Wednesday, July 23, 2014

{BookTalk Response} Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2): Tahereh Mafi

Rating: 8/10
Series: Shatter Me #8
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction,
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: February 5, 2014
Page Count: 461
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

Disclaimer: In this review, there will be spoilers for both Shatter Me and Unravel Me. I am also trying out a new-ish review format where I respond to things said in a BookTalk done by Christine @ polandbananasBOOKS. If you don't know, a BookTalk (commonly posted on BookTube) is a spoiler-filled review in a style that feels more like the YouTuber is having a Talk about a Book, rather than meticulously critiquing aspects of the story. It's almost as if the YouTuber was just sitting down for coffee with their friends (us viewers) and discuss the book. In my response to Christine's BookTalk, I will agree/disagree with Christine, answer her questions, and basically ramble on whatever comes to mind in response to what she says. The reason I'm trying out this new format is because I want to know what other people think, and it is just so awesome having other people (such as BookTubers) discuss books and spark conversations.

Backstory: I thought I finished Shatter Me fast. *claps hands slowly for self* Boy, was I wrong. While reading Unravel Me, I broke ALL TIME reading records (because people totally record those) in terms of pace. Let me walk you through it: I borrow the book from the library around 2:30 in the afternoon. I run a few errands, talk to the folks, etcetera until 4:30 which is when I start the book. In an hour and a half, I fly through 150 pages of the book. This would mean that I was averaging around 35 seconds for each page. Even though I would normally consider myself a fast reader, I am never THAT fast. After a run (which went great), dinner (with fries that were waaay too salty), and chores, I picked the book up again at 10:15 and finished it by 12:15. In TWO FREAKING HOURS, I read over 300 pages. Don't ask me how I did it, and I know I will never do it again (except maybe for Ignite Me), I don't have a clue as to how I absorbed everything that went on in the story. All I know is that my brain had this rabid, feral hunger to read the book.... so I read.

0:35 ~ XTINE: I definitely enjoyed [Unravel Me] more than Shatter Me.

Sofia: I have to be honest, I was kind of on the fence after I had just finished Unravel Me, as to which novel was better. Twenty-four hours later, however, I agree with Xtine that Unravel Me me was better, but the reason I was so on the fence was because there were definitely some aspects *cough* Juliette's whining/moaning *cough* that made me dislike the book.

0:55 ~ XTINE: You have to read Destroy Me, which is the novella, which comes in between Unravel Me and Shatter Me. 

Sofia: Guess who failed at that? *points thumbs at self* This girl! I wanted to read Destroy Me, I really did. I wanted to get inside Warner's psychotic head, and try to understand him more. (Remember, he's ANDEN on steroids). But when I went to the library yesterday, I wasn't even sure if they had Unravel Me, but when I found at that they did (and it was checked in) I borrowed it and immediately read it. Going back, I really would have liked to read Destroy Me, because of the way Xtine describes it, and everything that had gone on -like character development. Tonight, I may actually buckle down and buy it, with that hefty $2.99 price, even though I had wanted to purchase the bind-up of Destroy Me and Fracture Me.

1:42 ~ Xtine: We open back with Juliette being frustrating again.

Sofia: Frustrating? Frustrating is an understatement. Juliette is a whining, moaning and groaning b*tch for so long in Unravel Me and the levels of self pity that go on during a majority of the book make me want to slap her so she can return to reality. Thankfully, Kenji does that for me. Thanks Kenji! I owe you big time.

2:12 ~ Xtine: It's really frustrating to see a character with so much potential to be strong, act so helpless, and weak, and irritating. It's so frustrating, when in the beginning of the second book, one person in the couple will be hiding something from the other, and the other person is just like, "Oh, I'll ask later." 

Sofia: Get your freaking act together Juliette. You're in a world where you could be killed any moment just because you are who you are. Aint nobody got time for you dragging your feet. As Xtine so eloquently states, "Hold him down until he tells me."

3:04 ~ Xtine: She purposefully made these names unshippable.

Sofia: Heck to the yeah! When I have an OTP I want a ship name so I don't have to spend the extra time saying both their names. Yet both Juliette and Adam AND Juliette and Warner have names that CANNOT be shipped. Do you know how frustrating that was?

3:26 ~ Xtine: He's been hardened into this creature by his father. 

Sofia: Pumps fist! While Xtine goes off on a tangent comparing Warner to Sebastian and Jace from the TMI series, it gives me a chance to go off on my tangent with the parallels with Anden from the Legend Trilogy. Anden isn't a hardened creature, but he has been taught to hold back all emotion (as politicians have to do), and I just love how both June and Juliette have to break down walls in order to find out who the real person is.

4:56 ~ Xtine: Juliette is weaker with Adam. 

Sofia: Xtine goes off on a long spiel, better than I can, on how Juliette is when she is with Adam. Now, I never liked him in the first place. For some reason, I didn't trust him, and he seemed too "pretty boy" to me. When he flips out because of multiple people, on multiple occasions, he becomes his possessive jerk that I want to punch in the face. I never liked the two of them together, and they are SOOO bad together on so many levels.

5:00-6:00 ~ Xtine: [She basically talks about how Juliette and Warner challenge each other, and make each other better people when they are together]

Sofia: Hell yes! I love the two of them together. They're basically a dynamic comedic duo. They play off of, and buffer off of each other, being better when they're together versus when they're apart. They play to each other's strengths and weaknesses, and create one heck of a show for us.

6:15 ~ Xtine: Do we think Adam will learn to control his abilities and they will get back together in the final book.

Sofia: If Adam does, I will throw a hissy fit. The whole reason he is out of control (besides it being an interesting factor in the plot), is so that Juliette can end up with Warner. I don't ask for much in this world, but Tahereh, "PLEEEEASE don't make that d****e learn to control his abilities."

