Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Friday, March 8, 2013 9:00 AM
Title: Unravel Me 
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Published: February 5, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: Shatter Me #2
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Pages: 461
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

*Warning: This book review contains spoilers for Shatter Me*
“I am nothing more than the consequence of catastrophe.”
― Tahereh Mafi, Unravel Me

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. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
I am feeling all these emotions. Just so many emotions all packed together. Shock, frustration, happiness, excitement, anxiety, exhilaration. Because honestly while I saw it coming, I kept trying to tell myself that Mafi would not put us through another love triangle. But this one is the most confusing triangle of all because I actually like sick, psychopathic Warner. Warner who tortured Adam. Warner who has killed people and enjoyed it. And don't think for a second that I'm kidding myself. I know Warner is not going to drastically change, and if he did, I would be seriously pissed off at Mafi for even thinking we'd buy that cheap move. So why did I like him so much? This leaves me feeling very conflicted, and I'm having trouble deciding why exactly I loved Unravel Me as much as I did when it had a) a love triangle and b) it pairs a girl with a maniac.

In Unravel Me, we see a different side of Warner, a human side and a side Juliette never thought existed. He has feelings, and while most of them are devoted to Juliette, we also witness his compassion for his mother. Warner, your human's showing. For some reason, I was drawn to Warner. I wanted to learn more about him because he is fascinating and really complex. There's so much to uncover about his past and how he turned out this way. What I really wanted to know is, why is he so sick and mentally disturbed? And I was rewarded with a nasty little peek at his childhood and his life growing up with daddy dearest. We meet the infamous Mr. Anderson (anyone thinking of the Matrix right now?), aka the Supreme Commander, Warner's father, and kind of a fascist pig the likes of Hitler. After we spend a little time with him, we feel some sympathy for Warner. At least, I did. And as more and more of Warner's past is revealed, we understand why he's so messed up, even if it is no excuse for his past behavior.

In Unravel Me, Juliette found herself growing closer to Warner, and she even began to think of him as a friend. He could relate to Juliette's insecurities more because he is seen by society as this monstrous figure, and Juliette is struggling with the rush of power her ability gives her and how sometimes she even enjoys using her power to destroy. While Warner may not be Juliette's Mr. Right, I believe he truly loves her and that he could do some good in his life even if he can't completely change. Should anyone ever trust Warner? Heck no. He's a ticking bomb. But that doesn't keep me from wanting so badly for him to be happy or find something worth living for. And he's so much more interesting to read about than Adam, who basically bores me to death.

As for Juliette, Adam, Kenji and the others, there was even more to learn about them in Unravel Me. Finally, we are privy to some of their secrets and a few questions that were raised in Shatter Me are answered. I've seen reviewers complaining about Juliette's constant whining, but it didn't bother me because she's been through a lot. I mean, her parents thought she was a monstrosity and they abandoned her, and then she was thrown into mental hospitals and detention centers before she was imprisoned by Warner and he tried to train her as a weapon. Oh yeah, and she can't touch anyone. I would be shocked if she wasn't upset. I found Juliette's stream of consciousness lovely to read, and as always Mafi's writing flowed beautifully.

What I most enjoyed about Unravel Me was that we get to see a larger glimpse of the outside world. I still could have used a little more world building, but I'm content for the moment. At last, Mafi describes this bleak world in some detail. We hear about the citizens and their horrible living conditions. We witness the injustice of the Supreme Commander's rule. Just as this world is new for us, Juliette has yet to experience life outside of the walls she's been trapped behind. Right after she escapes the Reestablishment's clutches, she is ushered underground into the safety of Omega Point. It was nice to see how Juliette's first impression of this world matched my sentiments almost exactly.

If I had any complaints, I'd have to say that Juliette went mad fast from shooting Warner to wanting to jump him. How can you fall that quick for someone who tortured the guy you love? It just didn't seem believable, and it required some suspension of disbelief. And poor Adam just could not seem to catch a break. I understand why Juliette and Adam were having trouble in paradise, but I think Juliette could have been just a bit more upset. Instead, she's thinking about Warner in such naughty ways. Though I can't say I didn't enjoy the steamer scenes. As always, Mafi wrote some passionate scenes and I had to fan myself.

Ultimately, Unravel Me was a thrilling, fast-paced, and entertaining book that I simply could not put down, and I finished it in record timing. It definitely does not suffer from MBS (middle book syndrome). So much happens, with plenty of oh s**t moments, and it left me desperately wanting the next book.

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