Shatter Me Author Tahereh Mafi on Love Triangles and Shakespeare

On of my most anticipated young adult sequels of 2013 was Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi. I recently finished the book, and it more than exceeded my expectations.

Unravel Me is the second book in the Shatter Me trilogy. The futuristic young adult book follows the story of Juliette, a girl with the power to kill with a single touch. She's found a temporary home in Omega Point, a super secret hideout for other kids with strange abilities like hers.

Unravel Me was a journey into the heart and mind of Juliette, who must find the strength to find out who she wants to be in a world that would use her as the ultimate weapon. What I loved best about this book was Mafi's writing style, which continued to be unique and lyrical, and her characters, who stayed strong and complicated.

I spoke with Mafi about her latest book, her love life and Shakespeare (naturally).

Tahereh Mafi Interview:

You seem to write love triangles very well... even suspiciously well. Have you ever been in the middle of one? If so, deets please!

TM: Hahaha aww... thank you! And I hate to disappoint, but I have not. I think it'd be a terrifying, heart-wrenching thing to be caught in the middle of.

Unravel Me follows in Shatter Me's footsteps with the crossed out words and fractured, lyrical narrative. What inspired you to write this way?

TM: When we meet Juliette in Shatter Me, she's been locked up for 264 days; she hasn't spoken to a human in just as long, and she's losing her grasp on reality. She has an obsession with words and numbers, and counts everything she can find just to be able to root herself in reality. She's been left with nothing but a small notebook; she writes things down, crosses them out, repeats things too many times. The writing is supposed to be a reflection of her fractured state of mind.

As Juliette grows as a character, the writing stabilizes. The strikethroughs decrease, and the language develops a more subtle elegance. The prose is a visual representation of her journey toward becoming a more strong, solid individual. By the third book, the strikethroughs disappear completely, and her voice has unmistakably matured.

I loved the fact that Warner has a Shakespeare quote tattoo (and one that's extremely apropos). If you could choose a quote to describe Unravel Me, what would it be?

TM:The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

If you were a character in Unravel Me, what special ability would you choose to have?

I'd want the ability to have ALL the abilities. Cheating, I know. But... haha.

What are you currently reading?

TM:The currently untitled Shatter Me #3! I'm in edits and I think if I told you I were reading any other book right now, my editor would see this and kill me.

Is there anything you can tell us about Shatter Me #3? Will there be a conclusion to Team Warner vs. Team Adam?

TM:Yes. There will definitely, definitely be a conclusion. One I am very pleased with. But Juliette is, by far, my favorite person in the third book. She's so strong and amazing.

Is there a message you hope your readers got from Unravel Me? If so, what should it be?

TM: Things are seldom what they seem to be.

Exclusive Spoiler Video of Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

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