Monday, February 25, 2013

Unravel Me - Tahereh Mafi

[This is the second book of the Shatter Me series. If you haven't started this series yet, feel free to check out my review of Shatter Me (Book 1) instead.]

Unravel Me book cover
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi 
Series: Shatter Me #2
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Source/Format: Borrowed from Cass || ARC

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. (from Goodreads)

After enjoying the unusualness of Shatter Me, I was eager to find out what happened next to Juliette, Adam and Warner. The one thing I can now say after finishing Unravel Me is that I have so many feelings. There's a ton of new information to process! Mafi certainly makes it a point to elaborate on the world and to make her characters even more dynamic and complex and twisty. While it was certainly harder for me to read than the first, Unravel Me was a fascinating follow-up to its predecessor.

One of the things I've noticed about this series is that it is character-based. That's fitting because we follow along in Juliette's mind for most of it, and she's gotten abused to the point where her thoughts simply revolve around herself and the people in her life. This is the only series I'm currently reading that really focuses on its characters - and that's a point in its favor. 

It was difficult for me to like Juliette in this book, mostly because I was fed up with her pity party. While I understand the origins of her loneliness, her fear of the "monster" she could possibly be and feeling like an outsider, enough is enough! She was receiving support and consideration from the people at Omega Point. While it should have taken some time, it shouldn't have taken as long as it had for her to stop thinking only about herself and instead consider these other people she cared about. And I know that she was capable of caring about others because of how she felt about Adam! So, I was mostly annoyed with her and her impulsive actions in this book - but I'm trying to extend some semblance of understanding considering her circumstances.

Speaking of Adam... My reaction is basically "Oh, Adam." Adam discovers new things about himself, and desperately tries to deal with all that... for his sake and for Juliette's. I loved seeing the strength and steadfastness of his commitment to her, and how he tries to do everything he can to make it possible for them to be together. It makes me sad that he's not present for a lot of the book, but it also makes sense if we consider that this is Juliette's tale and not his.

When I think of Warner, Chapter 62 is immediately what comes to mind. That chapter was definitely... steamy. After reading the novella (Destroy Me) and this book, I have more insight into what turned him into the person that he is. I'm still not sure that I can ever fall in love with him like some other people have, but I will admit to having a bit of an... attraction. I still have some reservations about his character, but I can recognize the goodness in him when it comes to Juliette. They do share something, an understanding, and that's definitely something that deserves to be... explored.

One of my favorite things about this book is that Kenji gets to be a major player. He's the friend who tells it like it is for Juliette - and that kind of friendship is important (even in real life). Learning more about his story and seeing the extent of his abilities was certainly enjoyable, and I look forward to learning more about his character (*coughs* novella please *coughs*).

Even though the story really reflects character growth for the most part, the revelations and turning points are endless. I felt like I was running into one after another, after another, after another. I was emotionally wrecked and mentally engaged. This is the kind of book that induces verbal reactions and physical movement! I like that Mafi got me to care so much about these characters and their stories that I was fully involved in the story the entire time I read it, which is certainly no easy feat.

As Unravel Me draws to a close, the stakes have only gotten higher for Juliette - in terms of the civil uprising against the Reestablishment and in terms of her own life. Even though reading this novel made me uncomfortable, emotional and confused, I still think this series is very unique and well-done. I'm eager to see how it all comes to an end in the final installment - and I'm holding out hope for Juliette to have the best future possible!

22 comments:

  1. Thank you! Someone else who was a bit fed up with Juliette in this one. I had a hard time understanding her in this one.. almost to the point that it made me want to put the book down for a bit. I have yet to read Warner's novella, but he definitely did something to me in this one - haha! Great, honest review Alexa :)

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    1. I will be honest and say this - I wanted to SLAP THE HECK out of Juliette at some points in this novel. It was so hard for me to like her... but she did surprise me in the end.

      And Warner was an absolute revelation because of this and Destroy Me. I'm interested in seeing where Tahereh takes his character.

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  2. You are so right about the endless revelations! I was physically and mentally drained after this book, mostly in good ways :) Tahereh Mafi just has a knack for keeping you on your toes up until the very end. What's going to happen in book 3?!?!

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    1. I DON'T KNOW and it KILLS me that I don't know what will happen in book three. I'm pretty sure I'm going to feel like I was bulldozed by the time I hit book 3's end.

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  3. I still haven't read Shatter Me, but I'm thinking I must do that soon! I love the cover for this book and am interested to see what all the fuss is about!

