Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi Series: Book #1 in the Shatter Me trilogy Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: November 15, 2011
Genre: Young Adult – Dystopian, Romance
Format: Purchased Paperback
“Shatter Me” by Tahereh Mafi is a story about a girl named Juliette whose touch is deadly. She grows up being hated and feared by everyone, even her parents. When she is sent to the Reestablishment to be held as an insane asylum client, her world becomes different and changes upside down. She counts the minutes and seconds until the day a boy named Adam is also put in her cell, until the day she is essentially captured, until the day she becomes free.
This is a young adult dystopian novel about survival and self discovery. It was an interesting and fast read and I was enthralled by the writing style Mafi uses throughout the book. It is unique in that it is a conscious stream of thought and many of the words and sentences are crossed out as though Juliette takes back those thoughts before they ever come into fruition. It’s definitely unique, as well as the amount of metaphors used throughout the novel. I don’t think it took away from the story, but rather enhanced it and added a bit more imagery for the situation at that current moment.
Overall, I am excited to read the rest of the series, but like many other reviews I’ve seen, I had a few problems with it:
- There wasn’t enough world building. This had so much potential to be something greater, and really I felt that it fell flat in terms of showing us what the world really looked like until the very end of the book.
- There was a lot of intense, passionate moments that almost felt like insta-love. Though I did enjoy a lot of the romance, some of it felt out of place and too urgent and very hormone driven.
- I didn’t feel like some things were explained in enough detail: what was the exact reason she was there? Why did Warner treat her the way he did? What was the exact reason for Adam’s presence there (aka the romance aspect)? I wished more had been expanded upon, really.
- Some of it felt rushed, as though the plot (which wasn’t really defined and could have been so much better) didn’t exist until the second half of the book.
Now that isn’t to say that this book didn’t have it’s benefits, too. I did enjoy a lot of this book, such as:
- The romance parts. “But didn’t you just complain about the romance?” In some aspect, yes it felt annoying for some reason, but other times I was totally into it.
- The writing style was unique and beautiful. I enjoyed the way we were really in Juliette’s head; it felt like we were in a troubled mind that was only getting stronger as the book progressed.
- The cover is gorgeous (the paperback, not the old hardcover).
- The character development on Juliette’s part was good and growing. I also enjoyed Kenji and James (they were like comic relief). Adam could have been expanded upon more. Warner is a twisted soul, very good villain.
- I thought the concept of the powers that Juliette and others had was really cool. Kind of like mutants in a way.
So, this book had both ups and downs, but I overall enjoyed it and hope the second book gets even better and that the plot is expanded upon.
I rated this book 3.75/5 stars.