REVIEW: Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi
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.
Originally this got my attention because I thought oh, her touch can kill! How Rouge! For weeks it sat on my shelf but after finishing another book I was wondering, what the hell can I read next? Shatter Me was really shiny and let’s face it, I’m a kid so I grabbed off of my shelf and dove right in.
I was hooked immediately. The writing style is what got me. It’s first person but it’s like being inside of Juliette’s fractured mind. It seems like you’re reading a diary, almost. Now, I said almost. While Juliette has a notebook, that’s not what we’re reading. It’s talked about a lot in the beginning, then some after the middle, but it’s not what we’re reading. These are her uttermost thoughts and at times they’re fractured, fast, jumbled, or clear. Also, the use of
strike throughs is fabulous. You get to know Juliette even more. You are inside of her mind. I’ve never read a book that used this strike through technique. It’s new, it’s fresh and it is so, so wonderful.
YA dystopia is a genre on fire. It’s everywhere now with The Hunger Games, Divergent, Gone, etc, but this book, ladies and gents, is so so great it kind of puts them all to shame. Yes, even THG. To me, anyway. Shatter Me has elements of The Hunger Games but also of XMen. You begin to realize there are superheroes in a world gone mad. In a country where the government (The Reestablishment) is a bucket of corrupted lies. Where the citizens are cold and broken. But in all dystopias, there is hope.
As in all dystopias, in most YAs, there is a romance. Of course there’s a romance. But I find Juliette and Adam so refreshing, so different from most of the ones out there now. I didn’t find myself rolling my eyes every so often at them as I find with even ships I love. Adam needs Juliette as much as she needs him. It’s a perfectly crafted romance that made me have to put the book down and go find someone - or Twitter - to gush about. Because damn, it gave me all of the feelings and then some. That hasn’t happened in a while, YA ship book wise.
The plot is wonderful. Not too slow and not too fast. It’s just the right pacing that leaves you staying up till 4 in the morning wondering where the last four hours of your life have gone. There are twists, turns, action and romance, all structured superbly. Then there’s the characters. You will fall for each one in their own way, mark my words. Even Sector leader, Waren. Is he a monster? Is he human? Is he misunderstood? Or is he insane? I’m still not sure.
There is no cliffhanger with this book. There is a wonderful ending that will lead right into the sequel set to come out in Feb. 2013. That wait is going to be torture, let me tell you. But I’m sure I will re-read this book many times over between then.
Book 8 of 50 for the 50 book challenge of 2012