Sunday, May 19, 2013

Review: UNRAVEL ME by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Unravel Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Publication date: February 5, 2013

Publisher: HarperCollins

Source: Thanks to the amazing Ems for trading this with me via YA Book Exchange!

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.


The most frustrating books to review are books like this one. It's taken me forever to process my thoughts and I still don't have anything. I really wish I would have recorded myself when I talked to my sister about it because that was the clearest moment I had. Let's begin.

This is a SEQUEL. 
It may or may not contain spoilers for the FIRST book. 
Continue at your own risk. 
Or you could just go read Shatter Me and then read this review.

We find Juliette where we last left her in the underground rebellion. However, instead of being the determined and positive girl from the end in Shatter Me, she's now depressed and wallowing in self-pity. Seriously. Pity party for one, please. 

I could go on forever about how annoying Juliette was for the whole beginning of the book and maybe even for the whole thing. Whine, whine, whine. That's all I heard from her. She would go in a cycle of whining and being depressed then Kenji would say something to snap her out of it and she would agree and cry, saying how she really does need to be better. But what does she do? Only a few chapters later and SHE'S BACK AT IT. I want to point out that I love Kenji. He was the only redeeming factor in the whole book first half of the book. I kept picturing Edna from The Incredibles

He gives her necessary reality checks and tells it how it is, but not in a rude way. He's a sweetheart, a hilarious one, but he won't watch Juliette moan about her life like a dying dog. 

"All you do is sit around and think about your feelings. You've got problems. Boo-freeking-hoo," he says.

Kenji even made me fired up while I was reading on the treadmill. It felt like I was rolling my eyes every other minute and then Kenji would appear and my fist was suddenly pumping in the air with redemption. 

"As far as I can tell, you've got food in your mouth and clothes on your back and a place to pee in peace whenever you feel like it. Those aren't problems. That's called living like a king. And I'd really appreciate it if you'd grow the hell up and stop walking around like the world crapped on your only roll of toilet paper. Because it's stupid," he says, barely reining in his temper. "It's stupid, and it's ungrateful. You don't have a clue what everyone else in the world is going through right now. You don't have a clue, Juliette."

Do you want to go back and reread that last quote? I especially loved the toilet paper line and the last sentence. I walk to the treadmill anticipating a better Juliette, more Warner, and a funny Kenji. I start reading and I feel like my eyes are getting a workout from all the eye rolling at Juliette. I'm just about tired of it until Kenji appears. So I return sighing and smiling at my sister, grateful for Kenji. 

However, there is no possible way that Kenji will end up with Juliette. NO. To all those fans who are being silly and saying, "TEAM KENJI!" No. Stop looking foolish, you're just embarrassing yourself. Not only would that be weird, but Juliette honestly doesn't deserve him. I get that Kenji might seem promising, but I'm actually pulling for him to be with one of the healer twins. 

Kenji nods very slowly, looks a little solemn. You're right. I'm sorry. I get it."
"Thank you."
"Adam is jealous of our love."
(Guys, he's joking.) 

He even calls Adam on his BLECH-ness. Personally, I don't see how anyone can be on Adam's side. She knew him longer, they have history, he was there for her, he has a little brother, and so on. Whatever. If a guy read this book, he would joke and say that Adam was behaving like a woman on PMS. Not only is that insulting to women everywhere, but that wouldn't come close to how Adam was behaving in my eyes. 

“I am not moody—”

“Yeah, bro.” Kenji puts his utensils down. “You are moody. It’s always ‘Shut up, Kenji.’ ‘Go to sleep, Kenji.’ ‘No one wants to see you naked, Kenji.’ When I know for a fact that there are thousands of people who would love to see me naked—” 

Kenji was a constant love for me. I know I have spent not nearly enough too much time talking about him. But I'm actually really afraid of giving anything away. 

We have Warner again, who is a definite plus. Before you read Unravel Me, it's mandatory that you read Destroy Me. Please. There were surprises and twists along the way, which I loved, so bravo, Ms. Mafi. Things get a bit sizzling with Warner in the book, another plus. 

One of the things I understood that it had to happen, but was in absolute annoyance over was the fact that Juliette kept going back and forth with Adam and Warner (seems to me like it resembled what everyone keeps saying about America in The Elite). Of course, she always has one foot planted on Adam's side. Her other foot keeps jumping back and forth though, making me want to push her all the way to Warner. 

There were many enjoyable, and aggravating things, in this book. All in all, I enjoyed it. Kenji was the only redeeming factor in the first half of the book and Warner helped him out in the second half. If you're expecting a strong heroine, I suggest you ditch that idea or be prepared that Juliette has major fluctuating attitude issues. The fact is, though, that this book delivered excitement, swoon-worthy scenes, a few lovable characters, and twists.

