- Title: Shatter Me
- Author: Tahereh Mafi
- Series: Shatter Me #1
- Next Book: Destroy Me (#1.5), Unravel Me (#2)
- Source: Library, then purchased
Description from 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.
I just want to start by letting you all know that, at first, I was listening to the audiobook of Shatter Me. However, due to the different writing style Tahereh Mafi uses, I had a hard time following it. Shatter Me is written in a stream-of-consciousness narrative, almost like reading from the main character (Juliette’s) diary. Mafi uses a lot of strike-throughs in her writing that didn’t translate well to the audio version. What would happen would be the narrator would say a sentence (or more), then there would be a scratching noise, and then the story would continue. At first, I couldn’t even figure out what the noise was supposed to be, but after a while, I was able to guess. However, in looking at the sample for the Kindle version, I realized that just hearing the scratching noise didn’t always get the point across. I never knew whether she was crossing off one word, a few words, a whole sentence, or more. However, I found the story itself interesting enough, so I decided to DNF the audiobook and try again with a print version. I ended up borrowing the hardcover from the library.
The print version was much easier to follow, but it still took a little while to fully absorb it. Once I got used to the strike-throughs and run-on sentences that illustrated Juliette’s unstable state of mind at the beginning of the novel, I really began to enjoy the story. I immediately was interested in Juliette and her gift/curse/power and even found her likable very quickly. I was also intrigued by Adam. I immediately sensed that there was more to him and his story than I originally suspected.
I loved watching Juliette’s journey throughout Shatter Me. She goes from being locked up in isolation to locked up with a cell mate to locked up with interaction with several people, many curious about her, and one seeking to use her as a weapon. I was very interesting seeing how she changed along with and reacted to her different situations.
I also thought that Warner was an intriguing villain. He seems so heartless and cold throughout the entire story, but somewhere in the back of my mind, I felt/hoped that there was more to him than what the reader is shown.
What I loved most about Shatter Me was the mix of genres. I love both paranormal and dystopian, which are usually seen separately, but Shatter Me combines them in a very interesting way. There was also plenty of mystery and some romance.
The ending had some surprises that I totally didn’t see coming, which I really enjoyed. I also felt that the ending had great set-up to make me want to read the next book in the series, but it also tied up enough of the storyline that I wasn’t left feeling frustrated or anxious.
Overall, I thought that Shatter Me was a great read, though I would probably avoid the audiobook. Well, I’d avoid the audiobook for a first read. It would probably be okay for a reread. The writing style takes some getting used to, but once you do, I think the story takes over, and it really makes sense!
Quotes I Liked:
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association.
– Page 70
My face is in his hands and my lips are at his lips and he’s kissing me and I’m oxygen and he’s dying to breathe.
– Page 228