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.
©2013 Tahereh Mafi (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
* Contains spoilers for Shatter Me ~ fair warning *
At the end of Shatter Me, Juliette seemed to be on the verge of taking control. At least, that is what it felt like for me. She had escaped to Omega Point, found refuge with others who have bizarre powers, found a safe place that was willing to help her nurture her abilities. I expected Unravel Me to start with a huge punch of power, of self awareness and control on Juliette's part.
What I found instead was the same old Juliette. Mopey, depressed, self-deprecating and annoying. There were several moments when we would see a spark, a flicker of something...something that maybe meant Juliette was finally ready to be more. All too quickly that little flicker would snuff out.
“I am nothing more than the consequence of catastrophe.”
I understand her life has been ridiculously horrible and hard but come on already. Grow a backbone and use it rationally. That's all I'm asking. I lost a bit of my love for Juliette with Unravel Me. She just got more and more ridiculous, more selfish, more ridiculous...did I say that already? Her decision making ability was non existent, she did dumb thing after stupid thing followed by moronic thing. When she should have been learning and training and working to save lives she was instead dreaming about boys and kisses and touches and ugh....just getting utterly distracted by all things Juliette, Adam and Warner.
Let's move on, shall we? We are finally exposed to the reason Adam can touch Juliette and brings on a whole new set of problems for them. While I can sympathize with the situation, Adam's reaction to it and decisions he makes because of it had me gritting my teeth in anger on multiple occasions. I'm (almost) always spoiler free so I can't go into any detail here but I can say he should be thinking a little more about her than himself at this point. Yet, he is still so sickly sweet and loveable that it tears at my emotions.
“Juliette, please, tell me what I'm supposed to do. How am I supposed to feel? It's one sh*tty thing right after another and I'm trying to be okay--God, I'm trying so hard but it's really freaking difficult and I miss--I miss you, I miss you so much it's killing me.”
I was pretty upfront in my review of Shatter Me that I was Team Warner ~ all the way. I loved him even more after reading the novella Destroy Me which is told in his point of view. However, Warner also has my emotions torn in two now. I still adore him, he's the best character in the series as far as I am concerned. But there are more and more confusing decisions made by him that make me think, yes he's redeemable but not necessarily ever will he be deserving of winning the girl.
Then we have Kenji. Kenji takes a much more prominent role, being a big wig at Omega Point he seems to be everywhere. He too is an amazing character and this book would be missing something horrible if his quirky jabs were not a part of it.
“Are you kidding?” I stop in the middle of the kitchen. Spin around. My face is pulled together in disbelief. “You’ve spoken to me maybe once in the two weeks I’ve been here. I hardly even notice you anymore.”
“Okay, hold up,” he says, turning to block my path. “We both know there’s no way you haven’t noticed all of this” — he gestures to himself — “so if you’re trying to play games with me, I should let you know up front that it’s not going to work.”
“What?” I frown. “What are you talking abou—”
“You can’t play hard to get, kid.” He raises an eyebrow. “I can’t even touch you. Takes ‘hard to get’ to a whole new level, if you know what I mean.”
“Oh my God,” I mouth, eyes closed, shaking my head. “You are insane.”
He falls to his knees. “Insane for your sweet, sweet love!”
The writing style is as strange as it was in Shatter Me, and again I have to applaud Kate Simses for her wonderful job of narrating. She is remarkable at taking me to a place I don't think I could get to on my own.
With all that I hated about Unravel Me, I still loved it. Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with me. Why do I like these train wrecks so much? I love the world, I love the struggles, I love the turmoil of this stupid love triangle, I love that it makes me an emotional puddle of soupy goo. I think I am just as ridiculous as Juliette for wallowing in this misery. Or maybe I am just as insane as Kenji...insane for this crazy emotional roller coaster ride.
This author is a master of creative imagery. Her writing style gives this text a richness that is extremely rare in contemporary writing. I kept expecting it to get old or tiresome, but instead, I found myself wishing I had the physical book so that I could highlight some of her phrases.
I really enjoy the author's writing style, but could see how someone more literal, might tire of the figurative language used. So, for those of you who might fall into that category...if you want an author to say "I almost cried," instead of talking about the dam in her eyes holding back the waters...you might want to choose a different book. If you like strong imagery and really enjoy writing that feels three-dimensional...do not pass this series up.
