Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi Published by HaperCollins on February 5, 2013. Hardcover, 461 pages. $17.99, US

From Goodreads:

tick
tick
tick
tick
tick
it’s almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She’s finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam’s life.

Dear Book Reader,

Unravel me was pretty much one of those “building the love triangle”, second-book-in-a-trilogy books.  You’ve got Adam and Warner (later you find out that he wants to be called Aaron, his first name, and only by Juliette), the two guys.  Then there’s Juliette, who can’t make up her mind about which guy she wants.  One can touch her and might get hurt if he can’t control his special power and the other can touch her and won’t be hurt because of his special power.  Yes, that’s how a guy should be chosen, by who can or can’t touch you and the reason.  Both of these guys have done plenty emotionally and mentally to Juliette, but that doesn’t seem to be taken into consideration by her all that much.

Between all the back and forth of the love triangle, there’s a war brewing, with Juliette becoming a key figure.  Except she has to get out of her thick head and stop throwing a pity party for herself.  At one point the lightbulb does kick on and Juliette starts seeing that everything isn’t just about her.  There are other people involved in this war and she can help them.  If Juliette actually starts the training she can receive at Omega Point, she could use her power for good.

What are Juliette’s feelings towards Adam and Warner?

How does her training go, once she starts?

Does she ever learn to stand up for herself?

I’m honestly struggling with the review of this book.  I really wanted to like this book, but I just can’t.  I struggled to stick with it to the end, as I did with the first book in this trilogy.  At times I just wanted to ask Juliette what she was thinking.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.  Ignoring the advice of others doesn’t do any good if they are legit trying to help you, and doing things alone aren’t going to get you anywhere.  Boundaries are okay to set as well.

The main point of this is that I just can’t stand the main character of this book.  She’s not relatable, at least to me.  Juliette is indecisive, has no sense of the word “no”, thinks everything is her fault and won’t listen to reason.  I can’t come up with the right phrase to describe this girl.  I know the reason I don’t like this book is because of the way the main character has been written.  I had no problem reading the two novellas that go along with this trilogy.

I’m not even going to get started on the love scenes in this book.  Over dramatic and almost a focal point.  I could do without them, or at least not having them as graphic.

If you’re someone who’s a stickler for grammar, get ready if you choose to read this book.  All I feel like I need to say with that point.

Stars: *** (generously)

Read On,

Liz

This book was checked out at my awesome public library.

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Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

Alienated by Melissa Landers
Published by Disney Hyperion on February 4, 2014
Hardcover, 352 pages
$16.99 US

From Goodreads: 

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. 

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class. 

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

Dear Book Readers,

As the title suggests, this book has to do with aliens, and well, being alienated.  Gotta love a double-meaning title, right?  Really, who doesn’t?

Starting with the aliens, visiting earth from a planet called L’eihr.  These aliens, who are very much human looking, are part of an exchange program.  They spend some time down here with their high school human hosts and family, and their high school human hosts will eventually spend time in L’eihr.  Enter in the main characters, Cara and Aelyx.

Cara is smart, the class valedictorian, and ready to plan her future.  Aelyx is simple, competitive, and not all that excited of visiting earth.  Things are awkward between these two characters at first, but boy, do things eventually heat up.  Happy ending – not so much!  Life is about to get much more complicated than some calculus problem.

It’s not long before people turn their backs on Cara and Aelyx, thus the second meaning of the title.  They become alienated from their peers!  Friends are lost, Cara’s parents are affected, and the town turns into a mass protest site.  All of this happening while Cara and Aelyx are falling madly in love with each other.  The only problem is that one of them is keeping a major secret from the other that affects everything and everyone around them.  The only sound thing to do is for Aelyx and the other exchange aliens to head back home.

What secret is being kept and by who?

What happens as they face being separated?

Why was this exchange program so important?

I greatly enjoyed this book.  Yeah, it might be a little “high schoolish” in language, but that’s the type of characters Melissa has written.  I honestly don’t expect high schoolers to speak like adults.  I loved this exchange program concept between humans and aliens.  I think the sensual, borderline sexual, content was a little too much.  It’s just not my thing.  I know these two species are trying to figure out each other on that level, but it’s hard to believe with how quickly it came about.  At least a little self-control was shown by the characters.

The flow and writing of the book made it a quick, yet captivating read.  And the cover.  I absolutely love the cover and how it depicts what is waiting inside.  This book is written in dual narrative form, but flows within the same chapter.

Stars: *****

Recommendation: Yes!

Read on,

Liz

This book was checked out at my awesome public library!