Book Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Posted March 17, 2014 by Stormy in Books / 12 Comments

Unravel Me

by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me

Original Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Length: 461 pages
Publisher: Harpercollins

Obtained Via: Bought
Format Read In: Hardback
Series: #2 in the Shatter Me trilogy
View at the Traffic light:


the story morning glory

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.


Even though I ended up giving the same rating to both Shatter Me and Unravel Me, I thought Unravel Me was a huge step up from the first book. All of the characters get a lot of development in Unravel Me(though for some of the characters it does feel like regression, but it all keeps pretty well with their character development so far). Tahereh Mafi’s writing really shone in Unravel Me as well.

One of the things people notice the most about this series is the unique writing style. The prose is the series is detailed, strange, and full of unconventional writing. The series definitely has some of the strangest metaphors you’ll ever see in print. I liked the style fine in Shatter Me, but I felt it got in the way at times. In Unravel Me, though, I got to see just how strong Mafi’s writing really is. There’s some of the weird prose, but it goes in phrases and really does a fantastic job of mirroring Juliette’s emotional journey. At the beginning of the book, things are crazy and Juliet’s thought pattern is all over the place. All of the metaphors and weird ideas found in Shatter Me are back. Once she adjust to the world, though, she becomes more. . . well, normal. And this wouldn’t have been as effective if it wasn’t for the strange writing in the beginning. It was fascinating how well I could tell Juliette’s emotional state from chapter to chapter just by paying attention to the amount of metaphors and strike-throughs in each.

There’s a lot more action in Unravel Me, which is always a plus. Juliette really explores her power and sort of pinpoints it, and I have to say it’s pretty awesome. It’s so intriguing to explore her character because she has one of THE best superpowers, but she’s been so afraid of herself for so long that she has trouble doing anything but despising herself and seeing her power as a weapon she will use without actually wanting to. Of course, now that Juliette is actually at Omega Point and there’s a whole resistance towards the way things are, there’s several action-packed scenes and also some emotional ones.

The love triangle is pretty strong in Unravel Me, but I found it fascinating, not annoying. Perhaps it’s because at this point I don’t care for either love interest, but I like the exploration of love by Juliette, since it’s something she’s really not used to doing. Adam is mopey in this book and is rather. . . bland. I suppose he was bland in Shatter Me too, but he at least did things–that’s sort of how Juliette came to be in her current position, because Adam was useful. In Unravel Me, Adam felt like wallpaper.

Which brings me to Warner. Now, I in no way like Warner. Not as a love interest, and not really as a character. However, I find him one of the most intriguing characters(and yes, I both hate him and find him intriguing. It’s possible). He acts like a psychopath and he has the terrible past part down, but there are glimpses of humanity throughout. Not enough to redeem him, but enough to make him interesting.

Also, Kenji, who I quite liked in the first book, is by far the BEST character here, and really the most important secondary one. He does so many things for Juliette, and it’s annoying for her not to realize it so often. Out of all the characters, he’s the one most integral to the plot of Unravel Me. 


Unravel Me was a worthy follow-up to Shatter Me, and made me really excited to pick up the third book. While there are parts of this story I’m a little. . . leery on(the love triangle), I can’t deny I think it’s all pretty well done. I find the concept of people with superpowers in the midst of a Dystopia world fascinating, and Unravel Me really delivered on that premise. 4/5 cupcakes.




4 Stars

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12 responses to “Book Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

  1. numinousnnp

    I was going to suggest you read Destroy Me but I just noticed in the comment above you mention that.

    It isn’t a necessity because you really can read the series without it. But…. it makes things much better. I like to read novellas just to see what authors do with them more than anything. And I hate in tv shows or books when you have to consume some sort of side content for things to make sense (especially tv shows!).

    But by the same token, I like things that matter and have relevance. Most of the novellas I read are so light or inconsequential that they almost feel like they’re not entirely worth the time they take to read. So I like that Destroy Me has an impact on the characters and feels like it’s actually relevant. Like it matters whether you read it or not. Not that the series doesn’t survive without it. Because it does. But it’ll also change your entire perspective on Unravel Me. which is fun 🙂

    • Stormy

      Yeah, I’m just so torn on novellas in general. I’ve read a few and still haven’t quite made up my mind on them. I’ll probably buy the paperback bind-up of the Shatter Me novellas and read them at some point, but I don’t think they’ll be a priority–I *am* just really curious to see more into Warner & Adam’s characters!

  2. Anonymous

    I’m glad to see you enjoyed this one!! If you decide to read Ignite Me too, be careful not to read any reviews prior… there are a TON of spoilers going around! I read the entire series, and I really enjoyed it. I went the audiobook route. And I think Shatter Me was probably my most favorite one. 🙂 Great review!

    • Stormy

      I’ve read Ignite Me! I tend to schedule reviews in advance, so by the time this review went up I did read Ignite Me(though I hadn’t at the time I wrote this). I liked Ignite Me, but I think Unravel Me is my favorite.

  3. Cait

    I think Kenji is the best part in the whole series. Really! He just says it how it is…and daaaang, it’s realistic. I have to admit, I’m not a top squealing fan of this series, but I do like them more progressively as they go on. Ignite Me was kind of mind-blowing, but the plot lacked, I reckon. 😉 I liked Unravel Me for the character development, but seriously! Not a lot happened but talking!

    • Stormy

      Kenji is amazing. Having read Ignite Me after I wrote this but before it actually posted, he is DEFINITELY the best part of the series. I think Unravel Me is still my favorite. Plot really isn’t the strong suite of any of the books, I think.

  4. I’ve been putting off reading this for a long time because I was so-so on the first book but I’m curious to see how Juliet uses her powers.

    • Stormy

      I think the series DEFINITELY improves from the first book. Shatter Me is definitely my least favorite of the three, so if you had any sort of “maybe” feelings, I’d recommend at least checking this one out. I think Unravel Me is the strongest of the trilogy, so it’s probably the best indicator for the series overall.

  5. Have you read the novella, Destroy Me? It sheds a whole new light on Warner, that at the time I loved. Having finished the series, it’s almost a necessity (I think). It really sheds light on some of his actions, so some of the stuff that happens in Ignite Me isn’t so…hard to believe? Sorry, I’m trying to avoid being spoilery! Haha

    Glad to see that you enjoyed this one. I’ll be really interested to see what you make of the ending!

    • Stormy

      I haven’t read Destroy Me, but I’ll probably buy the novella bind-up at some point. I just hate that everyone tells me it’s almost a necessity for the series! I’m against necessary novellas on principle, and it makes me grumpy. But I know I should probably read it.

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