Even though there is a lot of descriptive language, the story does not drag or slow at all. Usually the middle book in a trilogy is a bridge that feels more like filler than substance. That is not the case here. If the background information from the first book was not so helpful to character development, this book could stand alone.
The Shatter Me series is written in narrative form (stream of consciousness). Juliette's choices in this book surprise me, but not because I don't understand how she feels. This writing style allows you to understand the actions our heroine takes, even if you don't agree with them. I admit, I hit pause a few times to get over my shock at the things happening. The story moved and evolved well. There was a cliff-hanger at the end of this book and a rushed conclusion. It makes me eager for the third book, but it wrapped up enough that I didn't get frustrated at the break.
I would definitely suggest reading the first book before this one. Also, there is a 1.5 called Destroy Me that you can can get for the Kindle. And just in case you haven't already figured it out, the scratching sounds indicate that the previous statement/sentence was crossed out in the text.
I really enjoyed my time with this book and will probably visit it again a few times before before the final installment is released.
Beautifully written. Poetic, Lyrical, Intense.
Warner - the change in how the reader views him is so extreme.... an incredible accomplishment for the author
I have spent a good bit of my student loans on audiobooks.
I can recall listening to Shatter Me some months ago and being extremely irritated with Juliette’s weakness. She is so incredibly whiney, and I understand why, but come on already.
All she ever wanted was to be accepted. Now she is. She is surrounded by supernatural beings, yet she continues to whine whine whine. Oh I just learned I have amazing super strength? Let me whine about how this power is useful in killing. Oh there’s a war happening? Let me whine about my lovelife. Geez Louise, she is so complainy.
However, I absolutely adore this series. I just can’t put my finger on it, but it just draws me
The author, Tahereh Mafi, has such a strange writing style. Everything she says is a metaphor; then she will go on to explain that it’s a metaphor. So, so strange. But, I love it. I love how Juliette will be complaining that there are no words to describe what she is feeling, so she will go on to list the types of words there are. Something like, “There are no prepositions, adverbs, or verbs to describe how I’m feeling.”
I think if I were actually reading the story, I would be annoyed, but Kate Simses depicts all of the characters in a loveable way. She is extremely talented – have you heard how she does James’ voice? Genius!
What Made Unravel Me Work:
Kenji. He is the comic relief of the story that actually had me laughing out loud. He is the voice of reason that puts Juliette in her place. He is funny, has a tragic past, but he still carries an air of mystery to him that makes him a pivotal member of the series.
The romance. Even though it drives me loony on occasion, I am still completely invested in Juliette’s tragic love-life. She is split between Adam and Warner – which is so awesome. I know love triangles are getting a bit overdone, but it is some juicy drama. I’m not going to get into details over what exactly transpires, but it’s fantastic.
The mystery. Some may argue that this story is a tad predictable. Maybe it is. But, I don’t care. It is still exciting to me to learn what may next happen to Juliette, and I’m dying to wait forever for the third installment.
Love, love, love narrator Kate Simses. She does an amazing job. Her performance is incredible. The story is so good. The way Mafi writes, you want to devour this book. Do yourself a favor & read the Shatter Me series - even if its just to read how Mafi describes the drinking a glass of water. Its like listening to art. You won't regret it.
I Love a great supernatural tale, a Love story, PNR, a Cool Mystery and Most Sci-Fi....if there are vampires, weres or witches in it, that's a plus! Basically I am a 40+ y/o young at heart woman rediscovering the wonderful world of books and am now addicted! Lol I LOVE AUDIBLE!!!!!
YES!!! I am in love with this series....I can not wait for book 3!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just wow...anyone who didn't like this series is crazy! It doesn't get much better than this....
I liked ALL of it...and I think I may have been converted almost to TEAM WARNER....ALMOST!
she is an awesome narrator...sweet sounding sometimes...and vicious and hysterical at others....
Oh YES! Both books in this series, and the novella from Warners point of view all took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions...nothing has moved me this much since the Daughter of smoke and bones books....the writing is that good!
I loved this book so much, and can not wait till book 3...the writing style, the narration, the story...the characters...everything was beautifully done...I caught myself holding my breath, and screaming out at times...a new fave for me and I will be counting the days till the next book is released....and yes I will be re reading this series again!
