Thursday, February 7, 2013

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Unravel Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Pages: 480 pages (hardcover)
How I Got the Book: ARC in a swap with a friend.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Promotional Materials and More: author website

Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)tick
tick
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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.

Review:


I'm going to be completely honest here: if Warner weren't such a fun character, I never would have bothered with Unravel Me. The prose of Shatter Me bugged me, Adam and Juliette's relationship wasn't well-developed enough to make me believe in it, not much happened, and characterization overall was underwhelming. Still, hot villains obsessed with the heroines are like catnip to me. It's a good thing the catnip brought me back for once because there's a great deal of improvement here!

Juliette's angst is still deep enough to drown in and at times, the urge to shake her (or the book in place of her!) is irresistible. She could have saved people so much trouble if she'd just opened her mouth and told people things, but she kept it all to herself to the very end! Characters like this are beyond frustrating. Thank goodness Kenji is here to be the voice of reason when he's not being annoying. Juliette needs someone to call her out every now and again. Too bad he couldn't coax her to say things that could have saved people's lives.

Speaking of saving other people's lives, stuff actually happens this time. They go on missions, they steal stuff, they save people, and more people get shot. Juliette even starts learning more about her powers! I like where the plot takes us for most of the novel, but some twists are just ridiculous. Why so many novels have decided to reveal the love interests as relatives of each other either late in the first book or sometime in the next book is anyone's guess, but it's catching on. It irritates me.

Her love for Adam isn't really expanded on either. They love each other and that's that. They spend a lot of the book apart anyway, so it's not really anything that matters. Juliette's attraction to Warner (which I think she's mistaking for love when she just thinks he's incredibly hot) is what gets more attention. The infamous chapter sixty-two? It's focused on them and pretty steamy. I approve of the moment, but not of them becoming canon. I don't like to see my crackships turned canon!

The prose, which was a major point of contention for readers of Shatter Me, sees a lot of improvement. Less repetition, less strikeouts, less "whut?" moments,... Instead of being like a child who is out of control and scribbling all over the walls, the prose is now more like a child whose parents disciplined it until it learned better, but it still has its occasional tantrums. There are still some awful moments, though. Moments like these (all quoted from the ARC):

"My head is full of missing buttons and shards of glass and broken pencil tips (p. 226)."

"I'm checking my pockets for spare words and sentences but I'm finding none, not an adverb, not a preposition or even a dangling participle because there doesn't exist a single response to such an outlandish request (p. 282)."

"My fists are full of unlucky pennies and my heart is a jukebox demanding a few nickels and my head is flipping quarter heads or tails heads or tails heads or tails heads or tails (p. 296)"

Also, try speaking in strikeouts and parenthetical asides. Hard, isn't it? That's why people shouldn't use either in dialogue. use them all you want in every other part, but when people are talking, they aren't going to be speaking in strikeouts.

The ending swears on its life that Juliette has grown as a character and she's going to take many more steps up in the third and final book of the series. I want to believe it. The way it looks right now, I'm going to be sticking around to see how everything ends. (But seriously, if Warner and Juliette end up together, I will be an angry little kitten. My crack pairings can have moments in canon like this Warner/Juliette did in chapter sixty-two, but making them canon? Uh, no. Please don't.)

3 stars!


What am I reading next?: City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster