Monday, November 28, 2011

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me
Tahereh Mafi
Release: November 15th, 2011
Pages: 346 (hardcover)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Amazon Vine
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 more at Goodreads.
A broken girl with a curse gift, surrounded by four walls, Juliette finally gains a roommate after 264 days of isolation. Her routine cell life quickly unravels into chaos, especially once she learns that some want to use her as a weapon. As the story progresses, Juliette must grapple with her fears, her abilities, and finally choose her own future.

Oh, my, gosh. I'm a fan of achingly beautiful and metaphorical writing, and Tahereh Mafi sure knows how to deliver. In her debut novel, Shatter Me, the words flow from one to the next. They start building up suspense and then tearing it down again. The action comes and goes, leading into one twist after another, constantly surprising the reader. While I at first thought this novel was mostly dystopian with a dash of paranormal, it becomes clear by the end that the paranormal aspects root deep into the story. There may be some predictability, but Shatter Me is one difficult book to close and set aside.

Highlights: The words wrap themselves around you from the first line and never let go. Each line evokes the senses, giving a fresh, exhilarating outlook on simple things like the crisp, cool air, or stolen kisses1. I was hooked from the beginning, curious and excited to see what came next for Juliette. But certain characters - Warner, Kenji, and James - make this book shine with their well-rounded and vibrant personalities.

Lowlights: The strikethroughs, while cool, do not make logical sense when you factor in the writing style and tense Mafi uses. Same with a few of the metaphors. There are some overly convenient parts of the story. The world building needs a lot of work, and I hope Mafi will tackle that in the sequel. And while I adored Adam, he needs a bit more development - as does his relationship with Juliette.

Note: A few (very) steamy kisses2 that can make a girl blush, and some violence. Perfectly fine for the intended age range of readers (14+)

1 Oh, the beautiful writing. So vivid and memorable.
2 *fans self*


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  1. I love your little inserted numbers/emotions at the bottom. SO cute. Fab review. Sounds like an awesome read.

  2. I mostly agree with your highlights and lowlights. I didn't think Juliette and Adam were as interesting as Warner, Kenji, or James and the book suffered in that aspect for me. Definitely interested to see what comes next based on what we learn in the last few chapters!

  3. Oooh, I must read this one! Sounds like I'll like it. :)

  4. Great review! The metaphors annoyed the crap out of me too but I did kinda like the strikethroughs. See my review for it here:

    I am new to book blogging and in need of some followers!

  5. I'm still waiting to see if I'll love this one. I'm not sure about the over-the-top metaphors I've seen around, but Shatter Me is just so intriguing... I can't wait until it arrives from my library :)

    Raindrop Reflections

  6. As an English major, I can never get enough of metaphorical writing!

    I've heard so many great things about this book. Definitely on my to-read list!

  7. I definitely loved the writing! I totally ate up all the gorgeous phrases Tahereh strung together. <3
    Glad to hear you enjoyed Shatter Me, Lea! I loved it. :)

  8. I thought her writing style was really beautiful as well and I adored the characters, but like you, I definitely wanted more of the world building! I felt a little out of sorts not knowing much about it, but I'm guessing she'll take care of some of that in the sequel. Fabulous review Lea!

  9. I heard her writing style was incredible and I am so excited to pick up a copy of this book. I had no idea about the strike-throughs, so thanks for the heads up. That might annoy me. Either way, I am definitely going to pick up a copy of Shatter Me. Great review, Lea!

  10. Yes! And, while the story was great and so original, the writing was what really caught and held me.

  11. Great review! This one is currently in my TBR pile and I can't wait to get started on it. The characters sound like lots of fun and I'm curious to see how Mafi's writing is.

  12. Oh wow, I just love the way you describe her writing! I can't wait to see what all the fuss is about myself. I have heard a few complaints about the lack of world building too though. Hopefully that'll be cleared up in the sequel, like you say.