Shatter Me and Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

First off, Shatter Me.

Rating:

The problem with ratings is that they mean something different to every reader. For me, a 1 star simply means I didn’t like the book. It does not mean it’s an abomination or that it belongs in the garbage. Honestly, giving 1 stars leaves me feeling yucky, but at the same time I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I recommend this or enjoyed it in the slightest. I feel like this book has already been dragged through the mud enough, so I’ll be as brief, or as brief as someone who word-vomits can be. 

Problem Numero Uno: This tries too hard to make you like Juliette. Like really hard. With the constant sob stories and her unbelievable selflessness , she’s shoved down your throat like medicine except it’s completely unnecessary. Let me give you a brief example for context. 

We’re told that no one likes Juliette in school. No one is willing to touch her, talk with her, play with her, or simply get near her. However, we’re told numerous scenarios in which she responds with care and consideration each time she’s bullied, like when she willingly forfeits a field trip for a popular girl. I’m not a psychologist, but I think it’s safe to say someone who’s met with that much hatred and animosity will not remain a soft cinnamon roll.

This is someone whose parents, teachers, and classmates hate her. She’s never had a single friend or been talked to humanely. I find it highly improbable that life conditioned her to be anything other than disturbed and hard around the edges. This is the kind of backstory that’s often resulted in school shooters or murderers. As a result, I found Mafi’s characterization of Juliette to be insufferable and unrealistic.

Problem Numero Dos: The romances turn me off. Both love interests come off as creepy and territorial. I’m too lazy to find the actual quote, so I’ll paraphrase this exchange from Juliette and Adam. 

Juliette (probably said weakly and shedding a single pretty tear): How can you possibly care about someone like me? 

Adam:Because I’m in love with you. 

Oh, SHUT THE HELL UP. You goggled at her in third grade, then slept in the same vicinity for less than a week, and you love her? You’re willing to die and do anything for her? That’s not romantic; it’s creepy. 

Frankly, it grosses me out. Like how have you remembered her face this whole time? I can’t even remember people from middle school, and you remember your third grade crush? Joe Goldberg is that You? Actually, that’s an insult, at least Caroline Kepnes had the right mind to call him a stalker and her novel a disturbed romance. 

Problem Numero Tres: The characters, my golly. This girl has failed to have oral hygiene, but somehow she appears to be kissable to every single man that crosses her path? Uh huh that makes sense. Nevermind the fact she’s malnourished and skipped out on a skin care routine in the last year, she’s still drop dead gorgeous! 

Problem Numero Cuatro: Plot, or should I say lack thereof? Yeah, there’s no world building here. It’s just a romance that takes place in a dystopian world, which is fine if that’s your kink, but again the romance wasn’t good. Honestly, the whole thing felt repetitive. She parrots whatever a character said earlier as if it were her own thought, because as if you didn’t already have an incentive to hate her, she’s also that kid in class that steals your joke by saying it louder to everyone. Not only that, she explains things that are blatantly obvious as if she thinks readers are as dense as she is. 

I think I’ve done enough damage, so I’ll just leave off with a genuine curiosity I have. I’m not white, so I just want to know: but like it’s not normal to blush every five minutes over the most mundane things, right????


Ahh and now Unravel Me.

Rating:

So a thing to note about me is that I hardly ever DNF books. In fact, before Unravel Me I had only done that once in my reading career. Yet here I find myself DNFing at 92%.

You might be thinking, why not finish the last forty pages? 

Well, the answer is simple: I love myself too much for that. Life is too short and I made a promise that 2019 would be the year of good books. Honestly, I’m sorry it took me this long to realize this book isn’t worth my time, but I’m not going to force myself to read something I don’t like simply because I’ve made it this far. 

It’s no secret I didn’t like Shatter Me, like at all, but I’ve always heard this series doesn’t get good until book two. Y’all said said that for A Court of Thorns, and Roses and you were absolutely right. So with that in mind, I thought why not give the Shatter Me series another go? Well, Unravel Me is no A Court of Mist and Fury. It’s the same old bs, except this time the joke’s on me, because I didn’t want something moreI wanted something entirely different. 

That’s not fair and I get that.

I could make a list as to why this book isn’t for me, but honestly, objectively speaking, there’s nothing inherently wrong. What people seem to love in this series is what irritates me. Plain and simple.I kept forcing myself to keep going because…I wanted to be on the bandwagon? I wanted to believe I hadn’t made a mistake in buying the trilogy as a whole? Whatever the reason may be, it’s not good enough to keep reading something I am only belittling or making snide remarks at in my head as I go. I’m sure the author spent a lot of time in these novels, so I’m just going to cut us both a break and call it quits here. 

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