7:30 ~ Xtine: Anderson is a really attractive psychopath. 

Sofia: I'm beginning to question my taste in men, but I oddly liked Anderson. I don't know how to describe it, but I almost respect and admire Anderson for what he's done and created in such a short time. The way he seems so calm, cool, collected, and in control of the situation even when everyone else is running around, saying things have gone to hell. He's a villain that I adore to hate, he's also, as Tahereh describes, quite attractive in the 45 year-old-man kind of way, sort of like George Clooney.

7:56 ~ Xtine: Adam comes in and says, "That's my dad."

Sofia: I have to admit, I was a bad girl, I read to the synopses of the books ahead while I was in the middle of Shatter Me. *holds up hands to shield face* I had to add them to my Goodreads TBR. In the process, I already knew that Adam and Warner were half brothers, so I didn't drop the book and gasp, wondering what my life had come to. In fact, I was surprised at how understated Mafi made the scene. I expected some mystery, some intense process showdown of a scene where we find out that they are half brothers. In no way am I saying that the scene was bad, it is actually quite shocking and abrupt for someone who didn't know. Yet, for me, as someone who did know the spoiler, it seemed so blatant, and the information was just lain on the table all at once.

8:43 ~ Xtine: Both [Anderson's] kids have abilities.

Sofia: I wanna know *rocks on balls of feet* Just like Xtine, I wanna know if Anderson has some subtle ability that had helped him take over. There has to be something -like reading other people's minds- that help him, or maybe he has some way to detect emotion like Warner. Whatever it is, I NEED to know what other secrets that attractive man is hiding.

9:10 ~ Xtine: Murderer on my lap!

Sofia: LOL

9:40 ~ Xtine: Warner's real name is Aaron.

Sofia: I have NO idea what I expected. What I did expect was something more. Warner is such a strong, bold character, and for his name to be Aaron? What the heck! Aaron Warner doesn't quite flow in my mind - I think it's the two "n's." Aaron Anderson also sounds like he is a goody two shoes, so I don't know what to think.

11:06 ~ Xtine: She says the wrong name. He's spilling his soul and the one girl who he opens up to, calls him the wrong name.

Sofia: I didn't understand what the heck went on with Juliette in this scene. Tahereh might have just inserted it to make us all go batsh*t crazy, but seriously. Why call him Adam? It's not like Juliette thought Warner was Adam, or mistook him for Adam. Why did she have to screw everything up like she always does? 

12:21 ~ Xtine: I want her to run away with Warner

Sofia: Yes! Yes! Yes! Life would be so much easier, if the two of them ditched everything, and ran away together to live happily ever after. If they can just forget about the war, Anderson, Adam, and everything else. Now that, would be a good ending to their trilogy!

12:40 ~ Xtine: I don't want the whole focus to be on war. That's not what's interesting in this story - it's really these messed up characters and how they interact. 

Sofia: Xtine is so right. I don't actually find that much appeal, at least in Unravel Me, in the whole war and government aspect. That is not what I'm coming back to read, I'm coming back for the astounding characters and their interactions. Tahereh Mafi has spent two books, and two novellas, creating and developing these characters. I don't want to say that this book is a romance novel. I really don't want to say that, but it's the relationships between Juliette, Adam, and Warner that truly drive the plot make it a good story. 

13:08 ~ Now Juliette is strong and she knows how to use her abilities

The number one thing that people have said, and it's actually gotten annoying, is that Juliette develops as a character. I for one, haven't seen that much of her growth and development, but she sure as heck is better than she was the beginning of the book, and I can't wait to see who she and what she does as the new Juliette in Ignite Me

Quotes 10/10: 

“On the darkest days you have to search for a spot of brightness, on the coldest days you have to seek out a spot of warmth; on the bleakest days you have to keep your eyes onward and upward and on the saddest days you have to leave them open to let them cry. To then let them dry. To give them a chance to wash out the pain in order to see fresh and clear once again.”

I could spend all day talking about Tahereh Mafi's writing style. There are certain passages, such as the one above, that sound like poetry, beautiful threads woven into an even more glorious tapestry.  Despite Juliette's whiny and overal b*tchiness, the kinds of quotes above and below are the ones that I was read ing Unravel Me for. 

"Do you like Shakespeare?" he asks me.

An odd segue.

I shake my head. "All I know about him is that he stole him name and spelled it wrong." 

When Warner and Juliette have some alone time together in Warner's prison cell, and I nearly laughed out loud when they started talking about William Shakespeare and how he stole Juliette's name and spelled it incorrectly. The literary reference was just priceless, and hilarious especially in the situation they were in

Random Comment: The whole [insert verb here] Me thing: SHATTER. DESTROY. UNRAVEL. FRACTURE. IGNITE. 

I think the only reason this was an issue for me was because I was conscious of the the [insert verb] Me thing that went on with all five works. At times, especially in Shatter Me, it felt like Tahereh was inserting as many "Shatter Me...." and in this book's case "Unravel Me...." sentences/phrases as possible to a point that it was overkill. This was just minor pet peeve that bothered me during both Shatter Me, and Unravel Me, and absolutely did not distract from my enjoyment of the book. 

Continuation 100%: Ignite Me is already on hold my library, and I think I may burst, because it isn't due back until around the 30th. I have the two novellas to satisfy me, but I need a satisfying conclusion, and closure on these characters. I have also heard from everyone, that it is the best book in the series because of how much Juliette has changed and developed into a kickass character. 

Conclusion: Unravel Me is a strong sequel with complex characters, an intense love triangle, and a heart stopping plot. 

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