Monday, February 18, 2013

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Release Date – February 5, 2013
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 461 pages
My Rating- 4.5/5

Here is the Goodreads synopsis





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.
For me, a story is only as strong as it's characters. Tahereh Mafi has taken her incredibly defined characters and combined them with a page turning plot that makes Unravel Me even more engrossing than Shatter Me.

The characters in this novel seem so authentic and alive because each of them is fundamentally flawed. None of the characters are perfect, or make the right decisions all the time. The "good guys" are capable of wavering, and the “bad guys” may just have some redeemable qualities underneath. Actions, consequences, desires, and upbringing all mold these characters into complex beings that drive the plot.

Juliette’s character fascinates me. Here is a young woman who not only was unintentionally the cause of someone’s death but also has been segregated from everyone for many years. I found her self loathing and inner issues quite understandable for someone who has been through what Juliette has been. Her wonder and aching desire to discover the world that she has been kept from was heart pulling. Her loneliness and desire for human touch is something every human at their core can identify with. Human connections are something everyone needs a base level, and Juliette is no different.

War is almost a character itself in this novel. Tahereh Mafi uses Juliette’s character to show some insightful points. Juliette ponders the soldiers used by the Reestablishment, and how they may not be so different underneath it all. She wonders how many of them are just trying to survive. She’s determined to not kill anyone because they are someone’s family. The soldiers may be fighting for a cause, but doesn't mean they all fully support it, and aren't driven by desperation.

A writer who can make a character so multi-faceted and compelling is someone with rare talent. With the character of Warner this has been done tenfold. He’s layered in a way that characters like him often are not. I think there is still plenty left to be learned about this tormented, often villainous character. Is redemption possible for Warner? Possibly. For me he’s not there yet. It’s going to take a lot for him to redeem himself after the toddler incident of Shatter Me, but my extreme dislike of him has lessened to an understanding. He’s a character that fascinates me as he operates on this fine line and you never know which side he’ll fall on to.

This review would not be complete without mentioning Kenji. A character who became so much more than I expected him to. His sense of humour, and easy banter lead me to assume certain things about him. This novel showed me just how wrong the assumptions were. Brave, loyal and relied upon, Unravel Me's Kenji steps up into a position of prominence and importance. His role going forward is going to be vastly different than expected, and I love that the author was able to surprise me.

Much has been made of the infamous Chapter 62. I have to admit the speech given by a certain character to another character in this chapter is quite swoon worthy. I felt my own knees weaken as this character unexpectedly purged his feelings. The steamy passages are not just limited to this chapter however. I think Tahereh is one of the few authors to actually make me blush because her passages are filled with heightened sexual tension that is masterfully done.

A novel that packs a few surprise twists, and whose final pages left me enthralled with this new direction in the story and for Juliette herself. Tahereh Mafi has created an intense world filled with compelling, flawed characters. It's one I am eager to come back to.


  1. She really is an amazing writer. I wish I could write like that, or even half as good.

  2. I absolutely adore Tahereh's writing, everything about it is just so beautiful and very blush-worthy. This series is absolutely amazing and it is definitely because of the characters. Awesome review, Kathy! I definitely can't wait to see what is going to happen next!


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