Shatter Me (Shatter Me, # 1)
By: Tahereh Mafi
Published: November 15th 2011 by Harper (first published January 1st 2011)
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Source: Personal Kindle Library (Christmas present, thank you Kay!)
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Goodreads description--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.
Shatter Me is a book that I've seen tons of press about. I haven't read any reviews for Shatter Me (even as I'm writing my own review now), but I've seen it make Top Ten lists and Best Ofs all over the place. So I decided that Shatter Me was a book that I wanted to get my hands on. Truthfully, I'd never even read the book description until preparing to write my review. BUT through the top ten and best of lists that I've seen I've seen little snippets that left an impression on me and colored a bit of how I experienced Shatter Me. Dern those snippets.
Before I go into any more detail, can I just say that Tahereh Mafi's writing is stunning. I found myself highlighting entire paragraphs because of their beauty and poetry. I've come to find that I really enjoy and appreciate this type of writing style. It reminds me of Lauren Oliver, Maggie Stiefvater, and Michelle Hodkin. And well add Tahereh Mafi into that list because I'll be on the lookout for more of her work from now on. I've also never seen anyone use the
strikeout method in their writing like she has and I LOVED it (which also makes the cover make more sense). This added a whole new depth and meaning to Juliette's narrative. I'll include some of my favorite quotes toward the end of this review.
Juliette is a character that I latched onto pretty quickly. She's basically been imprisoned in an asylum for close to a year and we slowly learn the why and the how of it all. Have any of you heard of Jenny Pox? Well Shatter Me is what Jenny Pox should have been. It's just the same basic concept of not being able to touch anyone because skin to skin contact has the potential to kill the other person. So I really felt for Juliette. How lonely she's been, how sad to be deprived of all human contact. And even more than that, Juliette hasn't even spoken to anyone in the same amount of time. She's desperately lonely. And then one day, this boy she's not even sure she remembers is thrown into her cell and everything changes.
Adam. Now remember those snippets I told you about before. Well those snippets don't involve Adam himself but they kept me from fully attaching to Adam like I'm sure I would have under other circumstances. Adam was a character that I should have fallen hard for. You're not sure if he remembers Juliette just as Juliette isn't even sure she remembers him. But the more time goes on the more that is revealed and everything falls into a beautiful place.
Of course, we must have a villain. And not only does The Reestablishment take that place, but the face of The Reestablishment as far as we've seen up until this point is Warren. He's a character that I know more will be coming from and one that I need to know more about. But I fear things are not always as they appear. Warren definitely seems to be a capable villain and one that many fear. He pushes Juliette, wants to use her as a weapon, but he also wants her to stand by his side willingly. I need to know more, but at this point I'm being reminded of The Darkling from The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo. I guess time will tell.
The dystopian or post-apocalyptic world (I'm not 100% sure which because I don't have all of the details of this world yet) that Tahereh Mafi has created is definitely one that has me intrigued. I need to know how the world got this way, and I need to know if there's a way of getting it back. Either way, I just can't wait to dive into the next installment.
My favorite quotes:
-It's like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn't seem to care where the contents fall, doesn't seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors. I am a raindrop.
-I catch the rose petals as they fall from my cheeks, as they float around the frame of my body, as they cover me in something that feels like the absence of courage.
-He's too close too close too close. No one is ever close enough.
-The sun is an arrogant thing, always leaving the world behind when it tires of us.
-Truth is a jealous, vicious mistress that never ever sleeps, is what I don't tell him. I'll never be okay.
-I've been murdering minutes for hours and no one seems to mind.
"You think that because I am unwanted, because I am neglected and--and discarded--" my voice inches higher with every word, the unrestrained emotions suddenly screaming through my lungs. "You think I don't have a heart? You think I don't feel? You think that because I can inflict pain, that I should? You're just like everyone else. You think I'm a monster just like everyone else. You don't understand me at all--"
Shatter Me is a read that will pull you in quickly. Tahereh Mafi's writing style is both lyrical and different and I loved every sentence of it. I had no real moments of frustration like I sometimes find in books, and well Shatter Me deserves nothing less than 4.5 Stars. Have you read Shatter Me? What did you think? Let me know!