Monday, December 23, 2013

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Pages: 338
Genre: YA Sci-fi
Pub. Date: November 15, 2011
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."

Juliette has been imprisoned for months in an asylum as she is a threat to society.  Her touch kills, which is why they have her locked up and they pretty much ignore her. The world is in ruins, destroyed by war and the environment is in shambles. All Juliette has is her journal, that is until she gets a cellmate, Adam.  Things start to pick up once she realizes that Adam looks familiar and questions whether she knows him.  The Reestablishment, a military group, wants to use Juliette to their advantage and they feel she will help them gain control in a world that is falling apart.  Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi is an addicting debut that took me awhile to warm up to, but once I did, I was undeniably hooked.

Readers can't help but feel sorry for Juliette in Shatter Me.  I can't imagine not being able to touch anyone or to have any human contact; plus, she has been held up in this asylum for so many months, isolated from the world around her.  Her parents treated her like crap and she never really had any friends, so Juliette's backstory is a sad one.  She starts to find a friend in her mysterious cellmate, Adam, but in the back of her mind, she knows that he is familiar, but can't place him right away.  I don't want to say too much, because of spoilers, but I loved their relationship.

Warner, the head of the Reestablishment is an interesting and complex character as well.  Obviously, I wasn't the biggest fan of him based on his actions in Shatter Me, but he is intriguing and I definitely want to learn more about him as the series continues.

I will admit that the writing style was rather strange at first in Shatter Me and it took me awhile to get used to it. Mafi's writing style is definitely unique and I give her credit for taking risks; however, I must say that it was rather jarring at times, overly flowery, and filled with a lot of metaphors.  But once I became acclimated, it didn't bother me and as I said, I become hooked. This is especially true of the second half of the book as it has a ton of action and adventure.

I thought I was over the whole dystopian genre, but obviously I am not. I can't wait to read Unravel Me, book two in this series, as well as Ignite Me, book three, which comes out this February. I highly recommend Shatter Me if you are looking for an addicting tale; it's going down as one of my favorites of the year.

3 comments:

  1. I remember being so impressed with Mafi's prose while reading this. It definitely proves there can still be some new and exciting gems in the dystopian genre

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    Replies
    1. Her writing definitely grew on me and I actually like it now! I agree. It does prove that there are still some unique dystopian novels out there, even if it isn't "popular" anymore. Thanks for visiting, Christa, and Happy Holidays!

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  2. The world it's set in doesn't seem to be too far off from our own. It seems to be a dying and decaying version of ours, and Tahereh described it in such clarity that I was right there the whole time I was reading. I can't say enough just how amazing Shatter Me was, and I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone and everyone.
    Fishing Alaska

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