elizabeth Norris doesn't pull any punches when she's aiming for your feels. (Linkin Park, anyone?)
A few twists are thrown in, but the action and suspense keep coming right up to end which left me a little bit breathless and a whole lot of happy.
What left me wanting: I didn't want this story to end!
Final verdict: Fans of Dean Koontz, X-Files, 24 and The Bourne Identity - Read it. Fans of rainbows, unicorns and kissing - Read it.
"...because if the good guys are going to cross that line and torture someone, what is it that separates them from the bad guys?"
"Whatever, [ ] "This is the second *bleeping* time I've gotten shot when I was with you. I don't think we can be friends anymore." <--snarkilicious
Review also posted at YABC.