Last year I reviewed UNRAVELING by Elizabeth Norris and described it as ‘a mash up of the TV shows Veronica Mars and Roswell if they were written by Lauren Oliver.” It was pretty much the best compliment I could ever give a book since all three of those things are unfathomably awesome on their own, and combining them…just wow. Next month, the sequel, UNBREAKABLE, with be published, but you don’t have to wait that long for more from the Unraveling series. The novella UNDONE is available now and we’ve an excerpt to help whet your appetite & details about an exclusive gift you can get!
Want even more Unraveling? Books of Wonder has an exclusive pre-order opportunity—readers can pre-order a signed copy of UNBREAKABLE by April 23rd and get the UNBREAKABLE: Extra content booklet which includes exclusive and never seen before scenes
Excerpt from UNDONE by Elizabeth Norris
BEFORE SHE KNEW ME
The first time I opened a portal, it was an accident.
It was nine days after my birthday at a joint party with one of my best friends. It was at his house. We played games in his backyard, ate ice-cream cake, opened presents, then challenged everyone to a video game tournament. My brother was older though, and he had an advantage. I ended up knocked out quickly, as did three of my friends.
Once we were out, we got bored, so we went in search of something else. We just didn’t expect to find what we did. In the basement, instead of old board games, we found his father’s home lab, and the locked door didn’t keep us out. We knew it was where he kept his failed experiments and we wanted to check them out.
One of them wasn’t as failed as we thought, and after messing with the wires, the motor flared to life, connecting to a laser beam, and a portal opened in front of us: a huge black hole that rippled like it was made of oil. We dared one another to touch it, but no one would step up.
I don’t know who it was who shoved first, but it happened. Somehow, I tripped and fell. And I brought two of the three of them with me: through the portal.
We ended up in another world. In the ocean.
The second time we opened a portal, it was different.
It was because of a girl, and it changed everything.
It all started with a fight.
It was the first Thursday in March of my sophomore year. I knew because I kept track of the days and months and years that passed since we’d fallen through.
It had been an uneventful day. I skateboarded to Eastview, got to first period on time, made an appearance in my first class, ditched my second one to hang out with Eli and a couple guys while they got high behind the football stadium, and then made it through my last two. At the end of the day, I headed to It’s a Grind for the afternoon coffee that would get me through work.
I didn’t usually frequent the unofficial campus coffee shop. It backed up to the school parking lot and was always crowded, which meant long lines and a high probability of getting sucked into a conversation with someone from class. I didn’t do conversation well. I didn’t know what to say to most people. It was hard to know what to talk about when my mind was usually on things they wouldn’t understand.
I usually stopped at a gas station or something because I didn’t have any coffee shop loyalties. I just wanted something strong and convenient and preferably cheap. That day, though, my foster parents had been out of coffee, and I spilled the cup I’d bought on the way to school when a group of freshman girls knocked into me before first period. The caffeine withdrawal combined with my fourth period world history class had given me an unbearable headache.
If even one thing had been different: if my foster parents hadn’t run out of coffee, if those girls hadn’t knocked into me, if I had ditched world history… I wouldn’t have been there, and things might not have worked out the way it did.
When the fight broke out, I was trying to place my order. I’d only been in one real fight myself. I was more of a keep my head down and stay out of trouble kind of guy. So I didn’t see how it started.
“Small black coffee,” I ordered.
The words had barely left my mouth when the door jingled open and some guy I didn’t recognize leaned in to shout to one of his friends. “Dude, get out here, there’s a cat fight!”
For a split second, the conversations halted. Just about everyone else turned to the door and froze, straining to see behind him to the parking lot where the “cat fight” was allegedly taking place. My muscles tensed. Most of the fights near or on Eastview’s campus involved Eli. He had always been the get right in the middle of it kind of guy, and I was his best friend, which made it my responsibility to make sure he didn’t kill someone by accident. Or get killed himself.
Then I remembered he caught a ride with Reid in the new car fifteen minutes ago, and if this was a cat fight, it would be girls going at it, not guys. Thankfully Eli usually stayed away from that. Satisfied he couldn’t be involved, I forced my shoulders to relax.
If Eli wasn’t beating someone up, I didn’t really care. I looked at the girl behind the cash register and offered her my two dollars.
I didn’t even look up when the guy behind me said, “Oh shit, that’s Brooke Haslen.”
“Small black coffee,” I repeated to the cashier.
She unfroze, took my money, and asked, “You want me to leave room for milk?” all without looking at me.
I shook my head, about to repeat “just black” when I heard it.
It was more a yell than a scream, I guess. It might have even been a word, but it was to far away and too muffled to be sure.
But I recognized the voice.
It was the same one I heard six years ago, when she pulled me half drowned out of the ocean.
It was a voice I’d know anywhere.
UNDONE by Elizabeth Norris
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Published March 5th 2013 by Balzer + Bray
Riveting and romantic, Undone: An Unraveling Novella contains three short stories set in the world of Unraveling, the first book in the gripping sci-fi duology by Elizabeth Norris.
Before Ben Michaels saved Janelle Tenner’s life, Janelle saved Ben when he stumbled through an interuniverse portal into a completely new world. That day, he fell in love with the girl of his dreams. And he never forgot her.
Through three stories told from Ben’s point of view, learn how Ben and his friends discovered their ability to travel between worlds, how Ben first met Janelle, and how he pined for her for years before he actually got the chance to meet her, save her life, and capture her heart. And find out what happens to Ben between the cliff-hanger conclusion of Elizabeth Norris’s Unraveling and the beginning of its heart-stopping sequel, Unbreakable.
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