    Great review, Alexa!

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  4. I ended up loving Kenji the most in this one too, really loved that we get to know him well and he's just hilarious.. Juliette and her pity parties drove me nuts too! I was already intrigued by Warner in the first one so this one made me like him even more and I did feel bad for Adam though and everything he was going through Can't wait for the next one!!! =D

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    1. KENJI IS AWESOME. I think I've officially jumped ship onto his boat, because seriously, he's the best character in the novels.

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  5. Yeah, I get your point about Juliette. I kind of wanted to say "you literally have ALL of the power! Don't be sad!" hahaha. I liked the way this book made me see things so differently than I did in book one. That's not easy to do.....

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    1. RIGHT? I really just wanted to sit her down and give her a stern talking to. Thank goodness for Kenji!

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  6. Yay for Kenji! I'm glad you liked him. I'm not a fan of either of the other two boys, so I was happy to see him have more time in the spotlight. I felt the same way about Juliette, as well. I really felt for the girl because I can only imagine how difficult it must be to be her, but I just wanted her to reach out and take the hands that were there for her. Her character did grow a lot, though, so I was happy with that.

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    1. Kenji really hit it out of the park in this one, and I can't wait to see more of him in the next book. I seriously think he deserves a novella!

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  7. I def love a story that is character-based and Mafi created some pretty awesome characters. I def had strong emotions for Adam and my heart was breaking for him. And props to you for not totally falling in love with Warner bc even though I can totally see his side, like you, I don't overly love him like the masses tended to do after this book. This was a great sequel. Can't wait for Book 3! Great review!

    Vivian
    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

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    1. I still don't understand why anyone would jump ship and abandon Adam. I mean, Warner's got another side to him, sure, but Adam is also going through the craziness in this one and don't you feel for him? (Haha, look at me being all Team Adam!)

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  8. I'm with you in being TOTALLY over Juliette and her pity party. I hope she finds her badassery again in book three!

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    1. She seemed to perk up at the end of this one, so here's to hoping! I fully believe in her and her powers.

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  9. One thing that made me not like Shatter Me as much as I'd like was Juliette's constant questioning. Just get over yourself, the whole world doesn't revolve around you, be a little bit more secure in who you are. Ugh. I'm kind of disappointed this continues into the second book, but I'm still excited to read it for all these "revelations" and reveals people are talking about :D

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    1. Oh, I'll warn you now - it's WORSE. I think I felt it was worse because she's already free and living with these awesome people at Omega Point, but she still falls into that same trap. There's a lot of new stuff in this one though - and Kenji exposure too - so it's worth a read!

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  10. Unravel Me was harder for me to read as well. My heart wasn't in it as much as with Shatter Me, and I think that's mostly because, like you, I was a bit tired of Juliette. I understand her, I really do - but I was so thankful that Kenji told her to shut up and get her shit together. She needed that, and so did I. As for the Adam/Warner thing... I definitely understand Warner better, but that still doesn't mean I want him to do chapter 62 things to Juliette. Poor Adam...

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    1. THANK YOU FOR STILL LIKING ADAM <3

      Honestly, Juliette is such a difficult character to like. You know she's been through hell, but you also know that there comes a point when you just need to keep on going and to FIGHT through hell to get out of it.

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  11. This book kind of threw me for a loop. I love Adam, but he was on the outs a bit (you know, the "Oh, Adam" thing) and Juliette was so indecisive, and Warner came on strong and confident. T Mafi's writing is so GOOD that she had me wavering back and forth and forgetting exactly who Warner was. Yes, he isn't the REAL villain, he's the pseudovillain, she ways, but he DID still project evil in Shatter Me and while we know now some of his motivations, I can't forget his tone, his intentions, etc. In fact, I went back and re-read Shatter Me AND listened to the audiobook immediately after Unravel Me to make sure I was on the up with exactly who Adam and Warner are supposed to be.

    This is a great book, these are all great books in this series. I'm excited about the final book, though, because I believe Juliette will really show herself and I think some of the secondary characters will come out strong, I think Adam will make a big stand, and I'm not sure what exactly will happen with Warner. I'm kind of ready to see what happens.

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    1. I love that Tahereh really took the time to craft these characters. It's mind-boggling how complex she managed to make them, and how we get to see a lot of different sides to them. I'm dying to find out what happens in the next one!

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  12. Do you think I need to read Destroy Me before Unravel Me???

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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