By: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: YA Dystopian Romance
Personal Age Rating: 14+
Rating: 4/5 stars
I have a curse
I have a gift
I am a monster
I’m more than human
My touch is lethal
My touch is power
I am their weapon
I will fight back
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
“Laughter comes from living. I’ve never really been alive before.”
I know, I’m about the last person in the universe to hop on this bandwagon. I have constantly been told to read this book, and guess what, I finally did! Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It is a refreshing change from what I have previously been reading and is exquisitely unique. Mafi is very much a visual writer, which is evident though the repetition, punctuation, strikethroughs, and use of numbers scattered throughout her prose. Not only is Mafi’s writing visual to the eye, but also visual to the mind, as it is drenched in flowery metaphors and vivid imagery. The beautiful writing is accompanied by a stellar story, filled with several interesting characters that provide potential for great character development as the series progresses. Here are some things that I loved about this book, and some things I didn’t particularly enjoy.
This series has a lot of potential. It took me awhile to get hooked, but man, once I was I stayed up until midnight to finish it. The plot of this book is very character driven, which is good, because the world is extremely under-developed. This book is marketed as a dystopian novel, but the story definitely revolves around the romance. I am not even sure what is going on in this dystopian world. Who is in charge? What made the world this way? Why does Juliette have her special power? There were NO ANSWERS in this book until the very end, so I am hoping the answers will continue to flow over into Unravel Me.
Before I get into the characters, I must say… I really did enjoy Mafi’s writing. She made you feel as if you were really there, experiencing everything as Juliette, and she was able to balance the beautiful descriptions with realistic dialogue perfectly. However, some of the metaphors were a bit of a stretch. For example:
“Heat rushes up my neck and I fall off a ladder holding a paintbrush dipped in red.”
Like, what? Is Juliette painting a house red in hot weather or is she blushing? We will never know.
Overall, I really liked the writing though, so I can’t complain. It was a pleasant surprise.
As far as characters go:
Juliette: I like her, but I don’t love her. I am sure my feelings toward her will change as I continue the series. It broke my heart to see how badly she craved to be touched and loved, and how she wanted to be able to help people without hurting them. As the novel progresses, the reader has the opportunity to see Juliette transform from hopeless to hopeful for a future.
“Hope is a pocket of possibility. I’m holding it in my hand.”
Adam: Once again, I like him, but I don’t love him. I feel as if he has some secret motive, but I’m not exactly sure what it is. Adam and Juliette’s relationship is totally insta-love, and while I enjoyed reading it, there is honestly nothing real there. I mean, he’s the first person who has touched her in several years, so that’s something but still… Like: “Wow, we used to go to school together, I’ve never talked to you, but I’m completely in love with you.” ??? You’ve known her for a few days. Chill out, bro. Anyway, I like him alright, but I need to see some substance in his relationship with Juliette to be convinced he’s not just messing around.
Warner: Warner is an interesting fellow. I know a lot of you love him, so I already can guess he is going to be one of those “villain bad-boys with a traumatic childhood and top-secret past” and Juliette will end up falling for him. Love triangle, here we come. I can see myself liking Warner once I find out more about him even though I currently hate him (but I’m not sure who to hate, him or the government? His dad? What’s going on??). I honestly do think him and Juliette will be a better match than her and Adam, just because it’s a relationship they will both have to work for and there’s more substance there. Although it is kind of creepy he is obsessed with her. Please get a hobby, child.
I would definitely recommend this book. The things about this book I enjoyed most definitely outweigh thing things I didn’t, and I can only see it getting better from here. I’m very excited to move on to Unravel Me!