It is Monday... and rainy here. I think our warm string of sunny days has run out. I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween. I bet you thought since Wicked was over that I wouldn't have anything great for you today.... Wrong! I have one last guest post that was left over from Wicked. I just was jam packed and didn't want to squeeze this in unless it got the right amount of attention, so I decided to run it today, besides I thought you would all love another giveaway! Today, I am featuring Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris. Last year I read her debut book Unraveling and loved it. Her books present quantum physics and alternate universes and stuff that will make your head spin. I highly recommend you check out this series. I love it. For those of you unfamiliar with Elizabeth let me introduce you:
Elizabeth Norris briefly taught high school English and history before trading the southern California beaches and sunshine for Manhattan's recent snowpocalyptic winter. She harbors dangerous addictions to guacamole, red velvet cupcakes, sushi, and Argo Tea, fortunately not all together. Her first novel, UNRAVELING (Balzer+Bray, April 2012), is the story of one girl's fight to save her family, her world, and the one boy she never saw coming. Visit Elizabeth on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Goodreads.
Please welcome Elizabeth:
The Ridiculous Fear I'm Not (too) Embarrassed to Admit by Elizabeth Norris
I'm terrified of cockroaches.
I don't mean that they gross me out or that I shriek and jump up on a piece of furniture when I see them (I mean I would do that). I mean that I am absolutely struck with terror when I see them. It's the kind of fear that makes me feel cold and sweaty and lightheaded and short of breath. It makes me have heart palpitations. I tremble and cry.
I also Lose. My. Mind.
Like literally. Whatever rational mine I usually have completely abandons me. I turn into a crazy mess of a person who doesn't even care how ridiculous I'm being or how embarrassed I should be.
This is a problem because I live in a city. New York City, where there are in fact and unfortunately many cockroaches. Even though I'm obsessive about cleaning up crumbs and washing the kitchen sink and making sure there is nothing a cockroach could possibly want, I do occasionally see them.
There was the one I saw in the hallway of my apartment building.
I live at the end of the hall and I have two dogs. It's important for me to take those dogs outside to walk and do their business. However, there was once a cockroach in the middle of the hallway. It was dead and on its back and just chilling. It was the dog who noticed it first. She most likely just wanted to check it out and see what it was. I noticed her checking it out and had a meltdown about it in the hallway. Enough to freak out the dog and probably make my neighbors think someone was being murdered right outside their doors. (Thankfully this is NY and no one came out to investigate). Instead of passing it by the second time, we took the front elevator up to the second floor, walked the hallway and took the back stairs down to bypass the dead roach and get back to the apartment.
Now, I'm completely aware of how insane this sounds. Yet that doesn't seem to help me in the moment.
Here's an example.
Last year, right around this time, I moved across the hall. Same apartment building, different actual apartment. I mistakenly thought this would be an easy move and that I could handle it without help, but that's a completely different story. The relevant part is this:
When almost everything was out of the old apartment, I picked up the dog water dish and placemat to bring it into the new apartment. And I found this.
I screamed, dropped the dish/placement and left the apartment.
Realizing a few seconds (or maybe minutes?) this was a complete overreaction, I went back into the old apartment. The monster was still there. Knowing somewhere in the back of my formerly rational mind that I am bigger that the monster, I tried to step on it and kill it.
It didn't die.
This could be because in my terror I might not have actually connected my shoe to the cockroach. I vaguely remember letting out a shriek with each try but I've pretty much blacked everything else out of my memory.
When that approach didn't work, I picked up a tupperware container (that holds the dog food) and tried to bring it down on the cockroach. I'm not sure my aim was any more sane though, because it still didn't die.
So I sprayed it with bleach. (Like the kind you use to clean your kitchen). While this is by far the least humane way to kill a cockroach, drenching it with kitchen cleaning product, it did work. However, then my problem was I had to get rid of it. I had a dead cockroach on my kitchen floor, in a puddle of bleach, and I needed to clean it up. Any sane person could have just gotten a handful of paper towels and scooped it up and put it in the trash.
I was not even remotely close to being sane at that point. Instead, I went into the new apartment, sat on the floor with some very confused dogs, and cried. Then I called the boyfriend (who was out of town) and cried some more. He took this as an opportune moment to be hilarious and explained that Richard the neighborhood cockroach was just thirsty and was hoping to grab a drink of water from the dog dish and he wanted to be friends. In my insanity, I hold him, "I don't want any friends."
Once I had calmed down (about 15 minutes later), I went back into the old apartment and tried to suck up the cockroach with the vacuum. Alas, it didn't work and I went back to the new apartment to psych myself up to try a different approach.
Luckily the girls moving into my old apartment were overly anxious to get their stuff in there (another story for another day) and their dads came by to move in some furniture. One of them must have found the cockroach in a puddle of bleach and decided to take pity on me because when I went back in there wearing huge kitchen gloves and armed with an entire roll of paper towels, good old Richard was gone and the dad's were moving a mattress into the back bedroom.
Back in my new apartment, I laid on the couch (and let the dogs up too--they were pleased) for a few hours. Then I ordered a new dog dish and placement because somehow in my insanity, the old ones got thrown away.
