Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publication Date: November 15th 2011
My Rating: 5 Starfish
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. - Summary and cover image from Goodreads
Let me start off by saying that Tahereh Mafi is a mad genius. She had me hooked from the very first sentence. The prose throughout were incredibly moving. The writing style wasn’t all clean and crisp like every other book you see; it was messy, hectic at times, and repetitive, but it was so unique, I couldn’t put it down. The writing alone is a good enough incentive to read Shatter Me, and I haven’t even begun to talk about the other aspects of the book!
Plot: The plot was fast-paced and suspenseful. There were no slow parts or parts that seemed too rushed. The majority of the book focused on Juliette’s complicated relationships with Adam and Warner. I liked how all of the events flowed smoothly into each other. There was always something at the end of each chapter that kept me going; it was a definite page turner.
Setting: The setting was fantastic and well thought out. I couldn’t really relate to it, but it’s a future that I could see happening.
Shock Factors: SO MANY THINGS HAPPENED, I CAN’T EVEN THINK… okay, there were minor surprises here and there that added to the excitement of the story. Several major events happened that I did NOT see coming. And just when I thought I had everything figured out, there were twists that changed the direction of the story completely! Overall, the shock factors were done perfectly.
Warner: Warner was, without a doubt, my favorite character. When he first came into the picture, I was immediately drawn into his charm and charisma. I noticed something off about him too that I couldn’t really pinpoint, which only intrigued me more. He seemed a little psychotic at first, but I believed he was more damaged than evil. He was portrayed as being the central antagonist of the story. Juliette was super attracted to him at times, but I didn’t think much of it because she couldn’t touch him without killing him. (Rule number 1 of YA books is to never assume because you might end up being completely wrong!) So, about halfway through the story, I realized that it was playing out to be a love triangle. I actually went back and reread all of the parts with Warner and Juliette before finishing the book!
Juliette: Juliette was not one of my favorite heroines. She was very irritating and annoyingly helpless most of the time. She was kind of screwed up because of her horrible childhood, so her insecurities were understandable. However, I did find it unrealistic that she was able to jump into a relationship with Adam so quickly, having never been touched before. It seems to me she would have proceeded with more caution than what she did. I also found it unrealistic that she was “stunningly beautiful” after being locked up in a dirty cell for ages, but now I’m just getting picky.
Adam: Adam was okay. He was an average guy, not much depth or complexity to his character, kind of bland and boring, but he was nice and a good match for Juliette. He risked a lot to keep her safe, even taking a beating on her account. He also had a sweet relationship with his little brother. Compared to Warner though, he wasn’t anything spectacular. Just a typical love interest.
Secondary Characters: Kenji was a really cool guy. He was very funny and played a big part in the ending (bigger than I expected). I laughed out loud a few times at his stupid jokes! James was also a nice character to throw in. He didn’t drive the plot forward any, but it was good to have him around as a sort of light in the darkness.
Strengths: Shatter Me’s strong points were its thrilling plot, beautifully written prose, and its ever-growing, complicated love triangle. Another point worth mentioning was the comic relief provided by the characters (mainly Kenji) in an otherwise intense storyline.
Weaknesses: The only thing I would say was a turnoff, not so much a weakness, was Juliette’s attitude.
This book had me laughing, sobbing, gasping, screaming, breathing fire, and pretty much every emotion you can come up with! I recommend it to anyone who wants to be swept away in a satisfying read.