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Double Review: Destroy Me and Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Beware of spoilers below for Shatter Me!

book reviews of Destroy Me and Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Destroy Me and Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Website | Twitter
Publication Date
: October 2, 2012 / February 5, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 103 / 465
Target audience: Young Adult
Keywords: dystopia, powers and abilities, broken government
Format read: ARC from HarperCollins (Thank you!)

Summaries: Told from Warner’s perspective, Destroy Me begins after Juliette, Adam, and Kenji make their escape from Warner; he finds Juliette’s journal and we’re given more information about who he is and what his true motives are. In Unravel Me, we reconnect with Juliette after her arrival at Omega Point where she learns that war against The Reestablishment is imminent.

» » » Destroy Me » » »

Guys. Remember back when I had cute bangs and brown hair and I called Warner detestable in my vlog review of Shatter Me? I was super hesitant to read Destroy Me because, really, why would I want to know about a character that I disliked so much? There had never been a villain that made my stomach churn as much as Warner. But I did it. I read it anyway.

Here’s what I wrote in my notes:

– Want to dislike Warner.
– Don’t want him to end up with Juliette.
– He’s twisted as a result of how he grew up. (But yes, I do see he has a heart underneath all the evil.)

So there I was … realizing that Warner had a messed up childhood and not wanting him to say all the lovely things he did about Juliette or understand how he connected to her as he read her journal that she wrote while she was locked away in the asylum. I was perplexed, but still very Team Adam. I wanted to fight for the Good Boy (and I am not very good at being wrong) so I very diligently tweeted about how I would see this journey through with Adam.

Aside from the confusing realizations I came to about Warner, I felt like I got to know even more about Juliette through her journal entries. It was great to connect with her even though she wasn’t an active character in Destroy Me. My biggest piece of advice to you as readers is to read Destroy Me before you move on to Unravel Me. It helped me get back into Tahereh’s writing style with so much ease and while reading Unravel Me, helped me understand all the Warner complexities that arose. This is a short novella, so remember that while you’re reading — you’re not going to receive a huge plot reveal, but you’re reading for character development.

Goodreads | Amazon

» » » Unravel Me » » »

I’ve discovered that I have Aversion to Middle Book Syndrome. I get really antsy, anxious, and nervous for the sequels to be released, but then I just. can’t. do it. It takes tons and tons of willpower for me to pick up the book and carry on. With Unravel Me, I just knew there was going to be something that made my heart stop which would then transform into anger at having to wait so long for another book.

What I didn’t expect was that this Huge, Big Thing was going to be abandoning Adam in the midst of tons of grief and running to Warner with wide open arms. (Yes, I know. That makes me sound like a terrible person.)

Before jumping into the million reasons why I cannot stop thinking about and love Warner, let’s reflect on Juliette. I found her character to be so unique and refreshing in Shatter Me, but this time around I was a bit thrown off by her. Mafi does an incredible job molding her into a girl that I completely understand – I get why she doesn’t trust people , why she feels so isolated, and why things never seem to go easily for her. But I reached a point where I just wanted to say, “ENOUGH! Accept this and move on.” I wanted her to fight for herself and to not be the small, fragile girl she had been molded into. Thankfully, Kenji was around to balance out my frustrations, put Juliette in her place, and provide humor by referring to himself as sexy all the time.

Omega Point is where Juliette should have been learning more about her ability and meshing with people who have powers like hers. Time passes by quickly as Juliette is struggling to gain control of her life and make friends there, but despite the good things she has going for her, she remains isolated. I felt a bit like Juliette was a psychological study – lock a girl in isolation and see how she deals in the world when she’s released (and furthermore – immerse her in a world that’s underground and see how she handles it).

Part of the complication is Adam. He and Juliette hit a crossroad. It’s one of those things where you throw your hands in the air and wonder why. There are so many revelations (with Adam and Warner, specifically) that will have you icing your jaw because it’s dropped so many times.