Warner....talk about a character you love to hate. Damn! I usually don't like the "bad boys", but the chemistry between him and Juliette is so hot for a YA book. My only complaint is that ISN'T an adult romance. I really hope the author has Juliette pick him.
Good, a little sweet and innocent, but I guess that fits the character.
Probably not. I am an avid science fiction, fantasy reader. I thought this is what I was going to find in Shatter Me. I could not understand what was wrong with it. Well, there is the obvious that it is **way** over the top (she's not insane). When I stopped thinking of it as sci-fi or fantasy it made sense. This is a romance novel! Even more precisely, a young adult romance novel. My first one- and last.
It has just enough suspense that I didn't stop listening.
Her performance is actually good. I believe she has faithfully captured the voice the author intended.
At one point I thought this was a long way around to making a social statement. While listening for that hook I thought, "oh ok, she's actually making a statement here." I thought I would impressed. But alas, it wasn't.
If you start this series you're going to want to find out what happens. But the repetition is so annoying (she's not insane). Had I known I would not have started it which would have prevented several, "just shut-up already" or "alright we got it" outbursts from me.
My Initial Reaction...
I was so relieved that Unravel Me didn't go down the path I worried it would after finishing Shatter Me. Overall I'm loving this series, though Juliette is driving me a bit crazy!
Note:Some minor series spoilers.
I think Kate Simses is a perfect narrator for this series. As I already said in my review for Shatter Me, there's a poetic sound to Unravel Me that I feel needs to be read aloud and read aloud well. Kate Simses nails it for me.
I've had a real reversal in how I feel about Juliette with Unravel Me. In Shatter Me I loved her. But she's just so wishy-washy, "poor me" in Unravel Me that I got tired of her. I understand she's had a hard life, but she's surrounded now by people who've also had a hard life, who also have had to deal with these disturbing differences about themselves and all she can think about is how bad her situation is!
And the relationship between her and Adam is so frustrating. She let's it consume her - and I get that it's different than just a first teenage relationship... this is the first person who's ever been able to even TOUCH her. But come on girl, don't let that cloud your ability to think for yourself and make decisions. Surprisingly, Adam grew on my with Unravel Me. I think because he's having to face some pretty rough realizations and I think he's dealing better than Juliette. But he's still not my favorite.
My favorite is tied - for two entirely different reasons and roles - between Warner and Kenji. Kenji is the friend that Juliette really needs. The person who cares for her but doesn't want to BE With her. I feel like she really needed a non-romantic relationship like this. Because not only does Kenji show her she can have friends, but like a true friend - HE TELLS HER HOW IT IS. I can't tell you how much I liked his willingness to tell her off. And I really want to know him better. I loved hearing about him as a kid through Castle's eyes.
And then there's Warner. God, he's still such a mess. And still playing the role of villain in a lot of ways. And yet I adore him. I think him and Juliette are perfect for each other because they've both been told their whole lives they are monsters. Juliette because of what she can't help but do. Warner because that's who he thinks he has to be. Both are trying to tell the other they can be so much more. Both are right. And both are stubbornly not hearing the other. Can't wait to see where that goes.
I had been super worried that Unravel Me would go all X-Men after the first book. I'm so glad it didn't - I like X-Men but I wanted this to be more unique. And it is.
The basic story line for Unravel Me revolves around the resistance group at Omega Point that Juliette and Adam joined at the end of Shatter Me. They are training, learning more about themselves and preparing to fight the Reestablishment. Things aren't quite as perfect as they might have seemed at first glance, not to mention Warner's diligently seeking them out. I loved every twist Tahreh Mafi threw into Unravel Me - there's lots of unexpected challenges and lots of personal development. I'm actually torn a bit about the Resistance now - nothing is black and white, which I love. We got some SERIOUS, kick-butt action in Unravel Me, complete with superpowers galore! A really great balance between the conflict with the Reestablishment and the internal conflicts.
Also - as a note, I seriously recommend reading the novella Destroy Me before reading Unravel Me. The two overlap for the first bit of Unravel Me and it really changes your perception of the events in a great, exciting way.
I'm thrilled I found this series and am really invested in the characters and can't wait to see where it goes. Unravel Me ended on a bit of cliff hanger (not a bad one) so I'm thankful that the next book is out already!
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