Nothing has been as heavily marketed as Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series, especially the newest book Unravel Me. Like Shatter Me, I’ve been hearing about Unravel Me for months, and finally I decided to sit back with my ARC and read it. I was a bit hesitant mostly because of my lukewarm feelings toward Shatter Me. I was afraid the sequel would be too much like X-Men, a vibe I got when I reached the end of the first book because lead character Juliette just joined a secret group of humans with mutated powers. Quickly, Unravel Me proved me wrong; Mafi steps up her game with the sequel, taking readers on a much more fascinating, if often frustrating, journey with Juliette.
Unravel Me begins several weeks after Shatter Me. Juliette is feeling insecure about the community she’s part of; she’s afraid to hurt anyone and assumes no one likes her because of her ability to kill people with just the touch of her skin. At the same time, she’s finding consolation in her loving relationship with Adam. However, things come to a halt when community leader, Castle, tells Juliette that she needs to be more involved with the Omega Point. He enlists Adam’s outgoing and funny roommate Kenji to help train and break Juliette out of her shell. As she’s finally breaking through, she discovers Omega Point’s secrets. From that point on a series of events causes Juliette to rethink her decisions and finally come to terms with her abilities.
Unravel Me unfolds a plot that is much more thrilling and interesting than the previous book. The reader is finally getting into the thick of things. It’s getting good, characters are being developed, and things are falling into place, as other things twist and turn unexpectedly. For being close to 500 pages long, it sure didn’t feel that way. The pacing is spot-on. There’s tension, suspense and a perplexing love triangle that even I don’t know how to feel about.
Juliette was always my biggest issue when it comes to this story. In many ways, she’s damaged. Her history is a tragic one. She’s self-doubting, which she’s so obsessive about, and in turn, it causes her to be kind of conceited. She cares about others; don’t get me wrong, but she’s too swallowed up by her fears. It gets frustrating at times because this is the person we experience the story through. And to Mafi’s credit, she does an incredible job expressing Juliette and her feelings in a captivating way. Many parts in this book are practically poetic. As I began reading, I loved the touch of whimsy the writing added with its parallelism and flow. It isn’t as metaphor-heavy as the first book. However, toward the end, “I wish this, I wish that, I wish blah,” I WISH JULIETTE WOULD SUCK IT UP AND STOP BEING SO DAMN AFRAID. You see, there’s the frustration.
While it can be infuriating, I understand and admire the author for not making Juliette automatically be cured of all her insecurities and guilt. If Juliette didn’t feel insecure or guilty, she wouldn’t be human. This story may be fictional and fantastical, but it’s authenticity of these humans (or “enhanced” humans) that allow the reader to connect and relate to some degree to them. In Unravel Me, the payoff is there and majorly rewarding. Unlike Shatter Me, the end of its sequel had me reeling and wanting the next book ASAP.
Unravel Me has up the ante for this series. The plot and emotions are now complex and unpredictable, and Juliette is a now a character I can finally get behind. I have no idea what Mafi has in store for us next, only that it’s going to be absolutely crazy and great.
Rating: 8.5/10 stars
Did ya hear?
Shatter Me might become a movie! Learn more about it here!
Unravel Me by Tarereh Mafi will be available wherever books are sold on February 5th. Support The Young Folks and purchase the book in our TYF Store…
OR enter to win my ARC of Unravel Me below! Use the Rafflecopter widget to enter. The more tasks you complete, the more entries you will receive. Contest is open to US residents only. Contest ends February 11th. A winner will be notified via email on February 11th.
Publisher: HarperTeen (February 5, 2013) | Length: 480 pages (Hardcover) | Series: Book 2 of Shatter Me series | Source: ARC (Provided to me by publisher) | Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Action | Completed: February 2013