Sunday, June 23, 2013

Novel Review: Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1) by Tahereh Mafi

Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Genre: YA Supernatural Dystopian Romance
Publisher: HarperCollins/Teen
Publish Date: November, 2011

Goodreads Synopsis:

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

Something Specific:
  • "I want to be the bird that flies away." (Hardback, pg. 11)
  • "The world has not yet broken him. Such freedom in ignorance." (Hardback, pg. 14)
  • "'You don't have a choice.' [...] 'I always have a choice.'" (Hardback, pg. 58); "I am no one's property." (Hardback, pg. 72) This is the second time I've read a character thinking/saying something like this recently, and I love that. I want more characters to realize that, no matter the options, they still have the choice to pick them.
  • "I spent my life folded between the pages of books. In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence through association." (Hardback, pg. 70) YES. This, just, yes.

The Cover:

I do not like the first cover much at all. The girl, and her positioning... it's just not good. The second
cover, however, is much prettier. It makes sense, the colors are so pretty, I love how the lashes are making a storm. The second cover looks much too similar, but it's still kind of gorgeous.


I am really surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I’d heard very mixed things about it online, and hadn’t really heard much about what actually happened in the book (aside from the strikethroughs), so I started it with a pretty clear mind, and I think that helped. Because I ended up really enjoying it.
Juliette has been locked up and tested and generally alone and living horribly for several years now. Where she lives has also been taken over by the Reestablishment, the people are living poorly, with not good food, in small villages, being monitored heavily. And she’s been told that she’s a monster, because when she touches someone, she kills them.
I don’t really want to spoil too much of what happens, mainly because I really liked not knowing what was going to happen.
I liked Juliette. She has a couple self-deprecating/sacrificing moments that I didn’t really enjoy, but overall I really liked her and understood her. She’s been hurt, but she tries being nice, and she tries being loyal. But she’s also very feisty when the time calls for it. She doesn’t need someone to save her, which I especially liked, and she stuck up for herself.
There are two love interests: Adam and Warner. I like Adam. He’s sweet and adorable and loyal, and I just really like him. I know that, at this point, a lot of people didn’t like Warner. But, probably because of my knowing that their feelings changed later, I don’t really feel that way. I’m sure that he has his reasons, although I’m not exactly sure of the circumstances. I’m sure he’s planning something, he’s up to something, and we got glimpses of a different side of him throughout this book. I’m looking forward to getting to know him better and seeing what he’s up to in the next book.
Also, there was a good amount of nice make-out scenes in this book, they didn't go far, but they were very steamy. I wasn't expecting this, but I was very happy about it.
Aside from them, we met a lot of other characters. There’s Adam’s little brother, who is just the cutest thing and I kind of love him. We also met a handful of new characters near the end of the book, which I was really not expecting, but am very happy about. I’m really looking forward to getting to know all of them and seeing what they’re doing in the next book.
I don't want to give much of anything away as to what happened later in the book, so I'm going to expand on that, or the ending. I was surprised and very much enjoyed it, and that's all I'm going to say.
I know that a lot of people didn’t like the writing style of this book. There are a lot of strikethroughs, some words repeated a lot, and at times very short sentences. But I actually really liked the writing style, and think that it made the story go by really fast. Plus I think that, given how isolated Juliette has been for the last several years, I think that it really works for the state of mind she’s in. The one bit that actually bothered me is that, instead of writing numbers out in word form, they were shown in their number form. I just generally don’t like it when that’s done in books, but it did make sense, like the rest of it. Also, the descriptions of everything, the way Juliette thinks, and how she sees things, is just beautiful. I loved that part of the writing, and it made up for the one part that I didn't like.
This was a really good opening book to the series. It left me really wondering, really craving the next book. It opened up the world, the characters, set up some things for the next book. It was a really fast read, too, and rather exciting. Now I’m really looking forward to reading the next book and hope to get it soon, even if I’m then going to have to wait a while for the last one.

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