Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi.
Shatter Me #2.
Page Count: 461.
Published: February 5, 2013.
Published by: HarperCollins.
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 absolutely loved Shatter Me when I read it earlier this year, so I was very excited going into Unravel Me. While it wasn't perfect and I had a few character issues, it was very enjoyable overall and I was so glad to see progression of both plot and character development.
One of my biggest struggles with Unravel Me was Juliette. While I understand and respect that she needs to grow and is still on the way to accepting herself, her whining and hopelessness for the first 100+ pages of the book got irritating. For a while I understood because everything she experiences is new to her and she claims she doesn't feel welcome at Omega Point. However, after a while it was clear that she wasn't even bothering to try to fit in, instead simply sitting around moping. Juliette has so much potential as a character and I want to see her reach that, so I was tired of her "poor me" attitude. I was glad when she finally (after some prompting) picked herself up and actually made an effort. Seeing her growth from there on was much more rewarding for me. I also liked how Tahereh Mafi showed some of Juliette's growth through the visual appearance of the writing. As Juliette grows more sure of herself in this novel, especially from how she felt in Shatter Me, there are fewer lines crossed out in the text, showing her increased confidence. I thought that was a smart way to subtly show Juliette's improvement.
I was so glad that other characters got to grow and experience more this time around. While Shatter Me was very focused on Juliette, Unravel Me gives Adam, Warner, and Kenji a little bit more development and helps each of them come into their own some more. Unfortunately, Adam seems very distant, even as more is revealed about him. I was disappointed by his overall lack of significance to the plot. He had a few big moments, including a game changer and a shocking reveal, but it felt like he wasn't all that present overall. Warner, while interesting, is still not someone I see as a viable love interest. He's an intriguing and layered character, sure, but even as Juliette grows closer to him, she feels (and says so) as if for them to be together and be right for each other, she must be a monster. I don't think Juliette is a monster, nor do I want her to think that way, so Warner is not the right match for her in my opinion.
As for Kenji... Kenji was the star of the show in Unravel Me. Kenji becomes much more developed and shows that he is a deep, complex character who is absolutely essential to this story. Kenji not only becomes the glue that sticks Juliette to her fellow Omega Point comrades, but is the only one willing to give her the kick in the pants she so desperately requires to stop her moping and start striving to live up to her full potential. He is passionate and unfailingly loyal to what he truly believes in. He is serious when it comes down to business but has a playful, joking side that puts the others at ease. I was so happy to see Kenji become this charismatic, fierce, beloved guy who serves as a leader and a friend.
The plot was a little bit hit and miss for me, to be honest. More hit than miss, but still. I loved the Omega Point aspect, but since Juliette closed herself off to most interaction for much of the novel, I was left wanting more. During the moments when Juliette was being whiny I often felt the plot was very slow, but the later part of the book did make up for that. However, even the slow parts of the plot weren't too bad because I am still in awe of Tahereh Mafi's writing. The poetic stream-of-consciousness type style she uses in Juliette's head is beautiful. I love the rhythm and the ease with which the words flow and that is one of the things that draws me into the story. It provides a different feeling than with a lot of other writing, which I appreciate.
In all, there were aspects I loved even more than in Shatter Me and aspects I loved less. This one was just a little below its predecessor on my list.