On the Coffee Table – Unravel Me

Update, February 27th: Want another great Unravel Me review? That’s maybe a little less Warner obsessed as mine? Visit one of my favorite people (and even bigger book lover, pile person than me) Kate over at her amazing book blog, where she talks all things Unravel Me, HERE.

H’ok. It’s On the Coffee Table time. And while I have yet to review the insanely amazing Gone Girl – it’s currently with a friend and I need it for references SO that one is on hold.

In the meantime….

If you haven’t discovered and/or read Tahereh Mafi’s dystopia novel Shatter Me – stop what you’re doing right now and go to your nearest Chapters, Indigo, Barnes & Nobles, or library and get yo self a copy.

Still trying to figure out what dystopia is? Get the 411 here.

Every once and awhile, I read a book so good it hurts. And then I go and buy a copy for my best friend and tell everyone I know to just read it. Because it’s awesome. Shatter Me was no exception. I consumed it (because read just doesn’t cut it) in one night. I then proceeded to tweet back and forth with Tahereh herself on Twitter about how it was absolute perfection and I needed more and well, that was just the icing on the cake.

I mean – how often do you finish an epic book and get to go into book hangover mode with the author? Not very often people.

In case you’re unaware of the book hangover.

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But I’m not here to talk to about Shatter Me. I’m here to talk about Unravel Me. The sequel to Shatter Me. 

So that works if you haven’t read either – it gives you time to go buy both and read both and then come back here.

Don’t care about spoilers? Want a good endorsement? Then let’s do this.

Unravel Me

photo  my actual coffee table. i’m so accurate like that.

Where do I even start?

The story picks up from Shatter Me at Omega Point where Juliette and Adam are chilling and getting all combat mode with the other peeps with gifts. Adam still doesn’t know about her little tryst with Warner (faked in order to escape) or the fact that Warner can also touch her without getting electrocuted  to shit. To complicate things – Juliette soon learns that it is physically exhausting for Adam to touch her because his gift is to be able to resist but all that resisting is wearing down on him.

He should talk to Bella and Edward. They know a thing or two about pent up sexual frustration.

And then because these novels are also super intense – there is an impending war with the ReEstablishment brewing, some highly edge-of-your-seat and definite ‘WOAH I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING’ moments.

Now. Here comes my motherload of thoughts.

1. 0-60 Head Spin

I won’t lie. The first 245 or so pages were a bit slow for me. For starters, the whole it exhausts Adam to block Juliette’s lethal touch thing which is keeping them from being intimate was an annoying game changer in the beginning (more on that later – and why it wasn’t annoying me by the end of the book.) But the minute we found out Warner’s father was also Adam’s father? MINDBLOWN. Safe to say I did not see that coming. From that point on – I couldn’t read fast enough.

And I definitely turned into this.

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2. You Exhaust Me. No Sex For You.

As someone who loves a good romance novel, I’ve been jaded by most YA novels where virtue is more important than embracing natural instinct. For example, Twilight. Real life Edward Cullen would have never been able to resist a real life Bella Swan’s leg hitching. Come on. One of the things I loved about Shatter Me was that these two kids genuinely can’t get enough of each other and want to take the next step but are constantly getting interrupted or are in the wrong place at the wrong time. I mean, it’s hard to bang in a dystopia world. That said, Adam’s revelation about why he can resist Juliette’s lethal touch and how it’s slowly killing him? Immediate “well there goes that dream” from me.

I mean, ok I loved Adam in Shatter Me. Don’t get me wrong. But I was never over the moon about him in the ways I am about, let’s say, Four in Divergent. In Unravel Me, after discovering his weakness, it was kind of more like this.

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MAYBE I’M JUST GOING TO GO TEAM WARNER.

3. One Word. WARNER.

Ok. Brace yourselves ladies. I didn’t read Destroy Me. Apparently I need to now. But I’d heard that most who read Destroy Me went all Team Warner. I won’t lie – I thought Juliette’s seduction of Warner in Shatter Me to save herself was hot as hell. And I’m known to like the bad boys with mommy and daddy issues. By the end of Unravel Me, there was zero trace of Team Adam left in me.

Why? I think the answer is obvious.

First, there’s the tattoo scene. HELLO.

“I want to study the secrets tucked between his elbows and the whispers caught behind his knees. I want to follow the lines of his silhouette with my eyes and the tips of my fingers. I want to trace rivers and valleys along the curved muscles of his body.”

Second, there’s Chapter 62. 

“I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world you keep trapped in your head. I want to be that kind of friend,” he says. “The one who will memorise the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them. I want to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body, Juliette-”

How could I not turn Team Warner? Which is why I wasn’t as bothered by Adam’s situation by the end of the book. Because after the tattoo scene, I was all ‘Adam who?”. 

4. The Possibility

Lastly, here’s why I really loved Unravel Me – it’s because of the possibility.

I’ve chosen to muster over this for a few days before writing this review for this exact reason. I needed to clearly decide what my feelings were. They’re now stronger than they were when I finished.

And I know some of my closest friends are looking at me like this right now.

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But bear with me.

Here’s what I love. Tahereh Mafi has never said that Adam was the guy. Confused? I’ll explain. In so many YA novels and series, the character pairings are predictable. There’s no suspense. Twilight – we all knew she was going to end up with Edward. There was no question. Love triangle or not. Divergent – Veronica Roth openly said there would never be a love triangle coming between Four and Tris. Hunger Games – no matter how Team Gale you are, it was always Peeta. Just like in Twilight.

What’s so great about Unravel Me is that it opened up the possibility to Adam not being the end all, be all. A lot of people hated on Juliette because Warner is wrong. But whoever said Adam was right? The Warner & Juliette tension didn’t just originate in this book. It was there in Shatter Me. And Destroy Me looked at it on a whole other level.

We never got a Twilight as told by Jacob novella – did we?

I rest my case.

Need further proof? Check out Tahereh’s Pinterest Board for Book #3, Untitled. It’s deliciously suggestive.

Have I royally ruined your day for you now that you’re thinking about the possibility? Awesome. My job here is done.

Now tell me all your thoughts in the comments below while I go re-read Chapter 62.

x C x

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