Monday, February 6, 2012

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi
 Publisher:  Harper/HarperCollins 
 Release Date: November 15th 2011 
Genre:  YA Dystopia/paranormal/romance
Source: Bought 

Goodreads Summary:
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.

My Review:

In accordance to it's title Shatter Me really does shatter your thoughts. Why? Well, because this book is thought provoking, packed with suspense, and emotion. It just breaks through to you, almost making you feel renewed because of how different you start to look at things after delving into such beautiful writing and storytelling. This book takes place in a really dark and suppressed environment -a semi post apocalyptic world- yet is filled with much hope and passion. The stakes are high for the main characters in Shatter Me and the emotions are raw.

The characterization in this book is what made it so excellent for me. And yes the writing is quite unique and poetic but the characters in Shatter Me just blew me away. They had such a loveliness to them and such depth!

Juliette, our female protagonist and narrator, is a phenomenal young woman. She believes herself to be a monster because her touch can be fatal and has been made to feel like one because of The Reestablishments (the government in place) forced isolation and the rejection of her peers and parents. Ironically though, the mistreatment bestowed upon her has not made Juliette a bitter person at all. On the contrary, she is actually quite compassionate and empathetic. And is very moral in the sense that she has a keen sense and conviction to do the right thing! 

Adam, the male lead in this book and romantic prospect for Juliette, is quite a beautiful character as well. He has an incredible love and admiration for Juliette and his little brother James and he truly just wants to hold onto what is good even though the world he lives and operates in is quite confined and dark. When you meet these characters, you quite aren't sure where their familiarity with each other comes from, but the sparks between them are electric. The tension and suspense is on another level when it comes to Adam and Juliette and when you consider that Juliette has not been allowed to live or really feel because of her powers, the emotional ramifications of their encounter and who they are to each other, is quite elevated, indeed!

The best part of this novel, what makes it shine for me, is it's villain. Warner has to be one of the most well developed villains I've read about in a long time. What I thought was unique about him was the fact that despite how evil he was, I never wished him away. And when I say he is evil, I mean it. He gives Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter a run for his money. And it is is more eerie because Warner is a quite young and handsome man, even charming, one could say. Making him even more dangerous.

Warner is all about instilling fear in others through physical violence and psychological manipulation. He is very maniacal in the way a crazed dictator would be and hungry for power. And since he thinks power comes from controlling others, the level of violence he implements on those under his command is quite escalated. Though despite his machiavellic and morbidly sick way of operating, there is a mystery to him. A hidden sense that maybe his lack of humanity comes from a tortured past or broken family. Though past hurt doesn't justify a person becoming a monster, people who suffer extreme trauma usually become overly sensitive to others pain and crusade for justice OR they take out their anger, frustration, and fear out on others through violence and Warner might be the latter. Not that any of that is known for sure because Warner is a mystery. Though the sense that he might be secretly hiding some sense of vulnerability is never quite lost in the novel. And his inexplicable connection to Juliette is quite intriguing as well. Despite mistreating her and despite her hate for him, there is an energy there that is quite mysterious and new when it comes to heroine/villain dynamics in novels. 

Book two in this series couldn't come quick enough!

My Rating: 4.5 / 5


  1. AWESOME REVIEW, Jennifer! I absolutely loved this book as well. I can't wait for the sequel, though it's going to be a LONG WAIT! So glad you enjoyed it! :)

    1. I know, right? the long wait is gonna be killer but Unravel Me is bound to be amazing!

      And thanks so much, Celine <3

      So glad you liked it :)

  2. I love the premise for this book - I haven't gotten to read it yet, but it reminds me a bit of Graceling by Kristin Cashore (which you might like if you're into stories that are more like traditional fantasies - so good!). And I love me a good villain that everyone can loathe together. Great review!

    1. Thanks so much! Shatter Me was a such a great read! And I totally have to add Graceling to my "to read" list. I've heard so many amazing things about it.


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