Reviewed by: Amanda
Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars
If I had to pick one word to describe Unravel Me, it would be desperation.
Juliette has spent her entire life believing she’s some kind of monster. Touching paralyzes the other person, and often results in death. She’d been shunted from group home to jail to psych ward, until Adam comes along and busts her out.
Now, two weeks later and living in an underground bunker called Omega Point, Juliette has to do something new: fit in. There are others like her, others with inhuman abilities. Kenjie can turn himself invisible. Castle is telekinetic. Brendan has an electric current running through his body, making his touch almost as bad as Juliette’s.
For those first few days on the run and in Omega Point, Juliette had hope, because they’d made a discovery: Adam can touch her without getting hurt. But she soon learns hope is a dangerous emotion to have, especially when everything falls to pieces around her.
The world of Unravel Me is one part Professor Xavier’s School for Extraordinary Children, one part post-apocalyptic wasteland. The ozone’s been depleted, leaving the land mostly barren. The Reestablishment, an organization meant to save humanity from themselves, has become the target of the rebels, led by the inhabitants of Omega Point. There’ll be war soon, and both sides want to use Juliette to win.
I loved Juliette in Shatter Me. She was so broken, yet so strong, and in Unravel Me, she grows even stronger. A lesser person would have given up on life long ago, and she’d somehow managed to find the will to keep going, knowing she’d never know the simple comfort of a hug.
But the angst. Oh, the angst. The angst almost killed me a few times. It’s easy to forgive Juliette for a lot of it. Torn between the boy she loves and the one she’s undeniably attracted to, she spends quite a bit of time dwelling on how horrible and unfair and hard it is to do what’s best for the other person, even when it causes you pain. At one point, Kenjie, who had been assigned to train with her, basically yells at her to stop feeling sorry for herself, because there were real problems out there and not everything was about her.
I just about cheered at that point.
The melodrama got in the way of the action at times. It brought the pace down a few notches when it should have been speeding up, and there were long stretches when I forgot they were supposed to be preparing for battle.
And everyone was so desperate. Castle, the leader of Omega Point. Juliette, trying to do the best thing and fit in and understand the limits of her power. Adam, refusing to give up. Warner. Most of all, Warner. The only person who gets to see inside him is Juliette, and the feelings he lays at her feet are raw, painful, and staggering in their depth.
The desperation, though, did make for some steamy kissing scenes. There’s one that runs the gamut from sweet to intense to frustrating and heartbreaking. It was easily one of the hottest kissing scenes I’ve ever read, in YA or adult fiction. Yes, it was that good.
By the time I reached the end, I had to wonder if Juliette had made the right choice, and what the future would bring for her. And why I have to wait a year to find out how her story ends.
Sexual content: Bone-meltingly hot kisses