Friday, August 9, 2013

The Unravelling of a Great Story

Juliette might think she is crazy, but the world she lives in is crazier. At the conclusion of Shatter Me, she learned her own ability to kill a person with her bare skin was only just the beginning. In Tahereh Mafi's sequel, Unravel Me, the true nature of Juliette's gift has only barely been understood... until now.

Omega Point tries to be different from the Reestablishment in every way possible. Even their leader tries to maintain a peaceful leadership that protects their kind rather than exploits them. Juliette was happy to be free of her prison, but she can't let herself trust the people around her quite so easily, nor can she trust herself not to hurt them. Her power is so terrifying that she is glad she can at least touch one person- the boy she loves, Adam. Of course, she tries to forget that Warner, the man who held her captive for all those years, could also touch her. Adam is the only one who matters to Juliette. 

When Kenji takes Juliette to the labs and she sees them hurting Adam, she loses it. She barely holds her cool most days, but this led Juliette to a place she had never been before, and with that anger she was able to tap into powers she never knew she had. Her extreme strength and power could literally move the earth beneath them. Omega Point plans to use Juliette's powers to help them in their plans to eventually overthrow the Reestablishment, but what they weren't prepared for was what was happening above them on the surface. Warner's father has arrived, and as supreme commander, his presence is nothing to go unnoticed. Juliette doesn't want to admit it, but there is something inside her that is drawn to Warner, even though she knows just how ruthless he can be. It is almost like the connection between them is as powerful, if not more, than her connection to Adam, especially when she learns Adam might not be as immune to her power to kill as she thought he was. How can a relationship exist if she can't touch the man she loves without killing him?

The devil who knows your demons is better than telling the angel you love about those demons. For Juliette, having to be damaged in front of Adam is harder than having to be with sadistic Warner. She doesn't fully understand it, but she can't help but be drawn to Warner, even if the guilt about her feelings is drowning her. I love Juliette as a character, in all her damaged, semi-psychotic, caring loveliness, and I really liked this "anti-love triangle" that had even me questioning Warner's weird devotion to Juliette. It was a hard one to wrap your head around and it definitely made me want to come back for more.

If i had one complaint about this series it would be the lack of world building. There is supposed to be this incredibly corrupt, world-dominating force, but we don't see much of it. Instead the whole story has been inside Juliette's head. And don't get me wrong, that is fascinating, but the idea of this world out there is too and I just want more of it. This book can be a little scattered because it is told through he head of Juliette, so you see her indecision and guilt through Mafi's use of the strike out (although not nearly as much as in Shatter Me). It would be best for a strong reader who can wade through her occasional psychosis to really enjoy this truly unique story. I can't wait for the conclusion, but I am dreading it at the same time!

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