Sunday, October 2, 2011

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi



Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (November 15, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0062085484
ISBN-13: 978-0062085481

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.
Review:

Pros: 

Adam. I loved Adam, he was almost too perfect for Juliette but ultimately fit her character so well. They had the element of history that's subtle but slowly crescendos as you get sucked into their connection. Adam's character in general ameliorated some of the intense-ness of the book, he relieved Shatter Me just by being a reassurance toward Juliette and electrified the pages as their passion grew.

Originality. The pre-meditated dystopian world feel of Shatter Me lent an attractable quality that made the book a nonstop page-turner. I read the book in two whole sittings, I was more than half way done the first time I picked it up to start reading it.

The ending. It was one of those endings that tries to turn the whole book around by giving the reader a whole new perspective of the main character's dilemma in just the last 50 pages, but it did pull it off nicely. It definitely set the tone for the next possible book in the series and permeated an assurance of how the rest of Juliette's story will progress.

Cons:

Warner. Being that he's the son of the leader of The Reestablishment, he's pretty much Adam's polar opposite. Where Adam's sweet, gentle and unfathomably understanding, Warner's psychotically sick, cruel and in denial.

The writing style. I understood how some of the crossed out sentences and repetition in the writing represented and emphasized the main character's "voice," but for the love of me, I couldn't get used to the constant, extreme transitions between scenes. One moment it's action-packed and the MC is flustered, frustrated, trying to fight back....the next second she's calm, and everything's going to be fine. This did drive me a smidge up the wall, but thankfully the other characters were able to pull me back.

The plot. Overall, I did love the relationship between Adam and Juliette, I could appreciate the significance of Warner's villain-ness, but Shatter Me was only specifically centralized around Juliette's one, dominating flaw and The Reestablishment. The Reestablishment isn't fully explained and that's why I'm pretty certain this is going to turn into a series. The constant reminder of destruction of the earth and how The Reestablishment is taking over soon became redundant, especially since I felt like the author was just rephrasing the same background information on how their world came to be that way.

Grade: B-

ARC Source: Borrowed

LiLi