Title: Unravel Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Juliette has escaped to Omega Point, the headquarters of the resistance. There she discovers other people with abilities, ones they learned to control, and for the first time in her life, Juliette has hope. Hope that she can have a life with Adam. Hope that her touch can be used to save instead of destroy. But Juliette is only just beginning to understand the depth of her power, and she's struggling to fight the desire to use it. She's haunted by her past, terrified by her future, and too tempted by Warner, who still wants her more than she ever thought possible. Juliette is forced to make some life-altering decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right, decisions that might involve choosing between her heart and Adam's life.
Unravel Me is just as compelling as its predecessor, if not more so. Rich with Juliette's confusion, her terror, her power, here is the story of a girl who thought things were going to be okay but discovers she was mistaken. The world is still crumbling, everyone is still afraid of what could happen next, and Juliette is being pushed closer and closer to the edge. The edge of reason, of thought, of purpose. Of sanity.
Things are working together without knowing to unravel Juliette. Adam. Warner. Castle and Omega Point. The Reestablishment. She might be (relatively) safe, but after the life she's lived, after what she's experiences, after who she's harmed with her touch, it won't take much for her to shatter and unravel.
Her power is dangerous but untapped. Being told to focus, to harness it, to use it, is a double-edged sword. She could reach her highest potential, she could become invincible, but what if she becomes something she fears? What if her body becomes the weapon she hoped would never be created? Being afraid of what's inside your body, your mind, is something you never want to experience. Your body is yours, but not being able to control something you should? Frightening. Juliette must find control, she must find strength to push on, or she'll be lost.
The book is an interesting look at the human psyche. After it has been beaten down, battered, contained, restricted, shunned, what is left? Is there anything left, any sense of sanity or humanity? Juliette is fracturing constantly with every word she speaks, every thought she thinks, every emotion she feels. She's torn between the world she's lived in, the one where she was left shattered and glued back together by Adam, and the one where Warner slowly unravels every piece of what was built up. In the end, what will be left? Will she still be there?
Lush with imagery and metaphor, both sweetly and sadly poetic, this book is painful to experience. A young girl, locked away, who doesn't know how to live without pain or isolation or fear, is grasping onto whatever she can that's warm and loving and familiar. But as her mind fractures, as she's faced with truths no one wants to accept, it's hard to keep it all from slipping through her fingers. Surprise after surprise in this book will create wave after wave in the next, and hopefully Juliette will be left standing at the end.
(I borrowed an advance copy from another book review blogger and later received an advance copy at ALA Midwinter.)