With the cheesy cover and tag line (Stop the Countdown. Save the World), I had REALLY low expectations for this book. But right from chapter one, I was hooked. The skipping-meals-so-I-can-keep-reading kind of hooked. It was really so much better than I thought it would be.
For one, Janelle's Dad works for the FBI. A way cool character that provided lots of realistic excuses for Janelle to know so much about freaky situations. Another thing I liked was the paranormal mixed with the actual threat to the world. Don't get me wrong - you DO have to suspend your disbelief pretty heavily here. But the countdown in this book has credibility for being a genuine concern. Plus, the story takes place in Southern California, with landmarks that I could recognize. Bonus!
Ben, Alex, and Janelle are some of my favorite characters I have read so far this year. Romantic, brave, strong, and funny. I was completely shocked when Janelle lost who she did in the story. That was gusty on Elizabeth Norris' part, but it makes for an even better book. Because unlike other stories that seem to gloss over the death of a character, Janelle takes a few chapters to dwell on her loss and mourn. Ben was so sweet and amazing! Janelle is one lucky girl, despite everything else that happens to her. The countdown element is gimmicky, but gives a real sense of urgency, especially as the reader moves towards the climax of the book.
After finishing this, the cover makes a lot more sense. I am looking forward to what Elizabeth Norris has for us next!
Overall Rating: 5 Stars