Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)

Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publication date: February 5th 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins 
Hardcover, 465 pages

This book made my heart explode...

In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi’s writing was a thing that stood on beautiful, but wobbly legs. It was mesmerizing in its beauty but not well-balanced at all. As a writer, Mafi was still learning how to walk, still trying to find solid ground, and it’s quite obvious that she was working hard at it because, by the time she sat down to write Unravel Me, she was a fully-formed writer – a bit eccentric for sure, but sensational nonetheless.

Unravel Me is something entirely different. She took all the best parts from Shatter Me, left the awkward and exaggerated behind, added a few details (all of them good), and created a sequel that outshines its predecessor in almost every way. For someone like me, someone who lives of words and for words and who teaches other people how to use their words properly, it’s almost impossible not to fall madly in love with Mafi’s voice.

Unravel me was a shock to my system and dear God, it felt fantastic to be shocked out of my stupor, out of reading a million plainly written stories one right after the other. It is the type of story that will make some people angry, some sad, some even desperate, but not a single person will remain indifferent.

I’m checking my pockets for spare words and sentences but I’m finding none, not an adverb, not a preposition or even a dangling participle because there doesn’t exist a single response to such an outlandish request.

Only in terms of plot is Unravel Me somewhat inferior to Shatter Me. It is much slower, far more focused on Juliette’s inability to fit in and connect with others. It explores the psychological consequences of years spent in imprisonment and solitude and the difficulties of living with people after spending so much time away from them. Of course, just because Castle - the leader, and Kenji, accepted Juliette easily, doesn’t mean that others aren’t afraid of her. And while Juliette is struggling with finding her place and figuring out what, or rather who, she wants to be, news of Warner’s relentless search for her are constantly coming in.

Love triangles, starcrossed lovers, heroines that make unreasonable choices – those are all things that normally make me cringe, but in Unravel Me, Mafi made them all work. My heart was broken so many times, and I think I went through five stages of grief and a whole lot of (sugar-free) ice cream, and I still barely survived this book. If I could somehow quantify the emotional impact all my favorite books had on me, Unravel Me would certainly be at the very top.

Oh my God what am I saying I don’t even know where I’m finding these words, where they’re coming from or which tree I’ve plucked them from. They just keep growing in my mouth and sometimes I bite down too hard on an adverb or a pronoun and sometimes the words are bitter, sometimes they’re sweet, but right now everything tastes like romance and regret and liar liar pants on fire all the way down my throat.

A million thank yous and a huge hug to the lovely Jasprit for lending me her copy.


  1. You should... like... totally give away your review copy. To me. :)

  2. Wow, wonderful review, hun! I'm impressed that the sequel is better than the first book because I have heard awesome things about SM. Also it's great that some of the stereotypical YA themes (like love triangles) didn't bother you in this book! I have Shatter Me and will try and read it soon :)

  3. OMG! MAJA!!! I am so freaking green in envy right now! I want this soooo bad! I am so glad that this is just as goood or rather evenbetter than the first one. And im sorry that it broke your heart so many times, I guess its a good thing too, that it was moving and I cant wait to cry myheart out too! Such a wonderful review Maja you dont know how excited i am for this! *dies*



  4. Wonderful review! I can't wait to read this! I already love the quotes you've chosen as examples of the stellar writing.

  5. Oh Maja! Shatter Me was one of the best books I've read this year and look at you, you've already read Unravel Me! How I envy you right now. I am very glad that you loved it and I simply can't wait to have a chance to read it. I want my heart broken and I want to eat plenty of ice cream and chocolates while I'm having my heart handed back to me in millions of pieces, too. What a fabulous review, Maja, as always! :D

  6. Maja, this review is beautiful! I'm so pleased you enjoyed this. While I didn't like this as much as Shatter Me (Juliette frustrated me a little and you know how I feel about the love triangle!), I did really like it too. Isn't Mafi's writing just mesmerising? I'm almost certain I wouldn't love her books as much if she had a less extravagant writing style. Wonderful review! :)

  7. Wonderful review, Maja!(: I've heard a LOT of mixed thinks about Shatter Me, ranging from pure love to horror, so I've been very skeptical about picking it up, but it definitely looks lik eI need to give it a try. It sounds amazing and this sequel sounds even better! :D

    Ivy Book Bindings

  8. I am sad I still haven't read Shatter Me. I know it was on my list and then I just got overwhelmed. I am clearing out all the titles and then I am reviewing some of these gems. This books sounds absolutely anstonishing. I am like you, I want the beautiful writing. I live for it! The quotes you shared were awesome. I am so looking forward to spending some time with these two books! Hugs! Miss you!

