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Radiant Shadows

Unravel Me

Unravel Me - After my excitement for this series had been rekindled by Destroy Me, I was really looking forward to Unravel Me. I was sure my dislike of Shatter Me was a situational thing; I must have disliked it because of the headspace I was in when I read it! And then I realized it wasn’t Unravel Me per se that I disliked, but it’s heroine; it’s pathetically whiney, dependent and frail heroine who showed no little growth since Shatter Me.Before I get into all of the reasons why Juliette has ruined this series for me, I would like to comment on the one thing things I did enjoy in Unravel Me. With its stream of consciousness narration, Unravel Me manages to succeed at being incredibly fast-paced, even though almost nothing is happening during its 400+ pages. I will admit to skimming over most of Juliette’s angsty monologues about feeling inadequate, which means I probably skimmed over most of Unravel Me, but thanks to almost nonexistent punctuation in between Juliettes’ thoughts, Unravel Me reads surprisingly quickly for its lengthier size. Mafi’s prose, while definitely of the purple nature, is also quite pretty even though it rarely makes sense.It’s the kind of kiss that makes you realize oxygen is overrated.This is where I almost put the book down. I should have known then, but I was promised a world of delights if I read through until Chapter 62, so I persevered.As for Juliette, I’m going to quote from my review of Shatter Me, since it seems appropriate here: For the vast majority of the book, she spends her time crying/trembling/gasping/blushing, all while adamantly refusing to understand how anyone, but especially Adam, could care for her. This type of behaviour I could have forgiven, had she shown any growth. But it wasn’t until the last few chapters that she went from being a weak, ridiculously melodramatic and frustratingly insecure protagonist into one with the glimmer of something resembling strength.It’s surprising that I could have written that without my little blockquote/indentation, and you wouldn’t have known it had come from a review of a different book! Juliette has seen absolutely no growth since Shatter Me; the description I posted above is equally as fitting in Unravel Me. You know how I know Juliette is supposed to have grown? Because she tells me so!I’ve come to realize that being away from him has forced me to rely on myself. To allow myself to be scared and to find my own way through it. I’ve had to train without him, fight without him, face Warner and Anderson and the chaos of my mind all without him by my side. And I feel different now. I feel stronger since putting space between us.And I don’t know what that means.All I know is that it’ll never be safe for me to rely on someone else again, to need constant reassurance of who I am and who I might someday be. I can love him, but I can’t depend on him to be my backbone. I can’t be my own person if I constantly require someone else to hold me together.But guess what she was doing ten pages previous to this enlightenment? Sobbing on her knees, trembling in fright, and relying on someone else to pick her up.I understand that Juliette had a tough childhood. I understand that she was tortured at a young age and that there will be psychological repercussions because of it. I understand that this might lead to moments of confusion/angst/self-pity/etc. But understanding and believing are two different things. I didn’t believe that Juliette was acting out of some deep psychological torment when she played mind games with both Adam and Warner. I didn’t believe that Juliette thought herself a monster, and that was the reason she was so afraid to learn how to control her abilities. And I didn’t believe in her inner strength because every time she was pushed, she fell to the ground, crying.As for chapter 62, I was too distracted by Juliette’s complete and utter betrayal to enjoy any of it.