Monday, 19 December 2011

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: November 15th 2011
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

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. (from Goodreads)

Shatter Me is not a book. It is disguised as a book, but in actual fact it is awesomeness personified. Everyone needs to read this thing-that-is-not-a-book-but-from-here-on-will-be-referred-to-as-a-book-for-the-sake-of-convenience, trust me. It’s the kind of book you will want to keep with you at all times just so you can stare at its awesomeness.

First, I have to comment on the writing style of Shatter Me. Quite unusual, but I loved it! It was beautiful and engaging and just so, so amazing. I was completely absorbed throughout. All the crossed out words and sentences made it easier to get a glimpse into Juliette’s head as well, which was great. It was a lovely change from most other books, and I enjoyed it a lot.

Character-wise, Juliette was quite brilliant. At the beginning, I couldn’t really tell whether she was completely sane or not, because she was acting very strange. As the book went on, however, it was easy to understand that Juliette was just a kind girl that had been treated so horribly her entire life that she no longer really knew how to act anymore. As I connected with her more, I began to realise how lonely she was, and it was so sad to see such a lovely person so broken. Her curse (or gift, however you see it) was never her fault – the power to kill people with her touch was something she was born with, and hated, yet she was punished for it anyway. And despite all of this, despite the fact that she was shunned and ostracised and locked up and treated with malice, she remained a kind, thoughtful person. She had every reason to hate the world and turn into a villain, but she didn’t, and I admired her for that. And she wasn’t a complete walkover either, which I also liked about her. She stood up to Warner (her captor-of-sorts) and did things her own way a lot of the time. She did need help sometimes (and my only gripe with the whole book is that she did seem a little defenceless and helpless at certain points) but having not had contact with other humans for so long, I think it was understandable that she didn’t know what to do when suddenly confronted with so many. Though she worked out things quickly enough with Adam...

... ♥Adam♥. Oh my, Adam. He was just...well, I think the love hearts say enough. At the start, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of him...but now, I think a page of love hearts wouldn’t be enough to express my love for him. He was yummy. In every way. He was sweet and strong and caring and funny and jealous and kind and reckless and fractured and determined and cute and romantic and ahhhhhh. I loved the way he understood Juliette – he seemed to be the only one that saw past her ability, and appreciated her as a person and not a weapon. He was...wow. Can I just say that Tahereh Mafi sure knows how to write a good romance? This one was actually fantastic. The scenes – the scenes! The kissing! The closeness! The sparks! The everything! This was no ordinary romance, my friends. It was the kind of romance that you only ever get in books because you know nothing this awesome could ever happen in boring old life. And yet it still seemed realistic and believable. It was just flipping excellent. I want to tell you more, but I’m afraid it will ruin the sheer excellence for you. I’ll just tell you that you’ll probably want to re-read a few of the scenes...

Warner was definitely the most curious character for me. Obviously a little unbalanced, with crazy ideas about the world and what should happen in it, he was a typical villain...and yet not. There was something about him that made me wonder about his childhood and how he grew up. Clearly he had no qualms with killing people, and was despicable in that sense...but I couldn’t help but question his true motives. The whole time I had no idea why he was really doing any of the things he did. I had no clue what was going on his head. He was borderline obsessed with Juliette and claimed to have been watching her for a long time...and I’m just wondering why. I know he wanted to use her as a weapon, but he also seemed to want her for more than just that. And he knew so much about her! It was creepy and really interesting at the same time. I almost felt sorry for the guy, because he was so deluded and evil, and yet also childlike in a way. Definitely want to read more about him – can’t wait to find out more about his past in the next book!

Other characters I really liked were Kenji and James! Kenji worked on the same team as Adam, and though at first he didn’t say much, later on in the book he was much more involved and I thought he was so funny and injected some much needed humour into book. The way he talked was bound to get some emotions stirring and some of the things he came out with were so hilarious! I loved the way he was with Juliette, and the way he responded to Adam. James was Adam’s younger brother and was just so adorable, he really grew on me! He seemed to accept anything that came his way and I don’t think you’d get a lot of kids who could deal with shocking things as easily as he did. The brotherly relationship between James and Adam was really sweet too and you could tell they both really loved each other :).

The plot wasn’t actually as fast-paced as I thought it’d be, but was still captivating and I loved every part of it! From the moment Juliette arrived at Warner’s place, there was always something going on around her. I had no idea what was going to happen, and the ending was quite a big shock for me! I’m already anxious for the sequel; I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Overall, Shatter Me was a fabulous start to a new series, with amazing characters, an engaging plot and great writing. Highly recommended!

11 comments:

  1. I loved EVERYTHINg you pointed out in this review. The writing style was one of my FAVOURITE aspects of the book, because it just seemed to flow so nicely. Like reading prose. Just stunning.

    And Juliette- I can't even begin with her. Because I just found her to be so admirable. and the whole romance seemed to sweet. So I can't WAIT for the next one now :)

    Brenna from Esther's Ever After

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  2. Great review! I agree about the writing style, it was so unique and I really loved it. I liked Adam, I didn't love him like everyone else seems to but that's okay. Warner was really interesting to me though, I agree that he has an almost childlike quality to him and I'm interested to see what we find out about him in the future.

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  3. I'm really glad you liked this, even though I wasn't really a fan. Totally agree about Warner tho, really curious about him.

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  4. Yay!! I'm glad to see you're also fan-girling over Shatter Me!! It was such an amazing novel!! I loved your review! :)

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  5. I'm glad you did really enjoy Adam...I mean this book :)

    I also liked the characters but at times the writing really got to me with this one. People kept saying how beautiful the writing was but at times it nearly drove me to not finishing the book. Plus the ending is taken right from the page of an X-men movie so that wasn't really original in the end.

    I am looking forward to the next book to see how things move along, just not dying for it.

    Thanks for the great review. :)

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  6. Hehehe the love hearts around Adam's name speak volumes <3 The SCENES between them, whew! Gosh, he was just so... so... swoony! Warner is such an intriguing character. I want to kill that b*stard sometimses (toddler scene) but others... you can see something within him. Agh, damn you Mafi!

    Ahhh and Kenji! <3 James! <3 And oh wow, yes, the writing and Juliette's growth were absolutely incredible. Tahereh may possibly be a genius. I think it's safe to bet on that. Amazing review, Liz. DITTO to everything you said!

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  7. Awesome review! I love Adam to bits and I think everyone is going to be fighting over him . . . actually I think that's already happened. haha. It was a wonderful book to say the least.

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  8. I've read so many awesome reviews on this book. It's crazy. I'm definitely planning on reading it. I've heard quite a few things about this Adam fellow, so I'm pretty sure I'll fall in love with him like everyone else. :)

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  9. I'm not normally a fan of dystopia but everyone raves about this so much that I may try it. The crossed out writing style sounds really intriguing. And I love anything made of awesomeness :-)

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  10. woah, amazing review. now i really want to read this one. It sounded pretty good, but yay, i'm so glad you LOVED it. I'm also curious about this writing style. I like when things are mixed up a bit in books. makes it more interesting.

    -lauren

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  11. Oh I'm absolutely DYING to read this obok.

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