Re-reads, Reviews

Re-review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

You know, I feel like I should re-read books more often – it’s funny to go back and read my old reviews on Goodreads. Maybe I’ll make this an actual series – this summer would give me a great opportunity to do so! Would people be interested in that?

Anyways, here’s my re-review of Unravel Me!

Book 2: Unravel Me
Synopsis: It should have taken Juliette a single touch to kill Warner. But his mysterious immunity to her deadly power has left her shaken, wondering why her ultimate defense mechanism failed against the person she most needs protection from.

She and Adam were able to escape Warner’s clutches and join up with a group of rebels, many of whom have powers of their own. Juliette will finally be able to actively fight against The Reestablishment and try to fix her broken world. And perhaps these new allies can help her shed light on the secret behind Adam’s—and Warner’s—immunity to her killer skin.

Original Review (circa 2013): I don’t know where to start. I loved this book, literally could not put it down, and the only bad thing about it is that the third book in this series will be coming out in February 2013. I’m dying at the fact that I won’t get to read more Warner x Juliette scenes… because oh that was one of the best parts of this book. That one chapter… I was DYING!! So amazing!! If you haven’t guessed already, I’m team Warner… or Aaron (hehe). And not only because he’s so awesome! Becuase Juliette feels safe to be herself around him and doesn’t have to worry about… killing him, I suppose.

I loved that Juliette also came into her powers more this book. She accepted them more, and didn’t detest herself as much as she did in Shatter me. I loved how Kenji was more central in this book, because lets face it, he’s awesome!!

The only bad thing was Juliette never answered Aaron’s last question in the book. Talk about massive cliffy!! Please release #3 sooner Ms. Mafi!!

There are… so many horribly cringey things about that review that I don’t even though were to start. Actually, I think the worst part is my word choice… very very bad. However, also looking at the other Goodreads reviews makes me feel better – at least a lot of other people were also all over this book.

Current Review: I have to say that I think this book did improve a lot on the first, but I was still really disappointed in how characters were handled. From my old review I can say that I fully agree with a couple of points – I loved how this books a) had more Kenji in it, as to this day I have no qualms saying that he is my favourite character b) distanced Juliette from Adam, and made it more obvious that their relationship wasn’t healthy and c) showed how Juliette was struggling to become more social and accepting of herself.

I will say that I was really frustrated with how Juliette acted in the book. At the end of Shatter me it seemed like she was ready to start interacting with more people, but we find out in the very beginning of Unravel Me that she hardly interacts with anyone other than Adam (warning bells!). Her first interaction with Brendan, another inhabitant of Omega Point, was so promising, and then we find out that she just didn’t try to integrate herself into their community. Thinking about this, thought, it makes sense – first of all, for the past three years she’s been isolated from society, has hated herself, and then once she was brought to Sector 45 was played with and put under extreme duress. Not to mention that once people in Omega Point find out what she did as a teenager they shun and distrust her. So I can more-or-less forgive her not being too social at first. But it was annoying how she didn’t even try to talk to her roommates Sonya and Sara (basically the first other women introduced in the series) or even Kenji.

As the books moved into it’s middle and end though (basically once she was out of her relationship with Adam) she becomes acquainted and friends with more of the members of Omega Point. She runs missions, trains, and basically becomes a part of the team. It was really lovely to see her build a family for herself, out of people who appreciated and supported her.

Furthermore, Adam got so annoying in this book, and more so that that he was manipulative. When we find out what his power is exactly, it’s not as good as we were originally led to have thought – he’s not immune to Juliette’s touch, he just negates it. But this wears him out, and can lead to him getting hurt. As soon as Juliette finds out about this, she wants to stop their relationship. But Adam manipulates her, convinces her that it will be fine, and let’s just say that things don’t go well. This continues for the rest of the book – once she breaks it off with him, he refuses to believe that they’re over, continues to make scenes, and is overall a pain. We see how he is possessive of Juliette, and how unhealthy the relationship really is. I’m glad that I could see that even as a teenager (even though I’m shocked at how much I liked Warner). Remember – Don’t be like Adam in relationships! Listen and respect your partner! Consent and communication is key! (PSA OVER).

And finally, I liked that Juliette (with Kenji’s help) slowly grew into her powers and accepted them. It was refreshing to see her actually start dealing with her reality – sure, maybe she couldn’t touch people, but with her new suit she can. She might have caused accidents that are beyond her control, but she doesn’t want to hurt people. She realizes that she is a good person, and has just been dealt a bad lot in life. Also, with her expansion of skills, it was exciting to see her actually proud of her abilities for once.

Now just a short bit about Warner. Can’t say that he’s completed his redemption arc yet (and to be completely honest I have trouble with that arc itself). But in many ways he’s better in this book. He feeds a starving dog (animal lover – check). During his conversations with Juliette, we see a much different side of him. We learn more about his past. And in some ways, we see how alike Juliette and Warner are – something that Warner has been telling her all along. No spoilers, but basically we’re shown that this character that was originally a black-and-white ‘he’s totally evil’ is much more three dimensional and complex than we were originally lead to believe.

Did I like this book more than Shatter Me? Yes, 100%. Did I still have issues with it? Yes, 100%. But there was more forward motion to this book, better character interactions, and Juliette actually grew as a person. This time, when she says that she’s bringing the fight to the Establishment, you believe her. Basically, you’re very hyped for book 3.

Stay tuned for my re-review of Ignite Me!
Have a good week loves!
– Mon

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