February 28, 2013

Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: February 5th, 2013
Page Count: 461
Source: Won from 4 Chicks and a Muse
Rating: ★★★★☆
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

My heart is gone and I don't even know where to start looking for it. This book is FOR REALZ YOU GUYS.

Let's break this down:

I'm gonna start by talking about the plot. It might not sound like I am at first, but I am, so stick with me here.

I feel like Juliette's constantly on the verge of throwing the most annoying pity party on the planet, so I can see why some people might get annoyed at her, but since I have a really high tolerance for pity parties (not gonna lie, kids, I often find myself mid-pity party throwing), instead I'm just like: GOD THIS WORLD IS SO UNFAIR WHY CAN'T JULIETTE GET A DAMN HUG?

But then there's Kenji, who's kind of this wildcard character. I feel like not many books have a guy who's sole purpose is to be a BUDDY and not a LOVE INTEREST, who's there to push the MC forward and advance the plot. Kenji keep Juliette unstuck so she can keep US unstuck. 

SO even though one might say that Shatter Me and Unravel Me are one GIANT pity party plot-wise, I really don't think that's the case because progress IS being made. People are moving forward, learning things about their surroundings and themselves, owning their lives and all in all becoming the people we ALL KNOW they can be if they'd only stop with the nonsense and BE THAT PERSON. They just need to move forward in a realistic fashion. Like, could you imagine if Juliette embraced her superpowers without any self pity? Yeah. That'd be weird.

And I think all of the things I mentioned above are exactly what SHOULD go into a second book in a trilogy. I mean, trilogies are tough because, even though all of the readers want moremoremore, it's difficult to figure out how to fill those 1000-1500 pages. And a lot of the times second books get confused. Now, I can't say I'm a master of knowing how to write an unconfused Book 2, but I think Tahereh Mafi's pretty freaking good at it. She really uses Unravel Me to solidify relationships, deepen the complexity of her story and, most importantly, really make her characters living, breathing people, all while having actual things HAPPEN. I never, for a second feel like we don't need Book 2. And not just in a moving-the-plot-along capacity, but in a HI EVERYONE IS MY REAL FRIEND EVEN IF IT'S ONLY IN MY MIND capacity.

And of course, to do this, Tahereh Mafi utilizes the feels. I don't think there was a single chapter (two pages long or otherwise), when my head and heart weren't freaking out. My insides were frozen and my jaw was on the floor and everyone around me in the cafes and on public transportation I read this book in probably thought I was having a fit. Because. I. Was. Every page brought more and more emotions. Especially the mysterious Chapter 62, which was steamy, as promised, but more gut wrenching for me. And that's all I'll say on the matter of Chapter 62.

But before I wrap this up, now that I've spoken about Juliette and Kenji (my homeboy), I obviously need to mention Warner and Adam.

Warner kind of creeped me out by the end of the last book. He redeemed himself in Destroy Me, so when Unravel Me started up, I was like BRING IT - and he delivered in spades. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in love with the psycho (because he is kind of out of his mind), but I do think he's one of the most interesting fictional characters I have EVER read, villain or otherwise, and if I don't learn more about him immediately I might burst.

And as for Adam, I don't think it's a secret I was super suspicious and unsure of him in Shatter Me. Everyone else in this book, except maybe James (who I want to hug ALWAYS), seem to have ISSUES or hidden hurts or secrets but Adam just seemed too perfect. Too transparent. Too wonderful. I know, you're all thinking: GOD GABY HAS ISSUES (I do, I really do). But that's mostly because life has proven many a time that people like Adam just don't exist. And Unravel Me proves me right. Adam's just as screwed up as everyone else and just didn't really let onto that in Shatter Me. He was able to hide what everyone else, even Warner, couldn't. I'm glad he stopped hiding, though, because A) it totally pushed the plot forward, B) he's a much more believable character and C) now I can love him.

