Written by: Eileen Cook
Released: January 3, 2012 by Simon Pulse
Summary: 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."Thrilling and creepy, super sexy, and so very hilarious." --Lisa McMann, bestselling author of the Wake trilogy
This book messed with my mind. Seriously, it invaded my dreams so that I was having creepy ghost-type nightmares. I think this made me finish it rather quickly after that first night of reading...
If you want a fast-paced novel that leaves you wondering right up until the very last page – this is the book for you. I had so many questions (some which weren’t answered... but oh well) and I couldn’t anticipate most of the twists which were thrown at me while reading. Sure, there were certain plot lines that I figured out rather quickly, but just when I thought I had everything figured out it all went to pot and I was left scrambling to make sense of the new revelations and think up different possible outcomes.
Where the mystery was fantastic, the romance was a little lacking. I didn’t care for how quickly the dynamic between Isobel and Nathaniel (the brand new step-brother). Dude was a total dick right from the beginning and then suddenly he’s super nice and falling in love. I did, however, like the endgame of the romance and how Nathaniel and Isobel were together. Does that make sense?
Now let’s discuss the characters. I loved the slow descent into madness that Isobel thought she was experiencing and her reactions to it all. Hell, I liked Isobel as a character in general (minus the insta-romance). I thought that she was realistically written in regards to her reaction to stepfather Dick and her curiosity behind the disappearance of certain characters (I don’t want to give away any of the mystery). Now Nathaniel on the other hand took a while to warm up to. Like I said above, he was a huge dick in the beginning and several times I would think for a second ‘oh, he’s not so bad’ and then he would go and do something jerkish. But, as the novel went on he got better and better and by the end I was swooning just a little.
Then there are the “parents”. Oh how I hated the parents. Isobel’s mother is one of those women I absolutely loathe who lets a man tell her what to think and what to do. I wanted to slap the beyotch almost from the very first page. And then there was Dick – whose real name is Richard, which is rather fitting – who lived up to his Christian name. I hated how manipulative he was and how slimy. The only thing that these two characters have going for them is the fact that they worked so well with the story (duh, since they were written in there for a reason) and the fact that I reacted to strongly to them shows just how well they were written.
This isn’t the first book that I’ve read by Eileen Cook (that honour goes to Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood) and it won’t be the last. Seriously, I have The Education of Hailey Kendrick sitting on my shelf right now. I’m giving Isobel a 7.5/10
On a completely unrelated side note; it irks me that unraveling isn’t spelled unravelling and that it comes up all highlighted in my word document as misspelled.