Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi | Review

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Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Release Date: November 15th, 2011

Trigger Warnings: suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, murder, parental neglect, parental abuse, isolation

Pages: 338

Publisher: Harper

Goodreads blurb:

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

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.


R E V I E W

Shatter Me is a book I have tried to read three times. Two of those times I didn’t finish it, choosing to skip to the final chapter. This time I finally finished Shatter Me. I fucking finally completed this book, oh my God. I shouldn’t be as proud as what I’m feeling, but I am 100% beyond proud of myself considering this is the third time in three years I’ve picked it up. I’m hoping this means I will eventually finish this series – hopefully before Restore Me.

This particular book is very obviously the first book in a series. It also feels like a book written years ago, which it was, in the height of the dystopia phase in YA. I’m particularly excited to see this world development and even more so the character development continues on.

Juliette has been in isolation for a long, long time. Her whole life she has been unable to touch anyone without causing them great pain which can result in death. Because of this she has been treated like crap, with her family locking her in her room and moving whenever Juliette causes a problem in the town. When she is 14 she is taken from her parents, or they give her away, and she is tested and put in a mental alyssum. This is where she remains, with sparse food and no contact with absolutely anyone. Her journal is her only comfort and she must preserve her pen ink. One day a boy turns up. He is put in isolation with her but due to the fact Juliette has lead to believe she is crazy and a monster she resists the friendship in which he offers. Eventually she leaves, only to be told she is going to be a weapon for the government who has changed everything for everyone. Juliette is unsure of what the world is like now, considering her year in isolation without contact from the outside world. Throughout the book Juliette regains herself but relies on a boy, way too much. Her choices will decide her future and it shall be interesting to see where they lead her.

L I K E S

GOOD PREMISE

The whole concept of this book is interesting. I will give it that. It’s not uncommon with the whole ‘no one can touch the MC but certain people’. That doesn’t mean it can’t be interesting. Honestly. Its an old sort of story and definitely gives me 2010 vibes completely.

BEAUTIFUL WRITING

This author has a massive talent with beautiful writing. I started another book of hers before putting it down because I wasn’t in the mood and it is just so beautifully descriptive. The fact that the rep in the book is also written with a certain care that I appreciate a lot is so important. It is just so enjoyable to read representation that is well done.

I can’t even put a quote here in order to have you realize how magnificent this writing is. No matter how cliché this book is in parts it’s the writing that carries it through and makes it enjoyable for me as a reader.

GREAT MAIN CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

Juliette has some great character development. Not so much that I would praise the author so completely but enough that I’m impressed. With this being the first book in the series things can only go up from here, obviously. I’m excited to see other characters development which I have not heard people shut up about, whether it be good or bad development. Juliette slowly comes out of her shell in Shatter Me. She grows to trust, even if it is Adam, and begins to realize the world doesn’t hate her. She has made mistakes and her anxiety flares up a lot throughout the book but I just feel it’s so well done and plays into the development of a girl who has never been treated with kindness.

D I S L I K E S

LACK OF FEMALE CHARACTERS

Why are there no women in power? Why is there not a single other female character until the end (when there are two and they don’t get a lot of page time)? Why is this dystopia so male-centered and why is there not a single female soldier? It was really frustrating. I wish there had been at least one female character that got a main role to comfort Juliette and befriend her. Instead all we get are two male characters fighting for her attention and no one there to help her out. Hell, this girl hasn’t been able to touch anyone her whole life and she immediately falls for the first guy she can – which is a tad annoying, but I can understand the authors point about girls settling for guys that aren’t shit. I don’t know if that’s actually the point, but it’s what I’m making the point… oops.

MALE CHARACTERS ARE ALL CREEPY

Here’s the big thing. Every male is creepy. Every single one. They all hit on Juliette. Without a doubt. Plus, there’s Warner and Adam who are the two love interests. I have read the 1.5 novella titled Destroy Me since finishing Shatter Me so I now love Warner, despite the fact he’s still creepy. Adam on the other hand just makes my skin crawl and I would like to slam his face into a wall.

Neither of these boys make me swoon. They are creepy, they are possessive and they both want Juliette for their own purposes. It is honestly frustrating and why I think having female characters in this book would have improved it a lot.

I really am looking forward to seeing these boys improve because so far I want Juliette to be single, buy a dog, and go live off the grid away from the two dickheads vying for her attention.

A CLASSIC DYSTOPIA

That’s really what Shatter Me is. A classic dystopia, a classic love triangle, a villain with a soft spot and the main character who is happy to follow a males orders. It is a bit frustrating but from what I hear it will only get better. The mental health representation throughout the book is what makes it different from others, and that’s it’s standout point.

Overall, Shatter Me is not an impressive book. The only stand out is the mental health representation throughout. Otherwise, the characters and plot itself are pretty weak. Hopefully, I can manage my way through Unravel Me quickly and fall in love with these series like everyone else.


Happy reading everyone!

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