Oh, and because I have to choose or the world implodes: I want Juliette with Adam. Warner breaks me heart, but he's a lonely crazypants, like Juliette, and I don't think two lonely crazypants would do well together. Couples need to COMPLIMENT each other, not be the same as each other, y'know? (Relationship advice from the girl who's never been in a relationship, whatever.)

Anyway, I have a couple PREDICTIONS for this book, but I'm thinking I'll save that for the comments/emails if any of you want to ask me about that. I just don't want to put anything into anyone's heads unless they want said thoughts there.

The long and short of it?

Plot: A wonderful use of a second book in a series.
World Building: The expansion here is amazing. We really get an understanding of what it means to be apart of this future Tahereh Mafi has created.
Character Development: This book is FULL OF character development. Everyone flourishes. It really feels like they could walk right off the page and through the glass doors of the coffee shop I'm likely currently inhabiting.
Prose: Just as wonderfully heart wrenching as in Shatter Me. Never stop writing, Tahereh Mafi. Never.
Would I Recommend This Book?: If you're cool with strikeouts and amazing metaphors and superheroes and corrupt governments, pick up Shatter Me and love everything ever. It not, you should probably skip this series.

This insanely long review has finally come to an end. Now it's your turn to tell me: WHAT DID YOU THINK? WERE YOU DYING THE WHOLE TIME ALSO? Share your feels with me, please. And let me know if you want to talk Book 3 predictions because I obviously want to!


  1. Wooooo here I go again with the crazy long crazy detailed comment:

    1. I wasn't tired of Juliette at first. I felt SO bad for her and I could totally understand her (ha, pity parties are not new to me either). I mean, WHY could no one see that this could has had a crappy life enough as it is and please, everyone just love her?

    2. Until Kenji came along and told her to get her shit together. Then I was like: that TOTALLY makes sense. She SHOULD do that. And then I just wanted to hug Kenji because he's awesome! (Agreed that every book needs a normal, not romantic, guy best friend. Like Thorne in Scarlet, like Roar in UTNS.)

    3. I never once thought Adam was too perfect while reading Shatter Me because I thought he was just what Juliette needed, but I am SO GLAD that he got more depth in this book, no matter how heart-breaking it was. And oh, my heart is broken into a million billion pieces. Someone put it together again, please?

    4. I don't hate Warner anymore but all I can say (and I think I said this to everyone on everyone's blog so far) is that I DON'T want him to do chapter 62 things to Juliette. Sure's they're both CRAZY and everything, but Juliette doesn't need more crazy in her life. She has enough of that as it is.

    5. This book made me feel like OH MY EMOTIONSSSSS. Also, I want Tahereh Mafi to write everything ever. Like my phone bill, or my university books, so I can love them like I loved this book.

    E-MAIL ME YOUR PREDICTIONS! Or chat, or whatever. My head is bursting with what I think is going to happen and what I hope is going to happen and what I hope WILL NOT happen (*cough* Juliette and Warner *cough). Yes, I'm aware that this comment is completely incoherent and rambly (is that a word? it is now!) and has ALL THE CAPS like all my comments do, but I'm not going to check it again, so I hope you enjoyed yet another novel.

    1. I would just like to reiterate that Kenji is the man. But I think we've spoken about the rest of all of this. =D

  2. Honestly, you are SO RIGHT about Kenji and his character. I love his role in the book, and his relationship with Juliette a ton. If you were to ask me, I'd be Team Kenji all the way.

    Not that I love Adam any less of course. Because I still love him and want him for Juliette.

    1. Right? I totally want Adam with Juliette. Kenji's mine.

  3. I'm so excited for this book, and I loved your review! Really need to read it soon. I understand why people might find Juliette annoying, but as far as characters go, if anyone's going to throw themselves a pity party, I think Juliette's is pretty understandable. She's had a pretty rough time.

    1. RIGHT? I'm totally fine with characters who legitimately throw themselves pity parties

  4. OMG Kenji was prob my fav character. In shatter me when he was pretending to hit on Juliette I could not stop smiling it was so funny!!! Warner... NO hes so creepy in unravel me chapter 62 EWWWWWWWW I could not stand it!!! Juliette likes feeling bad for herself k. You try having a touch that kills people I mean really her whole life she was alone. Everyone acts like Pitty parties are so bad HELLO wake u Warner is a big bag of Pitty too. Everybody feels bad for him idk why!!!

