Title: Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2)
Author: Tahareh Mafi
Juliette has escaped, and found a new place for people like her: Omega Point. It's a place to help her to control her gifts, and it's also the rebel base. She's finally free of the Reestablishment and their plans to make her a weapon. But she'll never be free of her lethal touch.
Or from Warner, who wants her more than ever.
Juliette is forced to choose between her heart, and her love for Adam.
After trying and failing to read the first book, I was only persuaded to read this by Emily (fluttereadreads.blogspot.com)'s imsistence that it was better than the first book. And, to be totally honest, it was.
I'm going to start out by saying that I really appreciate what Tahareh Mafi did with this book. After an extremely problematic first book, she seems to have recognized her faults in this book and tried to fix them.
She did that in the form of a beautiful character named Kenji. I didn't finish the first book, so I'm not too sure about Kenji's story and stuff, but he's a mega-awesome character here who gives Juliette the wakeup call she needs to turn into the badass fighter we all want her to be. He basically told her off for whining and complaining and feeling sorry for herself and pointed out the obvious: she wasn't the one getting the worst of it. So that made me love Kenji, other than him being a badass hero all the time. Tahareh Mafi pretty much used him to acknowledge Juliette's character faults and try and fix them, to turn her into a proper heroine.
Juliette was, as ever, totally angsty and self pitying. When Kenji gave her a verbal bitchslap, she tried to fix herself. And I thought that was great. But her whole refusal to utilize her powers I mean, come on.
Okay let's take a second to compare Juliette to a typical Mary Sue:
Unusual name: Juliette. I mean, she even made a point of it by saying about Shakespeare "He took my name and spelled it wrong". *cough*
Insta-attraction to every. single. goddamn.guy. I mean, come on. What are the odds of both Adam and Warner, possibly the only two guys on Earth who can touch you, being totally into you? And they have to angst-love their way through two whole books for you to still be totally conflicted? Eurgh.
Totally gorgeous: Juliette is gorgeous. Illogically so, actually. She grew up in a cell with no sunlight and hardly any food, and she comes out supermodel-gorgeous. And she's totally beautiful now even though she's probably battle scarred and stuff.
Super-powerful: I think that's a given. She has unusually powerful powers, even among the powerful people. And her power works to her advantage and is better than everyone else's. Her powers are also a major part of the government, making them even more powerful. And it helps to attract the guys she likes.
That's actually majority of what makes a Mary Sue. So there. A lot of characters actually fufil these requirements, but not to the LEVEL that Juliette has. This has seriously got to be one of the worse cases. But she did pull out of that pit of self-pity enough to deliver some hard-core badassery at some points--kudos to Juliette for that.
Adam was boring and angsty as ever. He really didn't do anything for the plot development in this book. He was just on the side, and focal point for Juliette's angst.
Warner, on the other hand. Warner. WarnerWarnerWarnerWarnerWarnerWarnerWarner. His whole thingamajig was a lot weirder than the first book. Makes me curious as to what exactly happened in the first book. But he was definitely a lot more Adam-like in this book than the last one. If that's what you like. But you still see a little of that psychopathic killer military dude that made him unusual as a love interest in the first place. But I don't know. We do see a lot more of his backstory and his relationship with his father, the head of the Reestablishment. Interesting. Very interesting. Not that unique though. Justsaying.
But Omega Point seems incredible and also added a point of interest for me. It had some weird illogical points, but great overall. Again, Kenji. He's probably my favorite character. He's brutally honest and doles out practical life and relationship advice to Juliette, grounding her and reminding her of her responsibilities outside of her personal dramas. He really is a tie between the politics going on in this book and the love story that seems to take the centre in this book. Great character use there, Mafi.
My last point here, as I made in the first book, is the writing style. Ohdearohdearohdear. It's inconsistent as always, switching from long pages of flowy descriptions to broken-up thoughts to cancelled out text... Tahareh Mafi doesn't stick to the same writing style throughout and it bugs me to no end. She's trying to be unique, but it feels like she's doing this thing where she word vomits all the flowy text, and adds all the cancelled out text and broken up thought as an edit or afterthought, when she can't bear to disrupt her beautiful descriptions or internal monologue.
Grade: C+. Improvement from the last book.