Book report for Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi 

Graded By: Erin Callahan

 Cover Story: Icy Fright

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BFF Charm: Nay

Swoonworthy Scale: The Chart Has Exploded

Talky Talk: Poetic License

Bonus Factors: X-Men First Class, 50 Shades, Sassy Maybe-Gay Friend

Relationship Status: Let’s Get Physical

Warning: This book report about Unravel Me contains spoilers for Shatter Me.

Unravel Me

Cover Story:  Icy Fright

YIKES. I admit that I have an irrational fear of eyes—they’re so glassy and, you know, window-to-the-soul-y. When I was in high school, the only dissection that I ever opted out of was the sheep’s eye, because I just couldn’t deal with how skeeved I was by merely looking at it. No part of a human organ should look like a water chestnut; I’m just saying.

I’ll admit, this cover completely freaks me out. That said, I showed it to my (9-year-old) daughter’s volleyball team the other day, and they loved it. So different stokes for small folks, I guess.

The Deal:

At the end of Shatter Me, Juliette, Adam and Kenji have all managed to escape from Warner’s command and, with Adam’s little brother James, had arrived at the safety of Omega Point. At Omega Point, everyone has special powers, but Juliette has never felt so alone. Because while some have the power to heal, or the power to make themselves invisible, or the power to affect objects around them, only Juliette has the power to kill.

When her connection with Adam becomes severed, Juliette must look inside herself for the strength to fight her ground. But when she finds herself confronted with Warner once again, she isn’t sure what to believe.

BFF Charm: Nay

BFF Nay

Oh, Juliette. I feel horrible, asking for my BFF charm back from you, but I’m sorry. You suck. I was such a big fan of yours last time, but you haven’t grown or learned from any of your recent experiences. And while that’s fine for the stars of some of my favorite British comedy shows, I won’t accept it from a book protagonist.

My main frustration with Juliette centered around her awful, whiny demeanor. Look, I get it. Juliette’s life sucks. But she’s had a break; she’s among her own kind now. She has friends and people who trust her and she needs to climb a stepladder and get over herself. But she never does. If I had a nickel for every chapter in which Juliette resolved to be stronger/braver/harder and then failed at the next possible moment—well, I wouldn’t be writing this right now, because I’d be on vacation in Bali.

Swoonworthy Scale: The Chart Has Exploded

Yes, that’s right. The Swoonworthy Scale has definitely exploded! Mere numbers cannot contain the amount of swoon present in this book, y’all.

Not between Adam and Juliette, mind. Their relationship harkens back to my high school days—a lot of moping and puppy dog eyes and breaking up with someone For Their Own Good. (Breaking up with someone For Their Own Good is a tenet of immature relationships, bless them.) No, I’m talking about the sparks flying between Juliette and Warner.

Hot, Hot, HOT. Mafi has managed to turn Warner into a complex and almost noble character, and the sparks that are ignited between him and Juliette will have you racing for water to put out the flames in your panties.

Talky Talk: Poetic License

The syntax in this book is exactly like its predecessor, Shatter Me, so those who couldn’t make it through that book won’t be able to stomach this one. And I’ll admit, the style of writing grated on me in a way it didn’t in Shatter Me. In Shatter Me, Juliette is locked into a cell—forced into solitary confinement for almost a year—and so her crossed-out scribbles and fragment sentences seemed natural to her fractured state of mind.

Yet, this book is meant to give Juliette a sense of comfort—she is among friends and compatriots. And so her constant second-guessing and hem-hawing, described in written form, only serves to annoy the reader and keep us from connecting to the supposed hero of this story.

Bonus Factor: X-Men First Class

x-men first class

One of the great parts of this series is the X-Men strain running through it—the idea of gifted individuals, or mutants, or whatever we want to call them, rising up to oppose the tyranny of the world. Learning more about everyone’s different powers, how they can be manipulated and how they can be turned against them, was super cool.

Bonus Factor: 50 Shades

50 Shades

Wait, wait, I should clarify. This book is NOT like 50 Shades of Grey. Because this book is actually hot. If 50 Shades of Grey is the book for ladies who think that sex is a little frightening, then this book is for ladies who think sex is awesome, and who are going to call up their boyfriend, girlfriend, significant other or total stranger immediately after reading a couple of the more steamy scenes.

Bonus Factor: Sassy Maybe-Gay Friend

Sassy Gay Friend

What, what, what are you doing? Look at your life; look at your choices. Because if you don’t think Kenji is the greatest sidekick you’ve ever had the pleasure to fictionally meet, you’re doing it wrong.

Casting Call:

I cast Juliette and Warner in my review of Shatter Me. (Although maybe I should substitute Channing Tatum for Alex Pettyfer?) 

Jai Courtney

Jai Courtney as Adam

I know next to nothing about Jai Courtney, but I do know that he plays McClane’s son in A Good Day To Die Hard, aka the greatest Valentine’s Day gift the universe has ever given me. 

Michael B Jordan

Michael B Jordan as Kenji

If you added up the love I feel for Wallace from The Wire and Vince from Friday Night Lights, you might almost—almost!—reach the level of adoration I feel for Kenji.

Relationship Status: Let’s Get Physical

Book, I am not going to lie. You were smoking hot. There were times that I had to put you down and text my fiancé, if you know what I mean. And even though you sort of dragged and frankly didn’t accomplish too much, I don’t really care. Because like George Harrison said, I’m happy just to dance with you.

Now, let’s make like Olivia Newton-John and get physical! Let me hear your body talk!

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from HarperCollins.

Erin Callahan is a fighter, not a lover. When she isn’t blogging for ForeverYoungAdult.com, she is raising the sassiest 9-year-old girl this side of the Mississippi, an obese cat and a hyperactive lab-heeler mix. You can follow her on Twitter @likepenguins.