Basically, if you want your emotions amplified, then you will get that, at least it did it for me. When I was frustrated, it was known. When I was thrilled to bits, I felt it all over. Unlike other books, your emotions aren't lukewarm. You feel things, good and bad.

Verdict: A sequel that left me with annoyance AND pleasure and making me stand stronger than ever for Warner. 


  1. I USED THE SAME GIF IN MY UNRAVEL ME REVIEW! It's so perfect to describe Kenji's awesomeness and Juliette's emo-ness. Also: Warner yessss. Adam blech yessss.

    BUT as someone who has read both The Elite and Unravel Me, TRUST ME. Juliette's waffling barely qualifies as waffling compared to America. America actually CHOOSES a different guy every twenty pages in the first part of The Elite. Juliette is more genuinely conflicted. I found that aspect of her far less annoying than the moping. I actually liked how drawn she was to both guys. And by both guys I mean Warner. Mmmm, Warner.

    1. It's absolutely perfect!

      Okay, well that makes me feel better about Juliette but dreading America a bit since I FINALLY GOT A COPY OF ELITE! Mmm, Warner. Amen to that.

  2. I got annoyed with Juliette a lot in Unravel Me, too, but I've seen multiple promises from the author about how she's going to put on her big girl pants for book 3. Great review, Team Warner all the way. <3

  3. I loved Warner so much in Unravel Me. I didn't like him at all in Shatter Me, but I thought he was a much better character in this one. I also think Kenji is amazing :) Great review!

  4. Juliette did frustrate me quite a lot in Unravel Me too, it was disappointing as she was such a strong MC in the first book. But I'm glad we had Kenji and Warner to brighten things up. I loved that we were able to get to know Warner's character a lot more, seriously this guy did so many things to my heart. After this I know I am firmly team Warner! I'm sorry you weren't able to enjoy this as much as you hoped Sunny. But I hope you decide to continue with the series for Warner and Kenji ;)

  5. Oh boy, guess I should prepare myself for the whining. lol I've been meaning to read this and as a big time Adam lover, it'll be interesting to see how I feel about Warner. :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  6. Okay, so. I had mixed/negative reactions to the first book, and I was curious about this one because there are SO many raves! But this review gives me a reality check, hah. I still may pick it up sometime, but it might not be until the series is complete. Thanks for the honest review, Sunny!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  7. I kind of understood Juliette's whining, since although her problems could be much worse, they are there, and I was more focused on her apparently recovering sanity as indicated by the reduction if the insanely flowery metaphors. But even I, as a reader who deemed Shatter Me nearly flawless, have to admit thatshe did get a bit irksome on this front.

    And even more bothersome was her inability to choose between boys. WHY did this series have to become one of those cliche love triangles everyone hates? The first book was so well done; Warner was a fascinating character, but Adam the obviously more dateable one, and Juliette knew that for a fact. Now…ugh.

    I didn't love Unravel Me as much as I hoped either, but it does make you feel things strongly. Mafi really is a brilliant writer and she chose the perfect words to make you feel all the emotions as well as revel in their gorgeous lyrical lit, so she is still on my "I will read ANYTHING you write" list. :)

    1. I do get you there. I could see why she was whining, but I guess since she seemed so tough at the end of the last book that I was expecting her to be all I AM WOMAN.

      I know...I know :(


  8. I understand where you are coming from with irratibilty at Juliette.

  9. I love, love, love this series!! But yes, I can TOTALLY agree on the whole whiney Juliette thing. I went the audio route with both books, and I felt like her whininess (is that even a word?? :P) really added to the story. I'm totally Team Kenji... I heart him. :D

  10. Juliette was frustrating in this installment. I wanted to shake her quite a few times. Kenji was wonderful by doing just that to her! Wake up woman! I'm not sure who I want her to end up with. I think I'm 50-50. I hate love triangles! Wonderful review, Sunny. :)

  11. Juliette always kind of bothered me but if she is worse in this one like you say, ugh. Glad to hear you still like Warner! After reading Destroy Me, I appreciate his character all the more. Can't wait to read this!

    Alise @ Readers In Wonderland

    1. I do, I love Warner :) I hope you enjoy it!

  12. Look at this Kenji love-fest up in here! :) I'll admit, he grew on me during Unravel Me. I kinda wanted to smack him in the first book, but he's the comic relief now, the guy who says what everyone else is thinking. And I'm with you...let's push Juliette all the way over to Warner's side. :P