Sarah (saz101)'s Reviews > Unravel Me

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
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's review
Sep 27, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2013-releases, dystopia, young-adult
Read from January 11 to 13, 2013

Check out the opening line of Ch.60 in Unravel Me:
"We can hide in a cupboard under the stairs our whole life and it'll still find us. Death will show up wearing an invisible cloak and it will wave a magic wand and whisk us away when we least expect it."

Once upon a time, on a day much like any other, a girl had An Idea: What if Rogue had a purple suit? And a boyfriend? She sat down to write, and Shatter Me was born. Soon to follow was a sister named ‘Unravel Me’, and the other X-Men joined the tale. Unravel Me was fair and lovely, quickly surpassing her older sister, and, oh yes, she got all the boys.

What a broken heroine Unravel Me has. We join Juliette two weeks after we left her, but for all that hope Shatter Me offered in its dénouement, Juliette is shattering all over again. Adam is distant, and, if she thought she found a place she belonged, with people like her, who could accept her, the wary stares and constant isolation say otherwise.

Broken, isolated and misunderstood are familiar places for Juliette, but was there ever a lonelier place than the kind felt surrounded by people? Juliette is a most singularly damaged heroine, and I found it difficult to find her withdrawing into her shell and shouldering so much blame for problems outside her control – both from herself and those around her. While it would be easy to find fault in her anxieties and self-pity, it’s important to acknowledge her unique position: while Juliette runs afoul of good opinion with her inability to assimilate in the new community in which she finds herself, surrounded by 'special' people who can relate to isolation and discrimination, it's important to understand there is no way she could.

A girl who has never known love, never known the basic necessity of human touch, thrust into an established, tight-knit community would not function. While certainly not the most scientific source, features an article discussing the essential nature of touch in human development. Not only can touch, in infancy, affect physical health, it has a huge impact on psychologic development. Children robbed of touch, of contact, can suffer anxiety, stress, and emotional disorders. It's painful watching a character like Juliette so misunderstood, and there's an interesting parallel here, however intentional, to the failures of our own society in caring for, and understanding those outside the sphere of what we consider 'normal', but it also seems Mafi enjoys the odd poke at the elevated emotions and angst of the typical YA heroine and hero.

But. Juliette grows in Unravel Me, develops new strength, and discovers new steel. She makes many, many mistakes, but she is a very human heroine and, for all her melodramatic angst, an eminently likeable one, her urgent stream-of-consciousness flowing in that uniquely Juliette/Mafi style making it easy to slip inside her head.

From Juliette’s narration, to the scalding romance, to the ominous cloud of impending war, Unravel Me bursts with feeling, and it carries a sense of immediacy. It’s impossible to pass that ‘romance’ with only a sentence, as Unravel Me, like Shatter Me, is sexually charged, each glancing touch carrying a weight intensified by a life filled with its absence. Adam returns, sweet and kind and with scorching chemistry – if not a little bland personality-wise – and Warner, the uncomfortably compelling villain of Shatter Me, appears in a new light entirely. More than a few readers may find themselves surprised by interesting feelings as Shatter Me's villain becomes something... more.

The Verdict:
For all this talk of intensity and dark matters, Unravel me ultimately aims to entertain, and succeeds. Sexy and gripping, filled with bone-melting romance and gripping intrigue, Unravel Me is an outing stronger, even, than its extraordinary predecessor. Mafi’s prose dances swiftly across pages, dropping metaphors like bombs, and it feels a tighter book on a whole, with a stronger focus on plotting. Unravel Me sizzles with passion and chemistry, and offers surprise twists to keep those pages turning well into the wee hours. Fans will delight in Unravel Me as it unravels its spectacular heroine just in time to leave them desperate for more.

Initial thoughts:
Amazing. Better than Shatter Me, in the sense that it seems to have more direction. It's a more (but still NOT) plot-driven novel while maintaining the intimacy and intensity of Juliette's inner world.

Definitely a FEEEEEELING book where you FEEL all the FEELS and... this book was just addictive. I wouldn't want to be Juliette for a moment, but I love her world. Review to come.
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Reading Progress

01/12/2013 page 246
51.0% "I so saw that coming! *feels super smart*"
01/12/2013 page 308
64.0% "I have epic Julietter/Warner feels.

I feel wrong and conflicted and ADAM ADAM ADAM WARNER." 20 comments
01/13/2013 page 393
81.0% ""You destroy me." OMG. The feels." 1 comment
01/13/2013 page 401
83.0% "OMG. Burn. Shatter his heart why don't you O__o"

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Jennifer ASDFGH! I need this now!


Jennifer I'm so jealous of you and your ARC :(


Sarah (saz101) *huggles* I FEEL BAD. I would offer to send it your way, but it will release in the US before I could get it you :(

message 5: by Wendy Darling (new)

Wendy Darling But what did you feeeeel? :D :D :D

message 6: by Marie (new)

Marie Bow down to the boy who lived! And everyone knows Death has an invisibility cloak, so he can sneak up on people since he gets bored of running at them, flapping his arms and shrieking (how I love you, Ron)

Sarah (saz101) Marie: Hehehe! RIIIIIGHT? I was so excited with the reference ^__^


Jennifer I saw the HP reference too! I was like...... O.O!

Sarah (saz101) It was awesome :D

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