Thursday, January 23, 2014

Unravel Me

Unravel Me
By: Taherah Mafi
Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)

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.

I've had this book sitting on my shelf for nearly a year now, and I know what you're thinking. I really liked Shatter Me and I had a copy of this in my home and I heard nothing but good things about it. WHY THE HECK DIDN'T I READ IT! Well, that is a complicated question with an even more complicated answer, but suffice it to say that occasionally I put up weird mental blocks toward certain books. This can happen for many different reasons, but when it does it takes me a while to get over them.
But you're not interested in the strange workings of my mind. I've read it now, so on to the review.
I really liked this book. I knew I would. Taherah Mafi has such a gorgeous, unique writing style. The plot of this series is interesting and engaging. When you pick up a book from this series, it's nearly impossible to put back down again. All this adds up to a really enjoyable reading experience. As with Shatter Me, I do have some issues with the book, but overall it was pretty great.
Juliette: I have an interesting relationship with Juliette. I love her, but she frustrates me. When she pulls it all together she is brave, kind, and smart. But it felt like she was breaking apart so often that it lost a lot of its meaning, each time started to feel like just another breakdown. Sometimes she lost control so frequently that it lost some of its depth. Though that did show her moments of bravery in sharper contrast. One of my favorite things about Juliette is how not okay she is, she's been through so much crap in her life. She can't help but be truly anxious and depressed and not in complete control of her emotions. I think it's so great to be put in her head, you feel what she's feel so deeply in a way that helps you understand yourself more.
Warner: Okay. Let's get this out right now, I do not approve of Warner as a love interest (I mean in the way that I want Juliette and him to be together. I do think it's an interesting take on a very twisted character. It very clearly would not be a healthy relationship in the slightest). He is seriously screwed up, more so even than Juliette. He is such a complex, twisted character. I think Taherah is a genius for creating him in all of his despicable, sympathy-inducing glory.
Adam: I'm still not sure how I feel about him. I think he has anger issues (understandably) and he doesn't challenge Juliette enough in their relationship. She said it in this book, but she feels too protected with him to put up the armor she needs during this war. After reading Fracture Me (the e-novella from his point of view) I know that I am not a fan of how he thinks about Juliette, as someone in need of his protection, as some naïve little girl who doesn't understand what she's gotten herself into. But I love his relationship with James, it's very sweet. I'm excited for Ignite Me, maybe I'll sort out what I feel about Adam's character.
Kenji: OKAY! I LOVE HIM. If you read my Shatter Me review, you'll see that Kenji annoyed me quite a bit. But now that I understand him and have seen his softer side, I could not love him more. He is great to most everyone around him, is so sweet to James and Juliette, truly cares about Adam even though they've had their issues. He's hilarious and sweet, everything I managed to accidentally miss from him in Shatter Me.
Additionally, When Kenji got on Juliette about snapping out of her own little problems and getting stuff done, I was actually cheering him on out loud. I was so happy that someone finally said it!
Additionally to the former additionally, Kenji gets the best lines in the books. He's so full of sass and sarcasm. I love it.

"Because if I lower my voice, I won't be able to hear myself speak. And that," he says, "is my favorite part."

Good. Gooooood. There was action and intensity (too much angst for my taste, but at least it was palatable angst). I have to say that a lot happened in this book, I wasn't expecting quite so much to get done (especially this being the second book and, therefore, very vulnerable to Second Book Syndrome). But, yeah, it was pretty great. I really liked seeing all of the characters interact (and with less making out this time, which was a plus as I didn't get quite so frustrated that we weren't seeing any plot progression).

As expected, Taherah Mafi's writing leaves me in awe quite often. The metaphors she comes up with are truly brilliant and the way she works them into the prose is gorgeous. Her style of writing flies by you, pulling you in further and further because it so easily evokes so many feelings.


"...and I wish I could put his words in my pocket just to touch them once in a while and remind myself that they exist."

"I don't know how to be a verb, an adverb, any kind of modifier. I'm a noun through and through. Stuffed so full of people places things and ideas that I don't know how to break out of my own brain. How to start a conversation."

"We are synonyms but not the same. Synonyms know each other like old collegues, 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.

"Because there are times when the anger bleeds away until it's nothing but a raw ache in the pit of my stomach and I see the world and wonder about its people and what it's become and I think about hope and maybe and possibly and possibility and potential. I think about glasses half full and glasses to see the world clearly. I think about sacrifice. And compromise. I think about what will happen if no one fights back. I think about a world where no one stands up to injustice."

"I have a heart, says science, but I am a monster, says society."

Public Service Announcement: If you are not following Taherah Mafi on Twitter, you are seriously missing out.

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