Publisher: Simon Pulse
Released: January 3rd 2012
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.
But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts.
Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons. (from Goodreads)
Unraveling Isobel had a great mix of romance, mystery and humour and was an entertaining, quick read. From the first page, Isobel had me laughing out loud and I knew that she’d be a protagonist I’d be able to relate to. She was consistently funny, and some of the comments she made about her step-dad were absolutely hilarious! I really felt for her, because she had to go through this horrible upheaval, leaving her old life and all her friends behind just because of her mum (who I’d like to grab by the collar and give a good shake – how dense and selfish can one woman be?!). It’s no wonder Isobel was a bit sarcastic and miserable – anyone in her situation would be! In fact, I commend her for not screaming at her mother every day and throwing huge tantrums, because I certainly would have been tempted to if I were her. Especially if I had to live with such a creepy step-dad like Richard. Seriously, that man. Throw in the horrible people at school and a confusing step-brother - well, let’s just say Isobel was a lot more tolerant than I am :P. She was strong-willed and smart and generally very likeable!
Speaking of confusing step-brothers...Nate. Deliciously attractive, but of course, off limits for Isobel. Also, kind of a jerk (to begin with). One thing I really liked about the relationship between these two was that there was no insta-love. Insta-attraction, yes. One cannot deny Nate’s hotness. But I like that the two sort of got off on the wrong foot and were quite detached and unfriendly at first, because then the whole process of them getting to know each other and start liking each other was a lot more believable, and more meaningful. There were a lot of great tension-filled scenes, and it was the kind of romance that kept me turning the page, constantly wanting more. There was quite a bit more to Nate than just his good looks, and I enjoyed getting to know him slowly, rather than knowing every detail of his life from the first chapter, or not knowing anything about him at all. He could be really sweet and awesome at times, and his scenes with Isobel...ah. Though there weren’t that many (I could have done with a lot more :P), they were all pretty amazing.
Another character I liked was Mandy, one of the librarians. She had a small role, but I thought she was so nice and helpful, and pretty cool and relaxed for a librarian. She was one of the few people Isobel could go to for help, and she had this approachable personality that made me think she could have been a great counsellor.
The mystery in Unraveling Isobel was great and kept me interested the whole way through. I didn’t really know how anything would turn out. I guessed a few things, but I was never a hundred percent what was going to happen, so the ending for me was quite surprising. I think maybe things got solved a little quickly, and the last few pages seemed a bit rushed, but that’s probably my only real complaint about the book. It was mostly very well-paced and engaging, and I think I even read it one sitting – definitely an addictive story!
Overall, Unraveling Isobel was really enjoyable. It had a range of characters, a great story and a lovely romance. I’d recommend it to fans of contemporary who maybe want to branch out to more paranormal books, or just to anyone looking for a funny, romantic read with a thrilling twist.