17 March 2019

FRUSTRATING: Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi

I put myself through this. I willingly cracked open the sequel knowing fully that I didn’t enjoy the first book. I feel like I’m a glutton for punishment. 

I don’t understand why there were so many chapters dedicated to Juliette’s inner monologues. She’s a misunderstood girl with good intentions but with little to no control over her powers. And she feels horrible for everything she did. She just wants people to like her. 

Please! We get it! Move on! Time for some character growth! 

But it doesn’t happen. At least not until the very end of the book, which is just sad and pointless. If it was meant as a teaser for the third book then it came too late. Juliette spent way too much time feeling conflicted and sorry for herself. And I spent equally as much time hating her. 

And what is with the sudden Warner sympathy? In what world is being a murderous sociopath okay? (In THIS one apparently, doy!) Juliette tries to justify this by saying he’s never known good in his life so he can’t help who he is. OH MY GOD, STOP. Why are bad guys in love triangles given so much slack? Because you want them to be end game so bad? I would understand if Warner simply had an attitude, a teeny tiny bad streak. But noooo, he tortures people, kills them too. Giving his actions and his character way too much context to make him come out on top is pushing it too far and I hate that the author did this. What impression are we leaving young readers? That it’s okay to like extremely bad guys who hurt us (and others) because they had a rough upbringing? 

Newsflash: Voldemort also had a bad childhood but no one gives a crap. He’s evil. Plain and simple. 

What’s even more frustrating is that I had to read through pages of Juliette feeling confused over her feelings for Adam AND Warner. So much juicy conflict, right? Ugh, no. I honestly think that she only developed feelings for him because they’re both horrible people and Warner can’t die from kissing her. (Talk about meant to be!) The truth is that easy but yet again there were far too many pages making it less so. 

Then there’s the kind writing that Mafi used in this series. I thought I had gotten over it in Shatter Me but I realize that it’s been so long since I read it that I may have forgotten how annoyed I felt at that time. There’s the excessive use of “and” and em dashes (lots of stuttering!), the lack of punctuation (seriously, I feel out of breath just reading it in my mind), and the all too flowery descriptions that often times sound wrong. 

Perhaps the only light in this book for me is Kenji. He’s the most vibrant character in the book and probably the only sane person who drops truth bombs every time Juliette forgets to check herself. But given the many faults in this book, even though I want to, I can’t bump my rating up just for Kenji. If anything, Kenji’s presence may even be a reason why I’m rating the book so low. I feel bad that such an interesting character is wasted in this series, like he was trapped here with no way out. Life is so unfair, even for fictional characters. Sigh. 

The question is, given all that, am I still going to pick up the third book? The answer is YES. Because I have to. (Because I have no choice, I already have the book.) Because I want to see if it’s even worthy of books four to six. What started out as a trilogy is now being extended to SIX books. I know right? Do we really need more Shatter Me books? I’ll find out so you wouldn’t have to. You’re welcome. 

P.S. chapter 62 is overrated. There, I said it. 

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