Review: Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Taheren Mafi

Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Where do I start?

I don’t have much time so I’ll try to be concise. This series for me is the perfect example of how a cover can not just make you one click, but even having you come back for more after a very unpleasant first taste.

I didn’t have super-high expectations to begin with, but Warner’s character had always left me wanting to know him more, and to say the truth I had forgotten how much I don’t like Juliette’s character.

But let’s first address another, more pressing matter: the pacing of the story.

The first half… nothing really happens. Nothing that had my heartbeat quicken or my breath catch. Nothing. I did not care a single bit about Adam and Juliette. Adam is pure cardboard, through and through. The whole drama elicited by that romantic situation for me was absolutely pointless because I could not see them together. Easy as that.

The story picked up after the mid-mark but there were still some swampy patches. All in all, as for pacing and plot, the only times I felt truly engaged where the conversations between Warner and Juliette, and she had very little to do with the whole thing.

So let’s talk about Juliette. I think the biggest chip on my shoulder regarding her is that she acts in the complete opposite of any brain-equipped person. She does not try to fit in at Omega Point even though she appreciates everything they do, she is always crying and complaining about not being able to control her powers, but when she actually finds a good way to use it, she’s still reluctant. I was like: “Girl, this is what you’ve been wanting all along. To make something good out of something bad!”

She is very self-absorbed. Her stalling in the open during a mission and repeatedly endangering everyone just because she HAD to wait a second more, she was just TOO curious to wait for permission, got on my nerves. Fast.

In these kinds of books, you either need a tough as nails heroine, or if you want your heroine to be weak, out of control, or at the complete mercy of her own emotions, feelings, whatever, you have to make her likable. Or relatable.

Nope.

Adam as I said was too present, but almost non-existent. Whenever he was in a scene, you could basically already know in advance what was going to be said. I appreciated his desperation and his wanting to try to make things word, but it was not enough.

Kenji was the only comical relief and at times I was almost tempted to ship him with Juliette, even though he deserves a lot better too. I liked how present he was in the narration.

Warner. He’s the reason why this book got two stars and not one. He is the only pillar sustaining this book. He’s the crazy variable no one ever accounts for. You don’t know what to expect from him and he is definitely swoony in his mad love for Juliette. Again, I wonder, why??? What is so special about this girl? Because all I see is a whole bunch of fragile and whiny, without any side of endearing. She got served a rough hand, but honestly, in that world, lots of people had it worse.

Anyway, back to Warner, he had very poetic moments and I’m pissed that the book didn’t give me 1) enough of him to be satisfied, and 2) any kind of even partial closure. I get it, readers have to be hooked, but I felt like this book was more transitional than other.

Will I keep reading the series? Well, it took me three years just to pick up the second book. In around another decade I’ll probably be done. I think the next one is actually a novella regarding Warner so I’ll probably give it a chance. Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll probably finish it anyway because of damn Warner who stole my twisted heart with his twisted soul.

One last comment on the style. At times I’m like: “That’s a nice phrasing”. But after a while, it just seems a lot like: “Trying too hard.” And you know, visual and somatic personifications of feelings aren’t always the most relatable way to portray them.

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