Shatter Me: Review

Shatter meAuthor: Tahereh Mafi

Publisher: HarperCollins

Summary: 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. (Via Goodreads.)

Review:

Before we talk about anything else, let us all take a minute to admire the incredible beauty that is this cover. Are you staring at it? Have you accepted it as one of the most superior book covers of all time? Excellent. On to the review!

I had heard of Shatter Me before in name only and it was always one of those books that was on my TBR list but it never made it to the top until recently. Since reading it I’ve actually took a gander at some of the other reviews and I probably wouldn’t have picked this book up if I had read them before. It is a very mixed bag, a lot of one star and five star reviews. I myself am somewhere in the middle.

I enjoyed Shatter Me. For the most part I enjoyed the plot and I enjoyed the characters and the relationships. I thought Juliette who has been locked away in an insane asylum for three years, spent almost a year alone in solitary and who has been denied any sort of human interaction or contact her entire life was well written. She is very timid and desperate to be loved and to be cared for and to be seen as anything other than a monster. I thought Mafi wrote it very well, you understood Juliette’s desperation and her longing but Mafi also gave her this quiet power. At times it’s subtle, at times it is anything but, but you were left with the feeling that Juliette will eventually grow to be a total badass in the following books.

When it comes to what I had actually heard about Shatter Me I can sum t up in one word: Warner. From what I’ve watched via the Booktube I got the impression that Warner was supposed to be the main love interest, a total hottie, book boyfriend kind of character so when he was introduced I was surprised. I was horrified actually. He is a horrible human being. Slimy, pathetic, possessive and cruel. From what I’ve seen I’m guessing he gets some sort of reception arc in later books which makes me sad because I really don’t like him. And yet I’m interested to see what he does. So, I suppose points to Mafi on that one.

As for the other characters; Adam, James and Kenji. I really liked them. I liked Adam, I loved his relationship with Juliette, even though at times it did seem a bit like insta-love, I enjoyed the silent connection the two of them developed as children, recognising each other as children of abuse and sort of seeking each other out as protectors and friends but never voicing it. I loved Adam’s relationship with James and how he interacts with both him and Juliette. He is a very typical little brother indadvertedly ruining his big brothers sexy times. Adored him…God, he’s going to die ins’t he? Kenji was also a joy. We didn’t see much of him but when he appeared he brought a certain lightness and comic relief to what would otherwise have been a rather bleak novel.

I think what most people have a problem with when it comes to Shatter Me is Mafi’s writing style. There is a lot of strikethrough in the book. Juliette thinks something but then corrects herself either because the subject is to painful or sad. For example:

I am not insane. I am not insane.

I assumed that this would lessen after awhile but it didn’t. I got used to it and didn’t mind it as much as the novel went on but I can understand why some people would be annoyed and choose to stop reading. Mafi was also prone to repeating herself, for example;

James was sound sound sound asleep.

I think this was done because Juliette needs to reassure herself of whats happening, that she’s not still locked in a cell, that she has not in fact gone crazy. Or maybe Mafi needed to fill a word count, who knows? Mafi is also pretty descriptive. There is a lot of prose in this book. Some of it is beautiful but some of it is just downright unnecessary. Sometimes Mafi goes into long descriptions just for the sake of being descriptive and it gets a bit distracting.

 

The ending of the book did leave me a little disappointed because it almost seems like Mafi is setting up Juliette to join a superhero team who defeat Warner and the Reestablishment, complete with colourful rubber outfit and it left me feeling a little blah.

I did like this book but I won’t be rushing out to buy the sequel and I wouldn’t be so quick to recommend it.

3.5 Stars

 

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