Book Review: Unbreakable

Unbreakable (Unraveling #2)
Published By: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Page Count: 496
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Authors on the Web
Audience: Young Adult - Science Fiction

Wow. What a ride! I liked Unraveling, really enjoyed Undone, and LOVED Unbreakable. It isn't often that an author's sophomore novel outshines their first, but that is certainly how I feel about this one. I liked the first book, but there was something about this one that compelled me to keep reading at a frantic pace. The action and adrenaline were kicked up several notches in this one. I didn't know if/how some of my favorite characters were going to make it out of this one. I had to keep reading to find out their fates. This novel is on the lengthier side of YA - squeaking in right below 500 pages - but that didn't stop me from reading it in the span of three days. Every spare free moment was spent lost in this world.

Unbreakable takes place a few months after the ending of Unraveling. Since the main novels are told from Janelle's point of view, it takes some time to find out what is happening with Ben. I'm so glad that I took the time to read Undone before starting this one. While I was anxious to see Ben, I did know where he was and what was happening to him even when Janelle didn't. I also was anticipating the moment when she found out what he was up to and swooped in to save the day.

I wasn't disappointed in the lengths that Janelle would go to in order to keep her family, friends, and love safe. She truly is a bad-ass. Janelle is the sort I want on my side if the world starts to fall apart. She's smart, loyal, observant, and the girl can handle herself in a fight. I love seeing a strong female holding her own with male characters. I think girls need to see more of this sort of character in YA fiction. Not every girl is a damsel in distress. It's cool to see the girl saving the day instead of relying on a guy to swoop in at the last minute. Ben does his fair share of butt kicking, but the spotlight truly shines on Janelle.

I won't say much about the plot, but I was intrigued by the human trafficking aspect. It terrified me to think of people being ripped away from their lives and sent to other universes to be used as slaves. I can't even imagine how I would handle being stuck in that situation. It adds a huge layer of tension to the novel.

Norris also makes some strong statements about governmental corruption and gender. I like that even though this is a science fiction filled with action there are some really serious underlying issues. I'm not sure all readers would stop to ponder these issues, but I really enjoy the intellectual Easter eggs I find as I read one of Norris' novels. Norris' writing seems to get better and better. There were some twists I never saw coming. This novel made me laugh, cringe, fret, and cry - such a fun reading experience!

There is not a dull moment in this one. I also loved that the title defines Janelle well. She truly exhibits unbreakable characteristics in this one. No matter what is thrown at her, she always finds a solution and stays calm. 

I'm not sure if this is the end of the road for Janelle and Ben. It ends with a strong sense of closure, but there are a few tiny loose ends that could easily spawn future books.

One Last Gripe: Janelle's treatment of Ben frustrated me in a few scenes. I understood what she was trying to do, but I didn't like it at all.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The action - typically this is not what appeals to me - but I loved the fast paced intensity of this read

First Sentence: Some days are so perfect, they just don't seem real.

Favorite Character: Janelle

Least Favorite Character: I can't say without ruining the plot.

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?


  1. Andrea, I love your reviews of this series and i have heard a lot of good things about them
    I am definitely going to read them sometime
    Your reader,

    1. Thank you, Soma! I'm so glad to hear you have enjoyed the reviews. I really love this series and can't wait to hear what you think about them.

  2. Even though I wasn't a fan of the first book, I'm still interested in picking up the sequel. Great review!

    1. I think this one is better than the first one in many ways. There isn't a dull moment.

  3. Oh I dearly enjoyed this book!! I'm sad it's gone :*( Such a great read!!

    1. I often feel like series are drawn out too much or that they end when the time is right, but this one left me feeling sad. I wanted more.

  4. I've been meaning to jump into this series!

  5. The scifi element was easy to follow and I liked the bigger themes like you said:)

  6. Heard amazing things about this series! have to try it soon :o

  7. This is my first time hearing of this series. It's wonderful that Janelle is such a kick butt character, I don't see that often in YA books.

  8. I haven't read this series yet, but its been on my TBR list for quite some time. Another great review! :)


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