Unraveling

Unraveling - 3 STARSThis seriously sucks. Because after reading this, I realized that this sub-genre of science fiction is probably ruined permanently by JJ Abrams for me. Major spoiler behind the tag. Like seriously. Odds are, this would have gotten a higher rating from me if I'm not such a fan of that show because it's kinda hard not to compare. Or if the heroine wasn't Janelle. Or if this slip up didn't happen:The virus was caused by a bacteria terrorists had somehow managed to insert in select toothpaste tubes that were imported from China.I'm sure its a typo or something, but I couldn't let that go. This book was throwing a lot of science-y stuff in my way and that was just a big, blinking, neon-sign of fail. I'm going to get to Janelle in a sec, but as a YA UF/SF book, this did hold its own. Without giving the plot away, you start with 2 seemingly unrelated stories:✎ Janelle being resurrected from the dead by the mysterious Ben Michaels✎ Janelle's dad investigating a machine counting down to somethingIf you break up these 2 plot lines into smaller fragments each fragment works brilliantly independent of each other. When you start to piece it together, the picture tend to get a little muddled with a couple of red herrings and unnecessary secondary characters (whatever was the purpose of Nick again?) that tested my patience because at a certain point it did get predictable. Now predictable isn't always bad, but these devices felt like it clunked the narrative down. Certain characters, Janelle's family and Alex, were viewed with a certain lack of the warmth you'd usually expect from a story told from the heroine's POV. Which brings me to my biggest issue with this book...There's a big difference between being a strong, bad-ass heroine and being a stone-cold, selfish one. Guess which box Janelle fits in? Because Janelle is easily one of the most self-centered, whiny, inconsistent, illogical heroine I've read in a while. She's sort of the reason why I avoided reading YA books before, because all her faults can be excused by immaturity. Which as an adult reader, I don't want to read about. There was one scene where she came into a room with a gun pointed at an unaware Ben, Reid and Elijah, which I'm pretty sure cannot be excused by her being 16 or having an FBI agent for a dad. She also has an unexplained compulsion to shoe-horn into her dad's investigation dragging Alex along. She whines about being left to care for her brother and bipolar mother (she sucks on both accounts by the way) because her dad's a workaholic in one moment, then tells how much she loves them in the next. And correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think the possibility of the world coming to an end is a valid excuse to discard your bipolar mother. Apart from Ben, Janelle's dad was my favorite character in the book. Because more important than his adorable geekiness, is that despite his crappy family drama, he stuck around when he could just have left. It wasn't acknowledged in the book but even I can see how he tried as a father and as a husband. And it's such a travesty that Janelle never saw fit to mention that.I loved Ben because I'm a sucker for hot nerds who can do my physics AND calculus homework for me. Add the heartbreaking backstory and yeah, you can keep the tattooed, motorcycled bad boy. For now. Maybe I just chose the wrong science program in college but in reality, guys who know what Avogadro's number is for almost always, never has a "classically beautiful profile" from any angle with adorable dark curls. The ending felt clean, I actually liked it. It begs for a sequel but if left alone, would've makes this book unique. I'm reluctant to give the next book a go so soon, I need some reassurances that J-baby (seriously, that nickname needs to die a painful death) has pulled her head out of her a** enough to even deserve Ben's pinkie.