Monday, February 18, 2013

Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi

Release date: February 5, 2013
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Harper
Pages: 461
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed from library
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
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.
I quickly and wholeheartedly fell in love with Shatter Me and Tahereh Mafi's distinctive writing style, so I was absurdly pumped to read Unravel Me, especially after getting Warner's perspective in Destroy Me. At the same time, I was a little scared because I loved Shatter Me so much. Luckily, no worries here! There a lot of things I could talk about to fill space here, but only a couple I'd like to touch upon, since I'd much rather you go off and read the book than sit here reading my review. :)

Juliette has been placed in an utterly new environment, one where she's not physically separated from the world, one where she's supposed to contribute to a community and reap the benefits of being surrounded by people who are different, just like her. The problem is that she's so different--and potentially dangerous--that the people want little to do with her when she arrives. Instead of working to make people accept her, Juliette retreats into herself and into Adam's company--what little of it she can get, at least. This is where we find her at the beginning of the book: scared, lonely, and frustrated. She 's been trying to hone her abilities for a short time, to no avail. What I loved reading, though, was how Juliette--with the help of Castle and Kenji (KENJIIIIIIII)--grows, how she learns to befriend people, become part of a community, and care what happens to those people. She's whiny and self-absorbed at the beginning, but she becomes fierce and dedicated to helping those people she's quickly come to care about. It's a lovely transformation to watch.

I don't believe I can stress enough how big of a dilemma we are put in when it comes to Adam and Warner. Love triangles tend to make me gag a little bit. There's always the guy who it's obvious the girl is going to choose in the end and the guy who's just put there for some conflict, generally the bad boy. In Shatter Me, this was totally the case, but in Unravel Me and Destroy Me Warner has come into his own as... Something I really don't have a word for.

I couldn't help but think about him in relation to Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (I know, I know, but I'm in a Shakespeare class right now and we JUST finished reading it!) My professor talked about how scholars deliberate over Shakespeare's intentions when it came to Shylock. He starts off as a clear villain, wanting to take down our nice, generous hero, but by the end of the play, he is easily the most complex and compelling character in the show, and one really can't help but root for him. Some scholars like to say Shylock got away from Shakespeare, that he became more than was intended, but I don't think that was the case. The ambiguity presented when Shylock speaks brings the play to a higher level; it makes it a powerful commentary, rather than just a play where the bad guy gets his dues. While I don't think Tahereh Mafi is making some huge commentary, I do think her intentions with Warner are clear. The "bad guy" is not just a bad guy. Taking Warner from a stereotypical villain to a very human, suffering character makes the reader think about labeling people from the beginning, and it makes me adore the book even more.

Now that I'm done with that rant.... I honestly don't have much to say past: Get to reading! Unravel Me takes the world and the characters established in Shatter Me to a whole new level. There's more action, more romance, more funny lines from Kenji, and just more to love all around.

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