May 5, 2012

Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook {Review}

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publish Date: January 3, 2012
Source: Library
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 unraveling -- her sanity might be giving away too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her 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.

Unraveling Isobel wasn’t quite the psychological thriller I was hoping for, but it was still a great read.

First of all, I just want to say that I hated Isobel’s mom and stepdad. They were incredibly heartless at times and it really bugged me. Not in the way that I thought it was unrealistic or anything, but more in the way that I just felt really bad for Isobel. Seriously, what kind of mom complains about all the years they’ve “given” their daughter.

Then there’s the Isobel/Nate thing. I’m going to be honest, it really weirded me out. I understand that it’s not technically illegal or anything, but it is certainly weird.

I appreciated the growth in Isobel and how she went from wanting to be friends with whoever would take her in to being proud of herself and standing up to catty biatches around her. Her inner turmoil over whether she was going crazy was interesting too. I can’t imagine what it would be like to not only think you’re going crazy, but to have basically everyone around you agreeing.

And then there’s the creepy aspect. It really added something to the story that Isobel was constantly wondering whether she was crazy, but I can’t say that I was always wondering what was real and what wasn’t. I suppose it does leave it up to the reader to decide, but to me it seemed that certain things were obviously paranormal. It’s up to you to decide for yourself, though ;]

The Nutshell: Though Unraveling Isobel didn’t have quite the creep factor I was hoping for, it did still make me jumpy while reading at night. It’s a lot deeper than just another scary ghost story too, though. Isobel has to deal with having a father with schizophrenia and constantly wondering if she has it to. Not only that, but everyone around her – mom, stepdad, peers – are basically reinforcing the idea that there’s something wrong with her. If you’re looking for a good mystery with a strong character that leaves the paranormal element up to the reader, this is definitely your book.

Pages: 304
Series: No
Rating: Hit


  1. I'll have to check this out - it looks awesome! Thanks for the amazing review! The stepbrother and sister thing does seem a bit weird though...

  2. This sounds fascinating! I'm always looking for a good mystery! I'm intigued by what you said about the paranormal element is left up to us to decide if it's real or not. AND I'm happy it's a standalone. I can't read anymore series!! My brain can't cope anymore. lol

  3. I am really looking forward to this one - it looks really cool. I have yet to read a book by Eileen Cook but her books always look so great!

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