by Elizabeth Norris
Summary: Leaving the beach, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit head on by a pickup truck.This book kind of took me by surprise, it was really good. I went into it not really knowing what to expect but I wouldn't have guessed it would be the story that it turned out to be (for one thing, I would've thought it was more of a paranormal kind of story but it's actually more sci-fi and I really liked that a lot).
Then Ben Michaels, resident stoner, is leaning over her. And even though it isn’t possible, she knows Ben somehow brought her back to life…
Meanwhile, Janelle’s father, a special agent for the FBI, starts working on a case that seems strangely connected to Ben. Digging in his files, Janelle finds a mysterious device – one that seems to be counting down to something that will happen in 23 days and 10 hours time.
That something? It might just be the end of the world. And if Janelle wants to stop it, she’s going to need to uncover Ben’s secrets – and keep from falling in love with him in the process…
I was pretty much hooked from the start. I liked the writing and the characters a lot. Janelle was a great narrator and I really liked that there was a lot going on with her, her personality and her past and her relationships - her whole life really - felt really fleshed out and made her feel more real. The minor characters were great too, I loved her brother and her dad and Struz and, of course, Ben and Elijah.
The plot was really good. With YA, it's easy to go into a book like this expecting it to be a story revolving around a romance but this didn't feel that way, there were lots of side plots and the romance was one of them and the story was so much bigger than two teens falling in love. It was the mystery that kept me hooked and interested, not the romance.
Although, since I mentioned the R word, I did like the romance. I was rooting for the characters because their relationship was sweet. I really liked them together and I like that it didn't feel insta-love-ish and that, even though their relationship happens over a relatively short amount of time, it didn't feel unconvincing, the circumstances in the book made it believable that they could feel the things they do on that time frame.
I can't properly talk about the end of the book because of spoilers, but I just wanted to mention that I really liked how it ended. It wasn't predictable and I appreciate that, even if some things happen that I didn't want to happen (and that's a sign that a book is good to me: if it can end in a way that I don't want but still have me liking the book and thinking there's nothing I'd really change).
The book wasn't perfect, there were things about it that did have elements that seemed kind of silly (but then, that's less about it being silly within the context of the story and more about it being hard to suspend disbelief because you imagine how silly it would sound to hear someone in real life say these things) but mostly, it was really good.
Basically, I really enjoyed the book. I think I would've liked it even more had I read it when I was in a different mood (the mood I was in, the scenes that should've really got to me or made me cry just didn't get under my skin and I felt really distanced from them) but I'd still rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
I looked it up on goodreads and apparently there's a sequel - I really, really want the sequel now but one of the great things about this book is that, while I want a sequel, it weirdly works as a stand alone too (surprising given how it ends).