Release: February 5, 2013
Others in the Series: Shatter Me and Ignite Me
tickThe best thing about Tahereh Mafi's books is the writing. She has a penchant for plotting and a flair for character development, but her incredible and unique way with words made Shatter Me one of my all-time favorites. Unravel Me follows up with equally lyrical language, but now more than ever, the words have power not only because of the way they sound, but because of their message and meaning.
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.
And they are saturated with messages and meanings.
Each phrase takes a certain tone, at times urgent, at times enraged, and at times loving. With carefully chosen syllables combining to form a story that made me feel everything the characters did, Unravel Me takes its readers on an emotional journey they will not soon want to dismount.
One common attraction is anger. This book is a ferocious one, filled with fury threatening to overflow. Livid at the troubles in her life, Juliette spits out supercharged sentences and releases emotions in a way that the author describes in exactly the right amount of detail, creating an engaging atmosphere of animosity. In many cases, I had to force myself to pull away from this book, my heart pounding because I was feeling emotions as if I was an actual character in the story.
Unravel Me also bursts with romance. Passion pours off the pages, and those who reference scenes as "swoonworthy" will have plenty to become lightheaded about. In a bleak world in which she has been labeled a monster, Juliette proves her true humanity by showing her caring feelings for others, and the contrast between who she is and who many people think she is really makes her romances remarkable.
However, the love triangle presented in Shatter Me does take a turn for the silly in the first book's successor, creating an abundance of moments in which readers may want to scream at the main character, ordering her to make up her mind. Previously, Juliette had strong feelings for Adam, but the signature oscillation of a geometric love polygon begins here. Yes, she has every reason to question her romantic options, but it is almost painful to watch her newfound indecision growing, eating away at the reader as much as her.
And yet, even such an irritating aspect combines with every other emotion evoked by words to elaborate on one inclusive point: Juliette's repressed but undeniable humanity. Before, Mafi used language to draw up imagery of insanity, allowing readers into the mind of a shattered soul numbed of feeling and broken by loneliness. But now, the slightest shifts in sentence structure show the protagonist becoming marginally more sound, and the actions they describe scream sensitivity, responsiveness, and warmth. Every aspect of Unravel Me proves once and for all that Juliette is not, never has been, and likely never will be a beast.
That is more gorgeous than any alliteration, missing punctuation, or strategic strikethrough could ever be.