Now, feel free to make me feel a little less ridiculous with your own overblow reaction to something that freaks you out!
Too funny! Cockroaches are nasty. I used to have them in my yard in Phoenix, but I don't see them here in Oregon, probably way too wet for them. I glad that your survived your cockroach encounter, Elizabeth! Sounds like you need to make friends with an exterminator! Thank you, Elizabeth, for taking time to post today! Now, for the best part... I have a chance to win a hardback copy of either Unraveling or Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris. The winner can choose. To enter fill out the Rafflecopter after reading the Contest Policies. Good Luck!
Here is my review:
Unbreakable(Unraveling #2) by Elizabeth Norris
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?
Hardcover, 479 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Balzer + Bray
Four and a half stars: A thrilling sequel that advances the story in exciting new ways!
It has been three long, painful months since the wave collapse struck San Diego devastating the city, and the world for that matter. Janelle is trying to pick up the pieces, but her heart still aches for Ben. Every time someone enters a room, she glances up her heart hopefully leaping, but he still has not returned despite his promise. Everyone is working hard to get back on their feet, and Janelle is hopeful things will be okay, until they start to notice an alarming number of people going missing. Janelle isn't too concerned since it is most likely that people are just moving to other areas. But when Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up he has startling news. Barclay insists that Janelle must help him, even though she doesn't trust him. It seems the disappearances are all part of a multi-universe human trafficking ring. People from other universes are portaling in to different universes, stealing people and selling them as slaves. Worse, Ben is somehow being blamed, and if Janelle doesn't act his whole family and everyone he cares about will be hunted down and executed, and that puts Janelle in danger. Can Janelle somehow put a stop to the human trafficking in five days?
What I Liked:
- This book, like its predecessor, doesn't hesitate. It picks up and throws you immediately into the action, and there is rarely a moment where you can catch your breath. I love that the story is not only action packed but fast paced. I loved being swept away into this exciting, heart pounding adventure. It is every bit as thrilling as the first book. I especially appreciated that this story builds on concepts from Unraveling and then takes the story into entirely new directions.
- I loved seeing how Janelle has matured. She has grown up so much since the last encounter. This time she doesn't hesitate when she is in danger. She acts quickly and decisively and makes some tough choices when her life is on the line. I admired her strength and courage, and I loved that she doesn't give up or back down.
- It is always exciting when a character who I perceived to be the villain does a turn around and redeems himself. Barclay does just that in this book. I enjoyed getting to know him better and watching as he and Janelle after starting out on extremely shaky ground learn to trust each other and form a strong friendship. He completely won me over.
- The story is complex and fascinating. I am enjoying exploring the idea of multi universes. This book builds on the quantum physics concept, meaning that there are countless universes out there. You could run into your twin from another universe when traveling, and that does indeed happen in this book. There is so much to wrap your head around as you consider the idea of existing in many different universes. Some more advanced worlds have developed the capability of traveling into other dimensions by opening portals. Of course, having the ability to move through different worlds obviously brings up a whole set of problems. To help control the damage an agency called the Interverse Agency exists to traffic and control the movement among worlds. That doesn't mean, though, that trouble and corruption won't rear its head, it can and it does. I loved the creativity and the complexity of this book.
- I was pleased that everything resolves and ends satisfactorily. I don't know if this is the end of this series or not. I would be fine if it settled here as it ends on a positive note, however, there are still plenty of doors to be opened and lots to explore, so if Ms. Norris decides to continue, I would happily be ready to read it.
And The Not So Much:
- Why is it in sequels the romance we loved so much in the first book falters? The relationship between Janelle and Ben was the highlight of the first book. The romance unfolds slow and steady and moves into something beautiful. This time around, conflict strikes. It is normal for any romance to experience some stumbles and growing pains, but I thought that Janelle overreacted and made a mountain out of a mole hill. I won't go into further details, but basically there was a lot of drama over what I thought was a misunderstanding.
- I wasn't satisfied with the way things ended regarding Janelle's multiverse twin. This storyline felt unfinished to me.
- At first meeting, it is apparent that there is something not quite right with the governor on Prima. She appears young, but her hands are aged and gnarled. Why? It was never explained why she looked the way she did. I felt that a bit more information was needed regarding her, it would have made more of an impact later on.
- I was suffering with book amnesia while reading this one considering that I read Unraveling eighteen months ago. I thought that there could have been a bit more refresher since I know I am not the only one who has memory lapse between books. If you attempt to pick this up without reading the first book, you will be hopelessly lost. There is a touch of recap, but I struggled recalling certain points.
Unbreakable was an exciting and satisfying sequel. I loved that the book moves in new directions and that it is fast paced and exciting throughout. This is a series that should not be missed if you enjoy thrilling sci fi adventures. I am a big fan of Ms. Norris' work and I cannot wait to see what she does next.
"Giving up on something is like admitting you never wanted it in the first place."
"It won't feel like the end of the world forever."
"Remember what it is that makes us the good guys."
"Everything that tried to stand between us doesn't matter now. We might have broken a little. But now we're stronger in those broken places."
I won a copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.