Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

November 16, 2011 Review 5

 

Shatter Me Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #3
Cover Art: Aurora Crowley
Genre: Paranormal YA, Dystopian
Excerpt: Yes
Source: Publisher
Reviewed by: Abigail

  • Reading level: Ages 14 and up
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (November 15, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0062085484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062085481

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


Sexual Content:

Kissing. Scenes of mild sensuality


Rating:


Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.


Description

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.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

Review

I could tell from the first page that there were going be people who didn’t like SHATTER ME.  The writing is unusual bizarre crazy interesting.  Because the story is told from the perspective of a girl who has basically been in solitary confinement for almost a year, her thoughts aren’t exactly what you’d call lucid.  At least not initially.  The pages are littered with crossed out hopes fears thoughts and lyrical descriptions that trend towards delirium at times.   Unlike several of the reviews I’ve seen, I found it fascinating on just about every level.

When we meet Juliette, she as close to crazy as you can get before the monsters get you.  She’s torments by her past, half starved from lack of food and human interaction.  She is a broken and tragic figure…and that’s before we even really learn why.  It takes a new cellmate—her first ever—to draw Juliette back from the edge of insanity, and help show her the strength she possesses to fight back.

The kissing scenes in this book are epic…I mean wow.  They go on for pages, but never feel drawn out.  I think I could read an entire book by Mafi that is just kissing scenes.  It also made perfect sense that kisses would practically overwhelm this character since she’s spent almost her entire life devoid of human contact.

In a lot of ways, SHATTER ME is a traditional superhero origin story, but it’s more than that too.  It’s a really beautiful love story between two characters who grew up watching the suffering of the other and finding each other again in a pre-1984 world.   It’s the story of corruption and power hungry groups that prey on a weak moment in human history and reshape it to suit themselves.  And ultimately, it’s the story of a girl who has always been afraid of herself finally learning to see herself as something other than a monster.   It’s a powerful, thought provoking story, written in a way that is uniquely suited to it’s protagonist.  I can’t wait for the sequel.

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5 Responses to “Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi”

  1. GinaR

    I'm in the middle of reading this book and couldn't put it down last nite! The writing style is unusual but suited to the story.

  2. Kt

    I actually just finished this book, and am writing my review now. It blew my socks off! Great review.

  3. Abigail

    GinaR – I'm definitely more tired today than I should be because of this book. I kept telling myself, 'one more chapter than you have to stop.' That didn't happen 🙂

    Kristin – I was actually expecting not to like it after seeing The Book Smugglers review rating (I didn't read their review until after finishing the book), but I was completely entranced…this is a book people will love or hate. If you like the excerpt, don't wait.