Author : Elizabeth Norris
Publisher : Balzer + Bray
Source : Bought
Pages : 464 (Hardback)
Summary 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.
This book has sat for more than a year on my shelf before I finally read it, and one of those books I decided to buy based on a pretty cover and a feeling that this book might be good. But of course, there was a bit hesitation because I actually had no idea what the story was about, the blurb and trailer didn't say much. I was afraid I wouldn't like this book though my friend loved this book and highly recommend it to me, until I read it myself. I feel really bad for abandoning this book for such a long time because it's REALLY GOOD! REALLY REALLY GOOD. I was glad that 'science fiction' tag is not only a bluff. I enjoyed reading this book so much, even brought my hardcover copy to my office (which obviously added a trouble lifting my heavy bag) because I wanted to know what would happen next. Well-paced and unpredictable, jam-packed with action and high stakes, with emotional, beautiful writing and engaging characters that will make you love them each page!
At first I was confused where the sci-fi and countdown-to-the-end-of-the-world part in this book, though it's still highly entertaining for me. At early pages we learn more about Janelle and her ordinary yet tough life. Also, it seemed more like criminal story because Janelle put a lot interest on her father's cases, and the last one is quite bizarre, involved a kind of bio-terrorism which put quite a disturbing image in my head. But then everything gets more exciting and becomes clear one by one after Janelle gets hit by a truck from nowhere, literally dead and gets resurrected by a mysterious boy named Ben Michaels. What's the connection between Ben Michaels, sort of bio-terrorism, and apocalypse? This book made me guessing a lot and yes, unpredictable. I really didn't see them coming and I really really LOVED that part =D
Since the start, I already fell in love with Janelle. I emotionally touched by her raw voice and thoughts, I easily connected to her interesting personality. She doesn't fake how tiring her life is and act a lot like normal girl who faces the same thing in the real world, still she love her family so much and takes a good care of them even her bipolar mother. Thankfully she's also surrounded by awesome people like her FBI father, her little brother Jared, and her best friend Alex and Cecily who helps her going through. It makes her grows a lot maturer and stronger, a bit cynical and sarcastic, also has a big curiosity because of her father influence. And of course there's Ben Michaels, the tragic beauty, but lovely Ben Michaels. I was so touched by everything he does for his friends and especially for Janelle *melting*. I think he's one of unique hero I've known and he's very complicated, not include his real identity, and I already add him to my too-long book-boyfriend list =D.
The secondary characters who keep showing up are very likable as well, like Jared, Struz, Cecily, Elijah and the others. They have their own unique personality that enrich the story. And just a warning, if you like one of them, just prepare your heart to badly break later. The ending part is so heart-breaking it brought tears on me, and made me want to start reading Unbreakable right away!
Overall, if you are a fan TV series like 24, Fringe, X-Files or Veronica Mars (I just copy it from everywhere else. I actually haven't watch any of them, yeah I'm so lame =_=), a fan of Sci-fi, Criminal and even Dystopia with great main characters, and don't mind reading "F" word that scatters like everywhere, you really don't want to miss this series! Romance doesn't take a big part in this book, remind you, but in my opinion, for this book small portion doesn't lessen the meaning =). I even think to start hunting some of TV series above because of this book ;p. Thank you Liz Norris for writing such an amazing series!
Happy reading! =)