Delia Truesdale has no idea her life's about to change forever. She's too busy enjoying the California summer. Her internet tycoon mother, T.K. Truesdale, is out of town, and that means Delia can spend all her time at the beach, surfing. That is, until everything unravels.
Her mother suddenly goes missing, and everyone thinks she's dead - except Delia, who knows T.K.'s way too organized to simply disappear. But Delia's still sent to New York to live with her two aunts - a downtown bohemian and an uptown ice queen.
And in case that's not bad enough, she also has to deal with a snooty new school and trying not to fall for the wrong guy. Oh, and finding her mother.
As she delves deeper into the tangle of conspiracies and lies surrounding T.K.'s disappearance, Delia begins to suspect that the wrong guy may be the right guy...and that some secrets - especially the dangerous ones - were never meant to be unraveled.
Details: And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman, 244 pages, 3.84 stars on Goodreads
Why I Picked This Up: The cover was a bit of a turn-off for me, but when I read a review that absolutely raved about this book, I knew I had to read it. I started it with relatively high expectations, and I'm glad I wasn't disappointed! Of course, it sounds like a great book even with a cover I'm not a fan of - it has romance and a new school, both of which I can relate with, and conspiracy to boot.
Characters: I loved the characters in this book! They all had spectacularly developed personalities that made them unique and unforgettable. Delia, for instance, was awesome. She was bold and smart, and it was great that she wasn't afraid to think and feel differently about a variety of things. It sounded like her mom, TK, was awesome as well because we got a good sense of how Delia was raised in the beginning of the book.
One thing I really liked about Delia was that she went out and tried to get what she wanted. She didn't just blindly accept what everyone was telling her about her mom - she did extensive research on her own to try and figure out what was going on. And even though she did all this, Delia still had the insecurities that most teenage girls can relate to.
The love interest, Quinn, was great as well. I groaned a little when I saw this was going to be another popular-guy-with-the-unpopular-girl book because I am getting tired of that, but he was so perfect. I loved that he wasn't just a "bad boy" or "good guy" but an actual developed, multi-faceted character. The one thing I didn't love so much was the whole apathetic thing. The popular kids were characterized as extremely apathetic, bored guys and girls wandering around like they couldn't be bothered to be there. While this did provide some comic relief, it just felt over the top in places.
Of course, no discussion of characters is complete without Charley! She was quirky and hilarious, and definitely the kind of character I would so love to have walking out of the pages and into real life. Charley's crazy in a good way, bringing a welcome break to the more serious aspects of the story. Patience, her sister, was the complete opposite but still a decent character. She was prim and proper, and balanced out the epitome of wonderful insanity, i.e., Charley.
Plot: I adore books that deal with both serious and light-hearted issues, and so naturally I enjoyed reading And Then Everything Unraveled. The plot moved along at a decent pace, alternating in making me laugh at loud and clench my stomach with worry. The mystery was a great touch, not overdone at all, and I was flipping pages not just to read more about Quinn's epicness or Charley's antics, but to find out what the heck happened to TK and if Delia would ever discover it.
The characters added a lot to the plot, which, while fairly original, probably wouldn't have worked as well if the characters were only so-so. Not that that's a bad thing - I've always found characters to be more important than plot in most cases.
The only thing I didn't like that much about this book was the ending. It was too "yup, we just had a lot of build up, but now we're just going to end" for me. When it comes to series/books-with-sequels, I prefer for most of the plot strings to be tied up with a few left to nudge me onto the next book, but this one was just too unresolved for my tastes.
Cover: As I've said, this cover's not really for me. It's pretty, I guess, with all those little reddish-purple spiral thingies and the cartoonish style, but it makes it seem like it's younger than it really is. This isn't something that would attract me to the book and is even a bit of a repellent. However, this might just be me because most people I know actually really like the cover.
First Line: It's hard to believe, but this whole thing didn't even start until a couple of weeks ago, when my mother left for Antarctica with one of her environmental groups.
Overall: This is a fantastic book with a rich cast of characters that will leave you wanting more! It's different from most contemporary young adult novels, but still remains to have great romance and relatability. It does seem to appeal a little bit on the younger side of young adult, and while older teens and adults could definitely enjoy it (I still read some middle grade because it can be that awesome), I would recommend it more to those between twelve and fifteenish.
Plot - 3/5
Characters - 5/5
Writing - 4/5
Impact - 3/5
Inability to put it down - 3/5
Total - 72% = B