Title: Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: February 5th 2013
My Rating: 5/5
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.
I'm not sure this is going to be a review so much as an outpouring of emotion. Cause seriously, this book gave me THE FEELS. It beat up my heart, stole my breath, and captivated my mind. Unravel Me, you got me.
I mean really, how in the world does Tahereh Mafi write like that? I feel like I should just stop this review right now because my words will never do justice to her talent. It's lyrical, powerful, and original. I love the use of strikethrough words. It gives insight into the things Juliette tries to hide and really adds a new dimension to her character. I love that Mafi uses all these stunning, gorgeous metaphors to add beauty to this dark and disturbed world. She is, without a doubt, one of the best writers YA or otherwise publishing today.
I've decided to save all my Juliette love for a future post about strong female characters, but I will say: I adore her. I think she is a brilliantly written character. She has captivated me from the start, and Unravel Me was no different. She swept me up into her life, and showed me every painful second of it. She is a lost girl trying her best to find her way. Yes, she cries and whines, but heck, who wouldn't in her situation? Juliette is simply a scared young girl having to face a reality she never wanted. And, I honestly think she does a very good job of it. And I cannot wait to see her progress more.
Now, let's talk about Warner. Let's talk about what he's done, what he believes, and why he is one of the most intriguing characters in YA. But, let's look at this realistically. Because I have lots of thoughts on the matter.
First, Warner doesn't know any other way of life. And to be honest, that's no excuse. You always have choices. Warner makes the wrong ones. He does horrible things. But, that's what he expects of himself. He has so much self-hatred, probably more than Juliette, for the things he's done. He boast about it, pushes the bad deeds out like a shield so no one can see how much pain it's caused him. How much he hates being the person he was raised to be. And I love him. I truly love his character because he has so much depth and meaning behind him. But, this is why I'm not Team Warner (although I understand why people are). I love character development. One of my favorite things to read in a novel is watching a broken character push themselves past the limits that have been set for them. And I think Warner can do that. Warner has the potential, the ability, to be a good person. To truly help the society he lives in and right all the wrongs he has committed. And, behind all the hatred and self-deprecation, I think he wants to. But, for me, him becoming that person would be cheapened, would be almost meaningless if he did it for Juliette. Yeah, it's a romantic sentiment. The bad boy changes his ways so he's worthy of the love of a good girl? Romantic. In a way. But, did he really want to change? Does it really mean something? Not in my opinion. I would rather Warner pushes himself to be the best he can be because he wants to NOT because Juliette wants him to. It's more meaningful, more truthful if he does it for himself. Now, that's not to say I'm not all for people wanting to be better because of the person they love. That's important. But in Warner's case, he doesn't want (well, not openly) to be a better person. So, he would be doing it solely for the purpose of getting Juliette to love him back. And that would just make to worthless, in my opinion. So, to summarize that crazy long paragraph: love Warner, but not Team Warner.
Although Adam wasn't really in Unravel Me very much, each of his scenes broke my heart more and more. He is a genuinely good person, strong young man, and he is really truly there for Juliette. There's no selfishness behind his actions. Just pure love. Unlike Warner, Adam doesn't need to push himself to do better. Yes, he has a lot of person issues to work through and he's not a perfect person but he tries is best and does everything he can to help Juliette. They both need to step up and work through their problems, but as a couple they are what the other needs.
And, then there's Kenji. Oh man, I love Kenji. He's kind of the moral compass of the book. The voice of reason, using his wit and humor to get across serious issues. But, there's so much more than just the funny guy persona he puts out there. He's a strong, loyal, and willing to risk his life do to what's right. To help people. He's a great dynamic character, and getting to read more about him in Unravel Me was on of my favorite parts.
Something I enjoyed more in this novel was the world building. In Shatter Me, Juliette isn't really exposed to the world around her, and as readers we don't get to really find out what's beyond those prison walls. We get glimpses, like Juliette, but the outside world is still a bit of a mystery to the reader. In Unravel Me, we are both shown the outside world and told about it's horrors. And it really is a dark, terrifying place. But what was interesting was the undercurrent of rebellion you could see in most aspects of the world. This wasn't a society that was done fighting. It was one that was waiting for the right moment to strike.
Overall, Unravel Me was a superb and stunning sequel, that I thoroughly enjoyed. I don't even think this crazy long review even covers everything I wanted to talk about. There was just so much to it. So much character development, so much plot movement, and a heck of a lot of angst. And every page was a beautiful treat to read.
- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)