Publication date: 3rd Jan 2012
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
What a fantastic read Unraveling Isobel is, the serious topic of mental illness is addressed but there is also a spooky ghostly mystery and it has great snarky humour all rolled into one delicious package.
Isobel's mum marries Richard after only dating him for a matter of weeks, Richard's wife and seriously disabled daughter died in suspicious circumstances only a few short months ago leaving Richard, or Dick as Isobel enjoys calling him, and his teenage son Nate living in their sprawling if a little rundown estate. As Isobel and her mum move in strange and spooky things start to happen around Isobel.
Like Isobel, as the reader I wasn't exactly sure if the spooky things were actually caused by the ghost of Nate's sister trying desperately to tell them a message or if Dick and her mum were actually right that Isobel is suffering from the same kind of mental illness her real dad actually has. Is it easier to believe in ghosts or face the harsh reality that her Dad's mental illness is actually genetic?
For all their was the serious topic of mental illness and the ghostly part of the story Unraveling Isobel cleverly manages to still stay light, funny and enjoyable with the high school outcast versus the popular but mean cheerleader element to it as well as the chemistry between Isobel and Nate. It all blended perfectly into a really fantastic read.
For me there was only one thing I would have liked to have seen, I guess I wanted a bit more about the reconnection between Isobel and her Dad. I felt this part of the story was sensitively handled, Isobel had to learn not to be ashamed of her Dad's illness as well as facing her own fears about the possibility that it could be genetic. I think the "I love happy endings" part of me would have liked to have seen Isobel actually meeting up with her Dad but I guess her letter to him was the start of that journey.
Unraveling Isobel was entertaining, spooky but with a serious message and I enjoyed every minute of it. Go buy it on January the 3rd you will love it.