  9. Yay! Brilliant review, Maja. I know I gave Shatter Me a 5-star although I know there's something in her writing that didn't quite work for me but I just simply loved the story that it kinda blinded me. But I'm so glad to hear that she really developed a lot in here. Those prose you included were all lovely! Oh wait, there's a love triangle? Oh no! Now I'm nervous... :)

  10. I can't wait to have this in my hands! I am such a huge fan of Shatter Me and have been dying to continue this story. Wonderful review!

  11. This is such a brilliant review Maja, you're words never fail to amaze me! Whereas I usually stutter around with books that have had a huge impression on me, your review flows beautifully! I'm so glad you loved this book and that it provided so much more than Shatter Me! Your review definitely makes me embarrassed for not having picked this up yet!

  12. Oh, yayyyy! I'm so glad that a book really blew you away. That's always so nice after a string of just okay ones. And I think that I've realized that I really appreciate beautiful disorganization more than colorless precision too. (I just wrote about that in a review a few days ago - so funny!) Anyway, this review is quite beautiful too, my dear.

  13. I'm receiving the impression that everything about this book yells "gorgeous!" from the breathtaking, stunning cover, to the way in which you describe the prose so eloquently. :) I just had my heart broken from Tiger Lily... So, bring it, Unravel Me! I want my heart to explode... (Does that sound perverted?)

    Your review is profoundly exquisite, Maja. :) I haven't read Shatter Me-yet- but I will do so soon!

  14. I wasn't a huge fan of Shatter Me too, so I'm excited to hear that this one outshines the predecessor! :)
    It seems like you really did enjoy Unravel Me, Maja. You don't give out 5 stars easily, so this should be really epic!
    Beautiful review, Maja. :)
    I also kind of hate you for this review because now I'm impatient to read it but I have to wait until January 2013!

  15. MAJAMAJAMAJAMAJA. How do you write so freaking well??????? Only explanation is that you're not human, and I'm starting to wonder... *eyes Maja sideways* OMGFOMGOMG You are so lucky you got to read this! I'm jus DYING to get my hands on this!!! Jasprit is a goddess, for sure. <333

    I'm so happy to hear that it's much better than Shatter Me, because I loved Shatter Me, like LOVELOVELOVED so I have a feeling this is going to make my heart explode too! ;) Lovely review, Maja-chan! You rock. :)

  16. Wow, just look at that beautiful cover! I love these new covers and I love the sound of these books! I haven't read Shatter Me yet but I really want to buy it sometime soon. It sounds so good. Fantastic review, thanks for sharing, Maja!

    Steph @ Stepping Out Of The Page

  17. my reading experience w/ shatter me was oke. a 5 star read and better than book1? you have my attention ^^. i can't wait for unravell me

  18. Amazing and lovely review as usual, Maja! I just want to throw my reading schedule out the window and get to this. I will, very soon. :)

  19. Wow, brilliant review, Maja! That front cover lured me right in, and your review has just made me more interested. Thanks for sharing your awesome review with us! By the way, I can't believe I haven't been to The Nocturnal Library more often, it's amazing! And what a beautiful design! :D xxx

  20. Amazingly written review Maja! I love the quotes you choose and the way you formatted them!!!!!! I'm so glad to hear that the writing in this book is better, i'm a little sad about the slow plot, but still it sounds like a good book. :0

  21. WOW!! This looks amazing! Amazing review, thanks so much for posting! I love the way you've presented the quotes, they're beautiful <3 I love the covers in this series too, they are so breathtaking. I need to read the first book... ahh! :D
    I love your new header by the way, it's so beautiful <3

  22. YOUR. REVIEW. Oh my gosh, Maja, your review make me desperate to read this book!! Thank you so much for adding the quotes in your review! ;) I don't know what to feel about Warner. A little birdie told me that I'm going to fall in love with him in this book. Oh well, I hope so. ;)

    Fantastic review like always, love! <3 :)

  23. do Warner and Juliette meet in this book??


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