Speaking of the whole Adam v. Warner debate… let this be my two cents: For all that I am supposed to love Adam, I feel I am not fully convinced Warner isn’t better. I no longer feel like I know Adam’s character – I didn’t see enough of him and there are just so many complications. I was constantly frustrated with the tension and how on-edge Juliette always was. I hope so badly that I am not wrong about Warner. I feel like I’m being lured in to love him and quite possibly, something will happen to him or he’s going to prove me wrong and leave me weeping in a dark corner.

This fear of Warner proving me wrong? The not being able to know what happens for a whole year? That, friends, is why I have Aversion to Middle Book Syndrome.

(Goodreads | Amazon)

Just in case you want to see how hard I’ve fallen for Warner, check out this twitter-convo with Makeshift Bookmark’s Jen and Tahereh Mafi and for your amusement, I’m including a few spoiler-free texts between Elena (of Novel Sounds — which is also where you should listen to her Unravel Me soundtrack) and myself while I was reading:

falling in love with warner in unravel me by tahereh magi

(The next two images are my texts to her and then her reply to me.)

unravel me by tahereh mafi review

(And yes, I did intentionally cut off the screenshot so you couldn’t tell what chapter we were referring to — I couldn’t ruin that delicious surprise for you. ;))

own it now -- highest ranking from Rather Be Reading Blog

December 5, 2013 - 10:56 pm

Was This Novella Worthwhile? | Hopeful Happiness - […] Rather be Reading says, “This is a short novella, so remember that while you’re reading — you’re not going to receive a huge plot reveal, but you’re reading for character development.” […]

December 4, 2013 - 4:41 pm

Double Review: Destroy Me / Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi | Hopeful Happiness - […] in fact, there’s actually a bit of overlap between the novella and the second book.” Rather be Reading says, “This is a short novella, so remember that while you’re reading — you’re not […]

February 25, 2013 - 5:14 pm

Kristen Evey - Oh Magan, I’m SO glad I starred this review to read after I’d finished Unravel Me. You’ve no idea how glad I am that you’ve crossed over. I crossed over a bit myself. I was never Team Adam (found him too perfect in the first book), but I also didn’t want Juliette with Warner. He was too evil. I mean, I loved his character from the first book, but just, no. But now, I mean. Oh gosh. I love this boy so much. And I’m starting to detest Adam a bit. I mean, I feel for him. I do. But the whole lying/not telling Juliette thing in the beginning REALLY grated on my nerves. I HATE that. And Warner. He’s like the best example of a broken tortured soul character EVER! And that is my weakness.

I think Mafi’s done a TERRIFIC job of leaving us in suspense though. Normally, with love triangles, I can call them. I can spot what’s going to happen a mile away. With this, I HAVE NO EFFING CLUE! And somehow I feel like my heart is going to be ripped to shreds by the end. :\

Great review!!!

February 21, 2013 - 11:56 am

Magan - Asheley, I really just don’t know WHO the boy will be in the end. I’m kind of frustrated by that because we all have our opinions about what’s going to happen, but I JUST DON’T KNOW! And yes, totally a first world problem, but ahhh — things like this keep me up some nights or result in some awesome chats with friends! I agree about T-Mafi being an auto-read. Love her! Love her work! She is the sweetest, isn’t she? I just want to be her BFF!

February 19, 2013 - 11:40 am

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - Hahaha, this is hilarious. I did a reread of Shatter Me and then read Destroy Me and Unravel Me. I was Team Adam, then found myself wavering a little bit and then completely confused with my loyalties. Darn T Mafi! So then after I finished Unravel Me, I went straight back to Shatter Me again to find myself. I listened to the audiobook for the re-read, so now I feel like I need to listen to the audiobook for Unravel Me, so I wonder if I’ll slip in my loyalties again. GRrrraaaahhhhhalkdjfa;klsjdflkjasdf. Isn’t it such an awesome first-world problem, to read or not to read so you can pick which team you’re on? 🙂

T Mafi is brilliant and auto-read for me forever. I just met her at the Pitch Dark Tour and she just charmed the heck out of me. And she totally let me get all of my thoughts out about everything I feel about all three books, and she totally listened intently to everything I said. So great.

