Books into TV at MTV: Blackwood vs. Unraveling

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After the news a few weeks ago that Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris was bought by MTV, it's not a surprise that they're adding another YA Book to their adaptation list. Blackwood by Gwenda Bond has been optioned by MTV. I feel a competition coming along between the two. My spidey senses think only one script will likely see airtime. The CW is having the same showdown between The Selection and Embrace this year. So let's dissect the warring titles, shall we?

Blackwood by Gwenda Bond


On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.

Miranda, a misfit girl from the island’s most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can’t dodge is each other.

Blackwood is a dark, witty coming of age story that combines America’s oldest mystery with a thoroughly contemporary romance.

Producers: Kelsey Grammer and Lionsgate Productions
Goodreads Rating: 3.49 (300 ratings)
Genre: Paranormal Mystery/ Contemporary Romance?
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Main Character: Miranda Blackwood (Age in Book: 17 TVShow: 19)
Location: Roanoke Island
Basic Plot: Solve the mystery of the disappearance of 114 people in an island

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Unraveling (Unraveling, #1)

Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed--as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows--with every fiber of her being--that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.

But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something--but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened--the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life--points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets--and keep from falling in love with him in the process.

Producers: Kevin Cornish (Are We Done Yet?)
Goodreads Rating: 3.91 (3,616 ratings)
Genre: Paranormal Mystery/ Science-Fiction Thriller?
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Main Character: Janelle Tenner (Age in Book: 17)
Location: San Diego, California
Basic Plot: Stop the countdown to the end of the world

Blackwood vs. Unraveling

It seems like MTV has a tough decision on there hands. I really do only think one of these will make it to air since they are both similar. Both have a mystery feel and involve FBI or some sort of federal agents. I'm reading Unraveling right now and I have to say it's really good and would fit nicely into the MTV canon. However, I haven't read Blackwood so I'm not a fair judge to choose between the two. I do think that a Roanoke type show would be cool. But I'm just worried that missing persons plotline would drag slowly over an entire season. Blackwood also has the support of bigger name producers with Kelsey Grammar and Lionsgate. It's a toss up really! Basically I'm leaning towards Unraveling but still undecided. 

What do you think? Have you read either book? Which would you prefer: a mystery to solve the disappearance of missing people or a mystery to solve a countdown to the ends of the world? Sound off below!


  1. I haven't read either of the two, but they both seem rather interesting. I guess the real question is which one could you picture as a tv series more. Personally, I think the whole countdown to the end of the world plot would hook more viewers with the whole 'world's going to end' theory in December. I guess my vote is for Unraveling. Nice post!

  2. They both have the potential to make a great show. I haven't read Blackwood, only Unraveling so it's not really a fair comparison. I of course would LOVE to see an Unraveling show *done right* that is. It looks like Blackwood has a slightly unfair advantage though because of it's backing.