Unraveling Isobel: Book Review

Novel: Unraveling Isobel | Goodreads
Release Date: January 22nd, 2012
Publisher: SimonPulse
Format: Hardcover
Source: ALA Midwinter
Challenge: None
 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.
(Image and Synopsis from Goodreads)

Willa’s Rambles:

When I first saw Unraveling Isobel, I fell in love with the cover, because you understand that Isobel is an artist, but nothing more, yet you are immediately drawn it. I wanted to know what the vines were representing, and why they were wrapping around her limbs, which was answered in the novel.

The storyline was never boring, and I was constantly on the edge on my seat, waiting for the next clue towards the mystery of what happened to Nathaniel’s mother and sister. The mystery of that night haunted Isobel, but in a way that purely unique, because she never knew them. She only knew that they were kind and caring to Nathaniel, which was all she cared about.

Eileen Cook did a fantastic job building a story with a conflicted character who is faced with a difficult situation, and she made plently of mistakes along the way – Isobel is far from perfect, but I cared about her all the same. The choices she made were important to the storyline, especially the ones concerning Nathaniel and her relationship.

Nathaniel was a complex character himself, and at first I really didn’t like him. I didn’t like his reactions to Isobel’s kind gestures, and after she gave up being nice, he came around, and once he did, I fell in love with this guy. The whole step-brother thing was a bit twisted, but they weren’t technically related, so their situation was the issue.

The setting of Unraveling Isobel was beautifully described – I could picture it in my head with barely any description, especially the house. I pictured the library dusty and damp, but still warm and welcoming to Isobel and Nathaniel when they first hung out together. The way Eileen Cook described the town made you feel the cold vibes that Isobel got from the residents, so I could feel the way she felt walking through school on the first day.

Unraveling Isobel was fantastic. The storyline gripped you from page one, and didn’t let you go until you were gasping for air at the end. Eileen Cook has astounded readers again!

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be interviewing Eileen Cook on the blog! Look out for it!