February 10, 2013 - 11:22 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - I WILL NOT LIKE WARNER. I. WILL. NOT.

But now you’re making me scared that I will! AHHHHHH!

February 5, 2013 - 5:44 pm

VeganYANerds - I can’t believe that you’ve changed your mind… I am not prepared to have my mind changed about Warner so I am putting off reading this book!

February 5, 2013 - 4:39 pm

Anna - Adam rules, WARNER DROOLS!

February 5, 2013 - 2:52 pm

Jamie - I can’t even read this review bc obvi I still have to get to this book but OMG just seeing your texts. PLEASE BE MY EMOTIONAL SUPPORT SYSTEM! PLEASE!

February 4, 2013 - 8:19 pm

Janita @ Book, Interrupted - While reading Shatter Me I was very much team Adam, but past the halfway mark is when I started to shift ground. Adam was too perfect, too nice, too stereotypical YA guy with a mysterious background and Daddy issues. I’ve actually been leaning towards Warner more because he has an actual personality. Adam is *yawn*, while Warner is crazy creeper, but at least he’s a complex character. I haven’t read Unravel Me, so maybe my opinions will change. Can I be team Kenji? 😀

February 4, 2013 - 4:36 pm

Alexa Y. - Ah Warner, I can totally, totally, totally understand why people are conflicted when it comes to him. I mean, we learn so much more about him in Destroy Me, and see him a whole lot more in Unravel Me. And then there are those beautiful, wonderful moments he shares with Juliette.

But I still do like Adam. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m remembering all the history they have from the beginning, and maybe it’s because I’m a hopeless romantic, but I’m still on his side.

BUT, in other news, I’m totally, majorly, 10 billion times more TEAM KENJI, teehee. He’s awesome in this one!

February 4, 2013 - 3:57 pm

Lisa [is busy nerding] - “But I reached a point where I just wanted to say, “ENOUGH! Accept this and move on.” I wanted her to fight for herself and to not be the small, fragile girl she had been molded into.” – you nailed it. I wanted to take her and shake her. ENOUGH WITH IT.

I’ll send you the registration packet for the Team Warner fanclub asap. oxo

February 4, 2013 - 2:25 pm

Rachel - I felt the same way about Juliette in this novel. I thought we definitely saw a lot more development in her as a character and learned more about why she acts and thinks the way she does, but I also wanted her to move on and focus on the present instead of letting her past dicate things.

And booooo for Warner lol. I don’t like him. But the romance scenes were TOTALLY HOT OMG. Even as someone who doesn’t like Warner, I was definitely into him during certain moments.

February 4, 2013 - 11:36 am

elena - Well, you are very aware of my feeeeelings by now, and we are PRETTY MUCH IN THE SAME BOAT. I NEED A HAPPY ENDING FOR WARNER!!!!!! I am so sure that he is going to have a tragic ending or something like that. Please prove me wrong, Tahereh Mafi! I totally agree with Juliette, I understood where she was coming from but it just was not fun to read about. Chapter 62 was fun to read about though. 🙂

February 4, 2013 - 8:11 am

Lori - So…I read Shatter Me and liked it, but I didn’t OMGLOVEIT like others. So I haven’t been really interested in reading these…You might have changed that…

🙂

February 4, 2013 - 6:56 am

Kelly - I wasn’t Shatter Me’s biggest fan, and it’s disappointing to hear Juliette remains so fragile in Unravel Me. BUT, I’m super tempted to continue the series anyway, just to figure out what the heck is going on with Warner!

Of course your review has only piqued my curiosities further 😛

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