Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Balzar & Bray
Sixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle's mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared. And that was before she died...and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth's destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet. - Goodreads.com
I'm slow on reading this book, I know. It came out a little over a year ago, but this is one of those that I thought I'd just hold onto it until it was closer to release date of the second book. That way the wait isn't quite as painful. Either way, I was very happy with this book.
I knew next to nothing about the story other than the summary...which is fairly accurate, as far as it goes, but there's a lot more to it than what's mentioned in the summary. First of all, I'm a fan of Earth-destruction type books, and movies. Any time a Deep Impact, Armageddon, or The Day After Tomorrow type movie comes out, I'm the first one through the theater. Books...same thing. I can't get enough of this type of story, so I'd be pre-disposed to like it anyway just for that aspect. Add to that the fact that it was really really unique in another aspect (one I won't tell you of because I don't want to ruin things for you), and I was pretty engrossed from the beginning.
I love the characters, especially Janelle. One of my favorite heroines in a while because she was uber smart. Her father's an FBI agent, and she definitely inherited the man's analytical skills. I love reading characters like this and watching them work out details, uncover clues, and slowly figure things out. She was so intuitive, but also brave and selfless.
Ben was a good match for her, as he is smart, sweet, and brave as well. So the two of them seem to fit really well. I loved the slow build of the romance... there was no rushing here, and it made it more believable to me.
This was definitely a very unique story, and I don't feel like I can really go into more detail than that without ruining it for anyone who hasn't read it yet. But it had me engrossed... the pacing was absolutely perfect. I found myself flying through pages. The suspense heightened everything to the point where it felt like the last third of the book just blew by.
Naturally, this ends with a cliffhanger that had me gnashing my teeth and getting misty-eyed. Thank heavens I waited until only a couple weeks before the sequel's release date before reading this. If I had to wait a year for the sequel, I'd be really upset!! Great book. Very inventive.