One of the last books Marshmallow reviewed for 2022 was Tahereh Mafi’s novel Shatter Me. As her first book for 2023, she chose the second book in the series: Unravel Me, published first in 2013. As Sprinkles is curious to hear more about this book, she is asking questions and taking notes.
Sprinkles: So Marshmallow, here we are; it’s a new year, and there are lots of new books to read and write and talk about. Today we are talking about the second book in Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series: Unravel Me. Your review of the first book made me so curious that I went ahead and read it myself. And I enjoyed it a lot. So now I want to ask you about this second book. Should I read it?
Marshmallow: It depends. The plot of the second book is very interesting. Just like the plot of the first book.
S: That sounds enticing.
M: Yes, the plot is really neat.
S: Tell me a bit about that.
M: Well, maybe I should first summarize the first book a bit. There is this girl named Juliette, whose touch is fatal to most people. She has been living in solitary confinement for many years because many people, including her parents, are scared of her. Then we learn that there are some people who can actually touch her and not die. And one of these is a rebel, and he helps her run away, and we end the first book on a high note, with Juliette and her new friends ready to fight an oppressive regime.
S: Yes, I remember all this. And the world is pretty dismal, right? There are no birds, there is a total environmental collapse, and people are living under the control of a faceless dystopian government.
M: Well, not quite faceless, because we meet one of its faces, Warner, in the first book, and he is one of the leaders of this new regime.
S: True. Do we see Warner in this second book as well?
M: Yes, and he is attracted to Juliette, and somehow Juliette is very confused, and she is not sure if she is attracted right back, even though Warner is a pretty terrible human being.
S: Hmm, here we are getting too close to the mushy stuff you didn’t like in the first book. I’m assuming that there is a lot of mushy stuff in this one, too?
M: Yes, this one has more actually.
S: Hmm, okay, I know it bothers you, so let us move on and talk about the actual plot a bit.
M: Sure. First off, we learned at the end of the last book that Juliette’s killing touch is kind of like a superpower, and she is not the only one with these kinds of powers. There are many others who have superpowers, and they are living together, working to bring down the oppressive regime. And in this book, they are continuing to do that, with Juliette and Adam, the person who saved her, joining them.
S: I see.
S: So would you say, at this point, that the book becomes more like a typical heroic adventure book where our heroes are fighting an evil empire and will surely overcome against all odds?
M: Well, not quite. For two reasons. One is the mushy part, the book is more romance than adventure. And two, the “surely they will overcome” is definitely not a sure thing. Things are pretty desperate, I mean, they make some progress in this book, but the world is still a terrible place.
S: Do we ever see a bird?
M: I don’t think so. The world is still pretty bad, as I said. And there is still very little hope.
S: So I am guessing you might just have to read the next book?
M: I just might.
S: And from what you are telling me, I guess I do have to read this second book myself.
M: Yup. I think you have a higher tolerance for mushy stuff.
S: Well, they call me a grownup. I guess I can handle a little bit of that.
M: I guess.
S: So how would you rate the book then?
M: 93% I think. The plot is still very original and engrossing, but the mushiness is still not terribly exciting to me.
S: Alright, given what you told us already, this makes sense. So what do you want to tell our readers as we are wrapping things up?
M: Stay tuned for more amazing reviews from the book bunnies!