November 15, 2011
Review: 4.25/5 stars
Shatter Me is the first book in Tahereh Mafi’s debut series. It is the story of Juliette, a girl who has spent her entire life isolated. Her parents, teachers, and peers all think she is a monster because she has an ability. Juliette can kill someone simply by touching them. So when she is sixteen years old, Juliette is locked up in an asylum.
Going into Shatter Me, I was expecting an action packed dystopian. I was mistaken. This book takes place in a bleak society where food and water is scarce, the weather is inconsistent, and everyone is ruled by the Reestablishment. Though this book had lots of action, it definitely focused more on character development and romance, rather than plot and world building. The readers know the state the world is in, but we don’t know how it got that way. We also don’t know why people have powers. The world building definitely could have been better.
Juliette was the character that developed the most. It was nice to see her gain confidence and accept her power by the end of the book. She could be very dramatic though. Juliette also didn’t always accept solutions to her problems. Juliette was a likeable character, but she could be very frustrating to read about.
After being alone in the asylum for almost a year, Juliette is liberated from the her cell to by Reestablishment leader Warner. Warner is fascinated with Juliette and claims he wants to use her as a weapon for the Reestablishment. While at the Reestablishment Juliette forms a bond with a soldier named Adam. Adam was her cellmate at the asylum, and he seems to be her only hope at truly being free.
Adam was a likeable character. He was sweet, but he was also pretty boring. There was nothing that set Adam apart. Warner on the other hand was an amazing character. He was psychotic, creepy, manipulative, and brutal. He was a villain, but I couldn’t help rooting for him. As the story moved on, we could tell that he loved Juliette, but he did not know how to express his love. In Unravel Me I assume he will have a tragic backstory to make of for some of his evil actions. However I thought he was a fantastic antagonist.
I considered putting down this book while reading the first one hundred pages. The scenes in the asylum were so slow, and dry. There was no humor or action. However once Juliette was taken to the Reestablishment the book really picked up. It was fast paced and I could not put it down.
The writing in Shatter Me was beautiful. The metaphors were original and the imagery was gorgeous. However in some high tension scenes the writing could be a bit annoying. I wanted to know what was going to happen, not see the the word disaster repeated five times.
Overall I really enjoyed Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. The characters were interesting, the romance swoon worthy, and the action heart racing. I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel! If you enjoy character driven stories I highly recommend picking this story up. Let me know if you enjoyed Shatter Me!