[REVIEW] Unravel Me

Series: Shatter Me #2 | Review of #1
Tahereh Mafi
young adult, dystopia, post-apocalyptic, romance, fantasy, paranormal, science fiction
December 31, 2013 (first published February 5, 2013)
Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)
OUR LIPS TOUCH and I know I’m going to split at the seams. He kisses me softly then strongly like he’s lost me and he’s found me and I’m slipping away and he’s never going to let me go. 
Juliette has escaped from The Reestablishment. Now she’s 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. Haunted by her past and terrified of her future, Juliette knows that she will have to make some life-changing choices. Choices that may involve choosing between her heart – and Adam’s life.

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But the moments the seconds the minutes the hours the days and years become one big mistake, one extraordinary opportunity slipped right through our fingers because we couldn’t decide, we couldn’t understand, we needed more time, we didn’t know what to do.

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[All spoilers are in white font color (there are hints if a text is hidden such us space gaps, parenthesis, or colons). Highlight the white texts to read the spoilers if you want to or if you’ve already read this book or its prequel Shatter Me]

I was a tad bit disappointed at how Shatter Me failed to live to my expectations. But Unravel Me really just made things all right for me for this trilogy. This book just had that nice amount of ‘pointing out things’ to Juliette and a lot more of romance going on between Juliette and Warner (which I prefer more than Adam, by the way).

Unravel Me had a lot of character check. It showed more of Adam’s and Warner’s pasts as well as a tad bit of Kenji’s. It made me like both Warner and Kenji more than ever (and in a lot of times, I think I’m insane like Juliette for liking Warner despite his actions).

“I’m heartless,” he says to me, his words cold, hollow, directed inward. “I’m a heartless bastard and a cruel, vicious being. I don’t care about people’s feelings. I don’t care about their fears on their futures. I don’t care about what they want or whether or not they have a family, and I’m not sorry,” he says. “I’ve never been sorry for anything I’ve done.”

There’s just something oddly likeable about Warner’s character – it’s probably the way he expresses himself; his occasional honesty about his feelings, his occasional contradictory words, and maybe even how he doesn’t completely talk about his life. Warner has a sad life. Looking at his story when you’re in the world of Shatter Me, I just want to punch him in the face and tell him that he’s stupid for not fighting for his own life. I mean for not doing what he truly wants to do with his life, maybe for being a coward or something. He was trained to live in a very military way – take away your sympathy for people, don’t show your emotions, blah-blah-blah… in Juliette’s contexts, they do have their life stories’ similarities – they were both not given choices.

With Warner’s actions and life story, he’s an immediate villainous guy yet Unravel Me portrays him as someone you should feel a bit sympathetic for. I don’t think it’s his story but it’s more on how Mafi wrote about it. And you know what? I’m totally sold. I like Warner more than Adam (and I don’t care if I have to repeat this 10 more times!) and it’s because of those things I mentioned above.

I like Juliette despite her faults as a character (nobody’s perfect, yeah?). I’ve always wanted to understand her and see at where she’s coming from. She ahs these thoughts about dying just because the world condemns her but Unravel Me opened her to a bigger world and tries to break her unwavering thoughts on loneliness.

“Bullshit.” He laughs a short, sharp, angry laugh. “All you do is sit around and think about your feelings. You’ve got problems. Boo-freaking-hoo,” he says. “Your parents hate you and it’s so hard but you have to wear gloves for the rest of your life because you kill people when you touch them. Who gives a shit?” …… And really appreciate it if you’d grow the hell up and stop walking around like the world crapped on your only roll of toilet paper. Because it’s stupid,” he says, barely reining in his temper. “It’s stupid, and it’s ungrateful. You don’t have a clue what everyone else in the world is going through right now. You don’t have a clue, Juliette. And you don’t seem to give a damn, either.”

This statement by Kenji had me nodding in agreement and thought that ‘hey, it’s about time she quits moping around and try to actually live because she’s finally been given a chance at life.’

I think Unravel Me just points out a lot of Juliette’s faults in the most engaging and at times annoying way – her loneliness, her love for Adam, her lethal touch…

The writing grew less beautiful as compared to Shatter Me. It’s disappointing. Really. Of course, I’m not expecting Unravel Me to have amazingly beautiful prose every page or every chapter. But really, what happened to that? There were bits of it, yes, but it is way too inconsistent. Where are all the unusual and beautiful sounding metaphors and personifications? It’s just Juliette whining about not being able to touch Adam and finding herself getting more attracted to Warner each time they meet.

Setting aside the writing, Unravel Me threw out a lot of interesting developments in the story particularly the relationship between Warner and Adam. This development and their common goal – to kill their father – just turned the story a good 360 degrees for me, in a really good way (it means that Warner isn’t really the villain and the ending just hints more about Warner’s future in the story!).

I really love how Unravel Me ended with Warner at the center of it. It makes me more interested in reading Ignite Me but not to the extent that I’m going to kill to just to read it now. It’s more of a beautiful ending that makes me want to read the sequel because I LOVE to know see how Juliette’s relationship with Warner will proceed. I’m pretty sure that more things will happen between them, yes?

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What I Like: (1) character developments, (2) romance between Juliette and Warner, (3) Warner totally being swoon worthy,(4) Warner’s secrecy about his life, (5) Kenji being serious but still being funny at the same time, (6) Kenji taking a brotherly-like role, (7) that nice ending with Warner

What I Didn’t Like: (1) inconsistent writing, (2) Adam (and he’s not so sympathizing back story), (3) Juliette whining about things

story development + improved and more likeable characters = nice sequel.

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