Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Unravel Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Pages: 461
Genre: YA, romance, dystopia, fantasy
Series? Yes, Shatter Me #2
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: February 5, 2013


Synopsis from Goodreads: tick
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.

Thoughts and Rambling

Oodles of thank yous to Andi again for sending me this book – you’re the best! 

When I finished Shatter Me, I was really afraid that Unravel Me would disappoint, just because of the way I thought it would go. And I think it half fulfilled that fear, but not really. I was happy that Juliette wasn’t the cause of my problems, though, since that was my main worry. And now I’m pretty darn sure that I actually do like Warner… Gosh darn it. Jasmine and Hazel? You were right. I’m sorry. I will forever bow down to you. Chapter 62. Damn.

Lady with squirt bottle
Character Bar

Juliette: She failed me in the first half of the book – constantly whining and hating herself and pretty much collapsing every other page. I was really getting sick of her selfishness and pity parties, but then THANK GOD she pulled herself together and WHAM there was the strong and purposeful Juliette I had been searching for. 

Adam: I’d like to kick this boy where it hurts so hard that any thought of children is erased from his list of possible futures. Seriously. GROW A SET DUDE. He’s just whining and complaining the entire way through, especially as far as the romance goes. It was like he was the whiny girl and Juliette was the one who knew what needed to be done in the moment. It was just really frustrating, and my least favorite part of the whole book. 

Kenji: Can he seriously get any better? I love how complex and well developed Kenji is. He’s witty, snarky, and yet there’s such a depth to him and a seriousness that emerges in the most important moments. He can see the big picture, and knocks some much needed sense into Juliette. Kenji is like the sassier version of Peeta Mellark: selfless, committed, brave, and warm-hearted, and so much more. 

Warner: I finally get it. I haven’t read Destroy Me, but I saw enough of Warner and his past to understand everything now. And it’s kind of like that Ender’s Game quote: “When I truly understand my enemy, that is when I love him” (paraphrased a bit there). I’m not sure I’d say I love him quite yet, but I’ve definitely warmed up to him. And he’s a lot stronger than Adam, so right there I’m a lot more inclined to supporting the whole Juliette/Warner corner in this love triangle. I’m not denying the fact that Warner is seriously screwed up in the head, but at least there’s a clearer reason of why now. 
Concept and Plot

Concept: Well, it still feels a bit like the X-men, but I love those movies so I don’t care at all. I think the clarity of the war could have been a bit more defined – I felt like the focus was the romance, and the political tensions were lacking in development. So in the end I felt like I had been thrown into this final battle and there wasn’t really any build up of suspense to really make me care or understand the gravity of the situation and what hinged on their winning. 

Plot: Like I said, it was a bit unfocused at times, and slightly meandering, but at least in that time Mafi took the chance to develop her characters. And towards the end there was a clearer goal, and that’s where the pace picked up. I’d definitely say the second half was a lot better than the first. Writing Style

The metaphors are still weird, but I’m getting more used to them now, and they’re still strangely captivating. Like a weird bird you can’t stop staring at, trying to decide if it’s beautiful or ugly. Last Thoughts

Unravel Me wasn’t as stunning as Shatter Me, but I think it was a solid follow up. It’s a middle book anyway, so there’s always that sense of limbo that goes along with them. Plus, Chapter 62. Guys. If nothing else, read the book for 62. I just really hope Adam can pull himself together in Ignite Me! 

My Final Rating:

Four Stars

Find the book at:

Amazon |  Barnes and NobleBook DepositoryGoodreads

Food for thought (sound off in the comments!)

If you’ve read the book: 

  • How did you feel about Adam in this book? Do you ship Adam/Juliette or Warner/Juliette? 
  • Do you like how Kenji’s character has been developed, or do you only find him to be annoying? 

If you haven’t: 

  • Do you always continue to hate the characters you hate, or do you change your mind when you learn more about them? 
  • What other books have you read where the male character is the one whining about the romance in the story? 

11 thoughts on “Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

  1. Your review gets bonus points from me for the Golden Girls gif 😛

    I’ve not read this book – I couldn’t finish the first. I got angry with it and then forgot where I put it… whooops! I don’t always continue to hate characters I hate. I think some authors have a brilliant way of managing to completely manipulate my thoughts and emotions with their worlds. And my perceptions too. I was recently reading a series and in the first book I was head over heels for the main guy. He was perfect right down to his Cajun accent. But in the second book – I did a one eighty. I couldn’t believe I liked him because now he was a bit of a tool and I liked some other guy they introduced. Made me feel a little flippant for switching considering how much of a fictional crush I had but the author was that good at messing with my emotions!

    • Awww why did you hate the first?? I thought it was strange, but in a good way!

      Okay – messing with emotions. THE DARKLING. I seriously do not trust male characters in power positions anymore since that guy. Like Anden in the Legend series – I want to love him but I’m so afraid he’ll go evil! It’s definitely a testament to how well Leigh wrote her series that I was whiplashed by the Darklings loyalties.

  2. Oh my god, you MUST read Destroy Me! Just…the insight you gain in Warner’s mind from that book is so epic. I just love how although he himself thinks that he’s unredeemable, we as the reader can see that he actually is redeemable. AH! SO AWESOME.

    And yes! KENJI. That guy is freaking hilarious. Sassy Peeta Mellark is a good way to describe him haha. Just those one liners he throws out at Juliette- BEST.

    I’m Team Warner hehe. I actually did an entire discussion post with my coblogger on the Shatter Me love triangle, and I definitely think that most people are Team Adam in the first book, but still have a strange fascination about Warner. Because even though he seems to evil, he does, at the same time, appear to truly care about Juliette. And you get even more of that in Destroy Me and Unravel Me. I think, possibly another reason why so many people are Team Warner is because of the way he treats Juliette. Whereas Adam just wants to protect her and shelter her etc etc, Warner wants her to be strong. And as the reader, WE want her to be strong. So that way we’re kind of swayed to his side, I guess.

  3. Chapter 62, ’nuff said.

    I have to say that I ship Juliette and Warner. Adam was fine in the first book but in the second one he did not impress me.

    I love Kenji because he adds some much needed comedic relief to the novels to keep everything from being totally overdramatic. I was at a signing with Tahereh Mafi before and she said that Kenji is like a mix of all of her brothers put together and told some funny stories just to prove it. After listening to her talk about Kenji and her brothers it made me like the character a lot more.

    • *swoons*

      I don’t think I’d like the series as much without Kenji. You’re right – there’s so much drama that without him it would just be overkill.

      Aww I’d love to have heard those stories! Now I love Kenji even more ❤

  4. I just read Unravel Me a couple weeks ago and I really really liked it! I was a big Adam-Juliette fan in the first book, but after reading Destroy Me and Unravel Me and I’m all the way for Warner and Juliette. Even though he’s still super screwed up, they just make sense together, I don’t know. I feel awkward about liking him so much, but he’s probably one of my favorite characters ever in a YA series.

  5. Pingback: Book Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi | Jen's Pen Den

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