For the first time in what seems like a long time my ramblings post is not a gripe, complaint or whine. And that’s all because of a book.
Once again Tahereh Mafi has done it to me. She’s shredded me. Torn me apart. She took me on so many highs and lows that I’m worn out. Completely drained. My emotions are as raw as Juliette’s.
I have become unraveled, piece by piece, bit by bit over the course of this book that I began last night and finished this evening. I have words but no words to describe the range of emotions I went through with that story. I’m completely wrung out, strung out and left in a state of awe and amazement and wonderment and despair.
I was so worried when I embarked on the journey that was this book. I worried from the very moment I finished the last book. I was so sure the beauty of the writing couldn’t match the beauty in that book. I thought that with the way things ended there would be no more room for vulnerability, no more fragile or delicate moments, no more beauty.
I feared expected the follow-up to be an action story with little else but super powers and kick-ass fighting. I did not expect heartbreak. I did not expect once again to be left breathless with that weight planted firmly on my chest.
I did not expect the heaviness to settle into my heart as one thing and then another happened. I did not expect happiness and joy to lift me up one moment and pain and despair to make me come crashing down the next. I did not expect to have to go through the same cycle of hope and defeat and hope and sorrow and hope and anguish over and over and over again.
I did not think I could love this book as much as that book. Because that book was the original. That book was Juliette at her most fragile. That book was a surprise. But this one was too. Because it wasn’t what I’d expected and feared and dreaded it to be.
That weight still sits on my chest. The anxiety of all that has happened and all that will happen clings to me. I am terrified of answers to all the questions I have. I’m terrified of secrets coming to light and the consequences they’ll bring when they do.
I am so worried for each and every character that I now am so completely attached to that I couldn’t bear for anything to happen to them. Ever. And I’m worried for those that I once saw as perfect and now realize are flawed but are even more lovable because of it. Because there is so much room for something to go so so wrong. Even more wrong than it already has. So much room for them to get hurt. Even more hurt than they’ve already been hurt. And so much room for them to lose everything.
I have no idea what is in store for the next book in the series. I will not even try to guess this time around. Because I was so very wrong in my expectations of this book. And I don’t plan on making that mistake again. I will not underestimate this exquisite writer who has created characters that I’ve connected with so deeply. Characters who I sympathize with and ache for, for all they’ve lost, for all they never had, for all they could be.
But I do know that whatever comes next will be unexpected and brilliant and shocking and breathtaking. And I will love it to the very core of my being even while there are hundreds or thousands of moments that will tear me to bits and pieces.
Oh yeah, and I guess I should officially mention that the book that has me so dazed and amazed and awed is Unravel Me. Just in case it wasn’t obvious.