As I said, 17-year-old Jannelle Tenner gets hit by a truck on the way back from the beach. Here's the thing, though. She definitely knows she was dead, at least for a few seconds. But, she wakes up, pretty much unhurt, staring into the eyes of a boy she barely knows. In the 24 days that follow, Jannelle needs to unearth the plot behind a mysterious countdown, find out what the hell is going on with Ben, and try to stop the end of the world. Yeah, I think that's enough for 24 days.
I really liked Jannelle's character, because it was easy to relate to, and you could really understand why she did stuff. Like, when she was leafing through her father's case files, I could definitely understand why, because I would too, if my father were an FBI agent and if I'd found reports on radiation poisoned, melted humans. Yep, melted. As in, skin melting off melting bones (yeah I know, nasty image. You're welcome :P).
I also loved Jannelle's dad, because his relationship with Jannelle was definitely plausible.
The relationship between Jannelle and Ben was good, as well. At first, I thought it was going to be another one of those "lets-rush-into-it-because-we-are-going-to-be-seperated-anyway" relationships that I don't like, but it wasn't. I gradually warmed to their relationship. I think the first cute moment was when we realised that Ben knew what books Jannelle read and what she ate for lunch. I think that was a definite sign of his affection.
Even the family drama was realistic. Jannelle's father is a workaholic, and her mother is bipolar and unreliable, so Jannelle pretty much has to take care of herself and her younger brother. The family dramas and complications added more tension and interest to the story. It was also great how Jannelle's school life wasn't just skipped.
I think there is a little too much crammed into 450 pages. All the subplots and stuff should have been a bit more compelling, because they didn't really add much to the book.
The secondary characters didn't stand out as much as I would have liked.
It kind of flipped theme in the middle of the book. Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way, but for the first half of the book it was kind of a murder mystery: lots of unidentifiable dead people, a girl and her best friend trying to find the culprit, and all that, but then suddenly in the second half we've got all this stuff about aliens and parallel universes and all that. There should have been more hints that it was going to have aliens, or at least more hints that it was in the future (was it? Everything seemed pretty... normal. But there aren't any aliens right now (or are there?! :D) Did I just miss those hints or were they not there???
Despite all these criticisms, I really enjoyed this book, it was a great blend of sci-fi, mystery, and romance.
I definitely recommend it.
- Realistic family dramas
- Good love interest
- Interesting plot