Review Blog

Apr 29 2013

Unravel me by Tahereh Mafi

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Allen and Unwin, 2013. ISBN 9781743310939.
Unravel Me, the sequel to Tahereh Mafi's novel, Shatter Me, focuses again on the central character Juliette and her untold power to harm those people she touches. Although she has escaped the clutches of The Reestablishment and their attempts to use her as a weapon, finding refuge instead at Omega Point, the headquarters of the rebel resistance, Juliette's problems are only just beginning. She thought she had found Adam, the love of her life and the only person who has seemed immune from her lethal touch, but now it appears that he too can be harmed by her power. And war with the Reestablishment is brewing . . .
Stylistically, the novel is written to resemble a stream-of-consciousness form of the main character's thoughts, including strike-through phrases. Sometimes this requires more intense concentration to follow, however it also successfully captures Juliette's insecurities and her sense of alienation from the people around her and their poorly veiled attempts to hide their fear of her power. The intensity of the physical connection between Juliette and Adam is described quite evocatively, using sometimes unusual, but powerful figurative language to capture the strength of their emotions.
While Unravel Me combines the features of the dystopian and romance genres, it is clearly a Young Adult novel, exploring the search for identity and purpose that drives the independence of the teenage experience. In some ways, Juliette is still a child, searching for love and acceptance, but she is also coming to terms with herself, her power and her role in a hostile, often exploitative world, not so different from our own.
Kate Hall

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