Review: Unravel Me – Tahereh Mafi

Review: Unravel Me – Tahereh MafiUnravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #2
Published by HarperCollins
Published: February 5, 2013
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The thrilling second installment in New York Times bestselling author Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series.

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.

Juliette’s world is packed with high-stakes action and tantalizing romance, perfect for fans of the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard and the Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken.

Ransom Riggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, raved: "A thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love, the Shatter Me series is a must-read for fans of dystopian young-adult literature—or any literature!"

Not gonna lie, I was scared to read this after I skimmed some reviews and saw I was in for a roller coaster of emotions. And after all the twist and turns in Shatter Me I knew Mafi wasn’t going to let us off easy. Not to mention the rumblings about a certain chapter 62. But even with all that said, I was dying to read this one. So I put on my big girl panties and dived in. And man was I ever shattered, destroyed and unraveled. Mafi killed me with this book and I loved every painful minute.

Unravel Me continues right where we left off in Shatter Me. Juliette, Adam, and Kenji are now with the people of Omega Point lead by Castle. Since arriving at the secret headquarters of the resistance and meeting people with gifts like her, Juliette has been trying to learn how to use her gift and what her gift means. But as Juliette begins to get a handle on her power everything else in her life begins to fall apart. Now Juliette is stuck between deciding with her heart, with her needs, and with her life just what is important to her and with the reemergence of Warner things become a whole lot more complicated than she ever could have imagined.

I was so frustrated reading this book. I felt like everything that I didn’t want to happen happened and yet everything that happened left me wanting more. I was a jumble of contradicting emotions and that was the case from beginning to end. Juliette made some choices I just didn’t like nor did I understand on the surface, but then when I would think about them deeper I could see where she was coming from and why she reacted the way she did.  Did I like it, most of the time no, but I understood it.  I also completely understood where Adam was coming from. Adam goes through a major transition in this book and it isn’t easy on him, on his friends, on anyone. Everything he thought he knew about himself is different somehow and he is grasping at ways to make things right. I think that is what broke me the most. I hated a lot of the Adam and Juliette parts but I loved them just the same because I got it and it made sense to me.

What doesn’t make sense is Warner. I’m going on the record as saying I don’t like him. I didn’t like him in Shatter Me and I really didn’t like him in Unravel Me. When I read the brief eBook Destroy Me which was solely focused on him, I liked him a little more because I thought I understood a little more about him. But I was wrong because all Warner showed me in this book is that he is selfish, self-serving and has a sick, creepy obsession with Juliette. He was completely manipulating everyone around him and that left a bad taste in my mouth and the fact that Juliette felt the way she did about him left a bad taste in my mouth.  Because the thing is it is easy to say Warner is the way he is because…<insert any reason>. But the truth of the matter for me is that he is the way he is because he chooses to be that way and I just can’t get behind him as a character because of that. The only reason my feelings on Warner didn’t lower my rating on this book is because I do have feelings on him. He is an awesome villain, simple as that. Without him, you would just have a pretty book with gorgeous words and an adorable couple. Warner brings the conflict which is needed, but I also think he needs to grow up and become likable if I’m supposed to root for him.

With all that said Unravel Me is a poetically written story about uncertainty and your world being ripped apart leaving nothing the same. Mafi brings the exact same magic she brought to Shatter Me and give you twist after twist after twist that will leave you breathless and wanting more. Your heart will be trampled on and then ridden over again with a bus that has nails in its tires, but it is well worth the distress if even for the beauty. If you like angst then this is bar far the book/series for you. Can’t wait for the conclusion.

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Second Chance Sunday – Delirium by Lauren Oliver

With the countdown to Requiem (pre-order here), the final book in Lauren Oliver’s amazing series, which comes out on March 5th, I am going to use the next two Second Chance Sunday’s to rediscover the first two books. I have already read Requiem and it is amazing(review on that to come). It is everything Delirium was with a lot of Pandemonium added. Although I’m sad to see the series end, my love of it still holds strong.

Second Chance Sunday – Delirium by Lauren OliverDelirium by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #1
Published by HarperCollins
Published: February 7, 2012
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five-stars

There is an alternate cover edition for this ISBN13 here.

In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn't about to make the same mistake.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the "Wilds" who lives under the government's radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

To say I loved this book would be a huge understatement.  As many can attest I have suggested and pushed this book on any and everyone I encounter.  I’ve suggested it to friends, acquaintances, and co-workers, some fans of YA literature and dystopian stories and some not.  I have legitimately pushed this book on everyone I know.  Why you may ask? Because it is that freaking good!  And you know what gets me the most now that I have read it twice? I almost didn’t know it was so good because I almost didn’t read it.

Before this book, I was one of those people that wouldn’t read anything that was out of the realm of reality.  If it isn’t something that sounds plausible in real life then it was not going to end up on my to-read shelf.  I had successfully dodged the whole vampire phenomenon and managed not to ever pick up a book about magic.  Not my scene, not my thing. But after much pushing from a friend I caved and gave it a shot.  Did I think outlawing love was possible? Not so much, but I figured what the heck, I’ll go for it.  And let me tell you, Lauren Oliver made a believer out of me.

At first glance, you read the description and think okay, straight up dystopian story.  Different world, different laws, different time. The United States is completely different. There are borders surrounding it with fences, there is less electricity, not as many cars on the road, less spending. It is a completely made up world at first glance and I guess partly you would be right to think that.  But there is so much more to it then just another dystopian once you get to the core of the story. There is heart and angst and a journey of self-discovery hidden in this “make-believe” world.  It isn’t just a story or an alternate reality, it is really a story about a girl that is faced with a truth she never wanted to see and the choices she makes because of it even if it is the opposite of everything she has grown being taught.

Delirium is a story about Lena, an orphaned girl, living with her aunt in Portland, ME.  She is 17 and counting down the days until her 18th birthday so she can get the procedure done that will cure her of the disease, deliria nervosa, we are all born with.  It will cure her of love. In her short 17 years, all she has seen is the destruction love can bring and she wants to forget. She wants to be cured so she can get a free slate and not have to remember what life was like when she felt loved by her mother. She doesn’t want to have to worry that the disease will get her too. But what both Lena and the government don’t realize is love isn’t something you need to be cured from, it is something that makes you strong, something that heals instead of heeds you.  Well, at least Lena didn’t realize it until she met Alex.

Alex. What does one say about Alex?! A seemingly normal boy, no different really then a boy in any other book and yet there is something special about him. He is by far one of the best characters I have ever read about. He sees things that others don’t see, been through things that he shouldn’t have dealt with at his age and yet he believes in love and the power it has.  He believes in Lena and by doing so changes everything Lena thought she wanted, thought she believed in.  He shows her a new world with touching and feeling and laughing and happiness, but he does it in a way that allows her to slowly accept it. He doesn’t push or force her to disbelieve everything she was taught and thought was fact. He shows her the world as he sees and, the world he lives in and by doing that he changes Lena as a person and together they become what the meaning of love is truly about.

Honestly, there really aren’t enough words in the English language to aptly explain the beauty of this book.  It encompasses so much more than your typical love story.  Oliver truly has written an epic story of beauty and wonder and awe and love. It changed me in the best of ways and I will push for people to read this book for as long as I can because it is that amazing. Please don’t be like I was in the beginning and almost miss out on a true work of art.

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