March 5, 2014

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

[Warner and I] are synonyms but not the same. / Synonyms know each other like old colleagues, like a set of friends who've seen the world together. They swap stories, reminisce about their origins and forget that though they are similar, they are entirely different, and though they share a certain set of attributes, one can never be the other. Because a quiet night is not the same as a silent one, a firm man is not the same as a steady one, and a bright light is not the same as a brilliant one because the way they wedge themselves into a sentence changes everything.
-from Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

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 *This review contains spoilers for Shatter Me*

Unravel Me, the second novel in Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me series, picks up immediately where the first book left off: Juliette, Adam and James have been led by Kenji to Omega Point, an underground group that offers protection especially to those with supernatural powers. Despite their safety, Juliette continues to have trouble assimilating into any type of society. She continues to struggle with the consequences of her power and how it defines her as a person. With the Reestablishment ready to take them down, Omega Point must prepare for battle, whether Juliette is ready or not.

Unravel Me maintains the same poetic prose I loved so much in Shatter Me, characterizing Juliette seamlessly despite her jagged stream-of-conscience narrative. Unfortunately, the pacing of this book was not as on par as that of its predecessor and it started out extremely slow for me. By the time the story picked up, I was so exhausted from hearing Adam whine and lament about his relationship with Juliette that I practically started to dislike him as a character. It's very unfortunate that these things marred the book for me because at the end of the day it's not a bad installment, it just takes awhile to gain its footing.

On the positive side, Unravel Me continues to explicate what Juliette's touch means to her identity. Where Shatter Me unpacked how she feels as a physical "monster", Unravel Me did the same for her emotional side. I found it especially interesting that Juliette asks herself if she is a monster throughout this novel, whereas Warner asks himself if he is not a monster. This dichotomy between the two helped me to examine them together more closely. And all the while Adam just whines and complains (Or, as my reading notes literally say, "Wah! Wah! Wah! Poor Me!"-Adam. lol). This is also a good place to note that Chapter 62 pretty much wins Sexiest Chapter Ever Award (and I don't use the awkward term "sexy" lightly!). Proof that less is more when it comes to literary sex appeal (and also why I gave this book an extra half-heart)!

Another thing I enjoyed about this novel is the growth of Kenji. I didn't care for him either way in Shatter Me, but he really proved himself in this book. All of Mafi's character dialogue is impressively realistic, but Kenji will really have readers laughing out loud. He's extremely likable, which isn't surprising when it comes to how Mafi crafts characters and brings them to life. Speaking of new characters, I didn't care for Castle as much (funny enough, he reminds me of Carlisle in Twilight, which might be why I'm unimpressed by him), but Mafi still finds a way of bringing even the non-exciting characters to life.

Bottom Line: Don't let the slow start deter you, this book is full of all the great characterization and sharp turns that made you love the first book in the series! 4.5/5 hearts.

1 comment:

  1. Oh you're going to love Kenji in Ignite Me! Actually, by what you said here I think you might really love Ignite Me. I know I did! It completely blew me away! And I feel like Juliette grows realistically in each installment. Lovely review!


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