    1. I just love Warner. *pets Warner* <3 the other boys too.

  5. Kenji really IS a great character, and I wish I'd thought to say in my review something like what you said about him in this one, Gaby! I adore him for who he is and for the friend he is to Juliette. Sometimes in books like these the girl starts to have so many guys wanting to pee on her leg that it's just JFC GUYS BACK OFF and Kenji is SO refreshing because he just wants her to DO something and DFTBA. So yeah, Kenji = too cool for this series.

    Warner and Adam. OH MAN. We need to gchat about this and these boys. Adam WAS a little too perfect. I feel like Juliette was predisposed to love him because he wanted her and was decent to her, when everyone else treated her like crap. Now in Shatter Me, I was ALL about some Team Adam. I'll admit it, I thought I could never love another pairing more.

    Then came the time in between SM and DM. I had time to think, and when I read DM, holy crap! I got to SEE and know Warner, and I agree with you. He is fascinating, broken, sad, and...so much more than I ever would have thought.

    This triangle kills me. I think it's truly one of the better written ones I've come across. I want Juliette with Warner but MORE than that, I want her with who is right for her - even if that means she ends up alone.

    And now I've rambled on and on, but anyway, fab review, Gaby!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

    1. AND DFTBA FOR REALZ LADY! Kenji is legit too cool for every series ever. And PLEASE CAN WE GCHAT ABOUT THOSE BOYS AND ALL OTHER BOYS?

      Thanks for all the love, Molli =D

  6. Aaaah, love this review, and love this book! I'm posting my review of it on Friday in haiku :-)
    So I was completely and utterly Team Adam in Shatter Me, but... Warner is just so complex and broken and fascinating and I MUST HUG HIM and now I can't work out who's better for Juliette because I DO get that two messed-up kids do not really make the ideal couple, and I do get that Adam's brilliant at grounding Juliette and giving her an experience of normality BUT...
    Warner gets all of Juliette - her darkness as well as her light - and I feel like he understands better than Adam does, than Adam can. And Adam's so protective of her, which is great, but to the point that Juliette lapses into passivity around him, which is not so great, and he doesn't share important stuff like HIS POWER and all that drama. Whereas Warner spurs her on, spurs her to use her gifts, to be an active participant in her life.
    Ahhh! They're all so messed up, and I'm drowing in feelings.

    Kenji is awesome, and James is adorable. He is almost exactly like my youngest brother - right down to the name, age, physical description, general attitude to life (seriously, it's scary how alike they are). So cool.
    But I really don't like Castle. He's too... caught up in his idealistic little world, and he totally uses people and I know it's all for the greater good and whatever but still - he doesn't really treat Juliette like a person with feelings and hurts. Would it have killed him to sit down and talk to her and help her understand stuff, and also get her therapy?

    I have two main predictions for Book 3 - I was discussing this with my Mum the other day :-D
    Adam sees Juliette with Warner and goes Dark Side. (but, like, not forever, just for a while)
    W sacrifices himself for J as part of his journey of redemption and dies (thus resolving the love triangle. I do not want this to happen but I am so scared that it will!)

    1. My predictions consist of A LOT OF DEATH. Ultimately I think Warner's going to die saving James after finding out about being siblings. Castle's gonna die with Kenji as heir apparent. Anderson likely has powers. But I'm not sure.

      Anyway, I totally feel how you feel about Warner. But I'm still not sure messed up + messed up = good relationship, y'know? WE SHALL SEE!!!!

  7. So glad you don't think two lonely crazypants would do well together! I had a few issues with Adam in this book because he was being so dang mopey but I still didn't switch to Team Icky... oh, sorry I mean Team Warner. Glad you didn't either! :)

    1. Haha Team Icky I like the clear personal choices!!

      Thanks for stopping by Hannah! ^_^


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