Shatter Me #2
by Tahereh Mafi
Nikki’s Rating: 9 out of 10
Summary: Prepared to make a stand, Juliette and Adam team up with the other superpowered people of Omega Point to take on The Reestablishment. As Warner continues to pursue her, Juliette comes to realize that he may not be the monster she believed him to be and he may hate The Reestablishment as much as she does. Confused about her feelings, she is now torn between the only two boys she can touch.
9 Unbelievable Things about Tahereh Mafi’s “Unravel Me”
(MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)
First and foremost, Mafi is a magician of words and a fantastic writer! She does so well at conveying feelings and descriptions making the reader really get emotionally involved. While I love the Shatter Me series due to being a story about superpowered humans with a good versus evil theme with some serious gray area, I cannot stress how beautiful Mafi’s writing style is and how it made the whole series more enjoyable. Just a small example of her magical prose:
It’s like a drop of honey, a field of tulips blooming in the springtime. It’s fresh rain, a whispered promise, a cloudless sky, the perfect punctuation mark at the end of a sentence.”p. 201
Interestingly, Mafi uses strikethroughs throughout the Shatter Me series. She uses them to show feelings and thoughts that Juliette is uncomfortable with or unwilling to acknowledge. As the series goes on, there are less and less of these strikethroughs, portraying that Juliette is becoming more accepting of herself and willing to understand that our “darker” thoughts and feelings are just as valid and useful as the good ones.
If you didn’t already know, I’m a sucker for romance. Yes I realize that many people are sick of love triangles and a female with two gorgeous guys foaming at the mouth, ready to die for a chance with her but I’m not one of them. While I never want anyone to get their feelings hurt (fictional or real) and would prefer no love triangle at all to avoid this, I want romance so I’m happy with what I can get. And Mafi delivers! The sexual tension between Warner and Juliette is intense and I’m loving their dynamic.
Let’s blame Mr. Rochester and Mr. Darcy for my obsession and love for male characters who are moody, rough around the edges, tortured, melancholy, and basically handsome jerks. The good Byronic hero. So of course, I am a huge fan of Warner and really hoping that he and Juliette get their happily ever after because Warner is just misunderstood and a good person, deep down, perhaps really deep down.
5. Totally Relate
One of the reasons why I heart Juliette is that I relate with her so much. As someone who has had and continues to struggle with self-esteem and body issues, depression, anxiety, and mood swings, her self-loathing is so real to me. Even as a child I loved the character Rogue in the X-men because I understood her hatred for herself. Literally the things Juliette thinks about herself could be taken from my diary pages:
“My face enflames as if on cue, always ready to be ashamed of my past, of who I’ve been and continue to be.”p. 317
A theme that is seen throughout “Unravel Me” is that of balance. This is especially seen through the characters. Juliette is incredibly strong physically and capable of a lot of damage but is tenderhearted and soft, so not truly invulnerable. The world is gray, needing an equal amount of black and white. There is no happiness without feeling sadness, there is no light without the dark.
“On the darkest days you have to search for a spot of brightness, on the coldest days you have to seek out a spot of warmth; on the bleakest days you have to keep your eyes onward and upward and on the saddest days you have to leave them open to let them cry. To then let them dry. To give them a chance to wash out the pain in order to see fresh and clear once again.”p. 327
Another theme that is seen throughout “Unravel Me” is that doing bad or monstrous things doesn’t necessarily make you a monster! We are so quick to judge a person, to view one action and condemn them without knowing their thinking process, life, or history. I will never forget a psychology teacher presenting this dilemma: You are at the grocery store, hear a loud noise, turn around and see a mother slap her young toddler as cans the child knocked over continue rolling on the ground. Most people would immediately judge her, thinking that she is a bad mom and potentially abusive. Now imagine that after a long, hard day at work with a headache, you come home to find out that there is nothing available for dinner and you have to take an impromptu trip to the grocery store with your toddler who cries the whole way there. As you are roaming the store, you have to pause multiple times to tell your child to not grab things. After the 5th time of this reminder, your child grabs a can and causes the whole tower display to fall, and you slap your child. Now are you a bad parent? Are you abusive? Don’t be so quick to judge, we all make mistakes.
8. Fast Paced
As always, I love books where the plot is constantly moving. Mafi does a great job of painting the picture of the world, introducing characters, and keeping things moving. Nothing slows down a book more than unnecessary details and pointless character interactions. Thank you Mafi for not wasting my time!
9. Ignite Me
Thankfully, as I cannot seem to get enough of Juliette and Warner, the Shatter Me series continues in Book 3 “Ignite Me.”