Thursday, January 05, 2012

Review: Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook

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Unraveling Isobel
Eileen Cook
Release date: January 3rd, 2012
by Simon Pulse

Goodreads / Purchase

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 that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist 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.

*A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster for review purposes*
Humoristic and creepy – what a great mix! Unraveling Isobel takes an eerie plot with a sarcastic protagonist and balances it all together for an overall enjoyable read.

She’s sarcastic and she’s feisty. Isobel is a fun protagonist who easily made me laugh with her quirky personality, but she’s also smart. Finally a character who has guts to face things head on. Her interactions with Nathaniel were a joy to read as well. It was a situation that both had me cringing and longing. It’s definitely an unusual relationship, but it’s wonderful and real. As for Isobel’s mother, she is very hard to grasp. I didn’t like how she took her new husband’s side (that she’s known for three months) over her daughter’s. I didn’t like her attitude throughout the ordeal at all.

We’re talking ghosts and intimidating step-fathers here. So the plot is fairly creepy with a lot of mystery, and the ghostly scenes were a lot of fun. However, the story didn’t feel especially unique. Throughout the whole book I felt like I had heard it before. I knew what the big twists were long before they were revealed. The premise itself – ghost seeking closure, long time family curse, evil stepfather; it was all very familiar. So even though I enjoyed it in the moment, it wasn’t particularly memorable. Maybe I have watched too many movies or read too many books *blasphemy*. Nonetheless, I still had a good time reading the story: It was plenty entertaining. The humor made it so it never had a dull moment and the intrigue kept me turning the pages eagerly.

Do you like to be spooked? Do you like to laugh? If so then I certainly recommend you give this one a try!

3 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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27 Responses to “Review: Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook”

  1. Rebecca

    Blasphemy indeed! Great review Giselle. I have been excited about this one and still am, but I think it just moved down a few books. Thanks:)

  2. Carina

    This sounds like a really intriguing read, even though the cover doesn’t fit the description at all. 😀 But considering what you’re saying about it not being “unique”, I might not pick it up any time soon. With my tbr pile at the moment, I will only add books I really want. 😀

    Thanks for sharing. Great review, Giselle!

    Fictional Distraction

  3. Alexa

    I don’t think you could ever read too many books 😉 And this one sounds cute! I don’t read to many ghost books, so this might be really fun to try!

  4. Lauren M

    Aw, it’s a bummer that Unraveling Isobel was too predictable! That always puts a damper on things. Otherwise, it sounds like fun! I love funny-creepy combos. Thanks for the review, Giselle!

  5. Amy

    I was thinking about getting this book, but wasn’t sure since I hadn’t heard much about it. I think I will skip it for now. Maybe at some point later I will make time for it. Thanks for the great review.

  6. Andrea @The Bookish Babes

    This sounds like a cool, interesting book. I am always disappointed when it feels like an all-too-familiar story, but that could be said about many books. As long as the author manages to,in some way, make it their own, I don’t usually have a problem w/it.
    Glad you were able to enjoy it.

  7. Ashley @ Book Labyrinth

    Oh yah, I really agree with you. This book was good and fun, but definitely not particularly unique. The main characters were great and I liked the different aspects of it, but not the Best Book Ever or anything. Kind of an in between book, which are always hard to review. Oh and Isobel’s mom really upset me too!

  8. Candace

    I love Eileen Cook and I think she creates some great characters, so this book is on my WL already. It’s too bad it didn’t stand out more for you, but I’m definitely still going to read it and hopefully I’ll like it a bit more. Either way I’m sure it’ll be good even if it’s not amazing and good is good too 😉

  9. Sarah (saz101)

    Oh, I LOVED Isobel. She had me giggling right through the book. Hated the mum and her creeper of a stepdad, and LOVED Nate…

    But I’m with you. The book was good, yes. Creepy, funny, etc… but not truly memorable. I enjoyed it, but I only read it two weeks ago, and it’s already slipping away. But I totally think people will enjoy it and should read it, nonetheless? Hmm.

    This is a seriously fab review Gisell–you summed it up perfectly 🙂

  10. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Ooh, creepy? You know, after Kendare Blake’s spooky ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, I’ve been on the lookout for creepy. For that alone, I’m picking this one up. Just to see!

  11. Karen

    Ha! I love that review. Yup, sometimes reading too many books kind of takes mystery out of reading. The start blending together and sounding the same.
    I do like the cover and title though.

  12. Giselle

    Thanks for the comment lovelies! I’m glad to see people agree with me 🙂

    and @A. Knight: It’s not extremely creepy. It has a few spooky moments but overall I think it’s more fun than scary.

  13. Giselle

    @Karen: The MC is really cool I love her attitude!

    @A Canadian Girl: This was my first book by Eileen Cook but I’m really curious of her other work. I loved her humor!