by Tahereh Mafi
November 15, 2011
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.
Summary and photo from Goodreads.com
Alrighty! I received an arc of this through work, and I’m really glad I was able to get my hands on it! Honestly, for me I wasn’t so sure if I would like this book as much as I did at first. The cover threw me off– when I saw it, all I could think about high fashion intensity with loud music and, well, intense people. Pretty much I just thought INTENSITY, but not in the kind of intensity I tend to read. Does that make sense? No? Well, anyway then, I ended up REALLY liking this. Here’s why:
1. I have to say, when it comes to YA writing this book is pretty much one of my favorites, writing wise. It is a SUPER close first person narration, and it ends up being extremely poetic as Tahereh Mafi does her best to put the reader in Juliette’s mind and helps us to feel what she feels and understand her exact emotional state. One of the things I love about Mafi’s writing is she writes Juliette’s real thoughts and what she really wants to say in a lot of situations but has it crossed off, so you get to see what she is really thinking and you also you get to see the times when her thoughts and what she actually says don’t correlate.
“‘Are you not hungry?’ Words dipped in sugar. His gloved hand touches my wrist and I nearly sprain it in my haste to distance myself from him.
I could eat every person in this room. ‘No, thank you.'”
This alone made me completely fall in love with Mafi’s writing. I mean. Look at that! And the intentional sentence fragments. Intentional sentence fragments are exactly my style of writing. I love them.
Another sample of good writing:
Every moment is loaded.”
Isn’t that beautiful?
2. To explain further, based on the cover I wasn’t sure what kind of main character I would be getting. I was expecting someone snotty and someone who thinks she’s queen of the world (AND the bees knees. Gasp!). This is why covers should be taken with a grain of salt. Juliette is far from the confident, bees knees girl/intensefashionwoman shown on the cover. In this you get to see her go from being terrified of herself and hating herself, to beginning to accept herself. Her progression was slow, and kind of annoying sometimes (because who doesn’t get annoyed when you see someone awesome be a jerk to themselves?), but I think it was a good level of realistic. Also, she is more than the power she has. As a person she is so well-rounded and so strong and doesn’t end up just being the poor damsel-in-distress or the superwoman who does everything right. Throughout the book, she ends up getting to be the savior and the saved.
3. The main boys in Shatter Me are very different than each other in a good way and a bad way. Basically, one of them is a complete and utter jerk, while the other is completely wonderful. With the jerk one, it’s cool because Mafi makes sure that you understand more of where he came from and why he is the way he is. With the wonderful one, his cuteness makes you forget that he is too good to be true until you finish the book. This is supposed to be a series, so maybe we’ll get to see more of the wonderful boy’s flaws. But regardless, he was still suuppppeeerrr wonderful:)!!! As a little warning, there is a lot of intimacy in this book. No deed was actually done, but there are a lot of extremely close moments and since you’re in Mafi’s head, you’re really immersed into it!
4. The world this book is set in is a post-apocalyptic America, from what I understand. On the back of my copy it compares the world to Hunger Games and I think it’s an honest comparison. We don’t get to learn a lot about the society set up and exactly what happened, other than natural resources being all used up (causing food shortages and water shortages and, well, everything shortages) and weather systems getting all screwed up, thus leading to a “revolution” which turned into a bunch of power hungry people pretending to try to fix things, but instead are making everything worse. There are of course mysteries and lies and rebellions and a lot to look forward to!
5. So from the beginning you learn Juliette has the power to kill people just by touching them, which is the main reason why she is so screwed up mentally at the beginning of the story. The power thing is really cool, because as time goes on you learn there is more to it than just touching people and killing them. Also, it’s cool because you have so many different reactions to it– from the scared run away people, to the people who want to use her as a weapon. While certain people and their terrible motives made me SO ANGRY, it was a good kind of angry that made me realize I was a lot more invested in this character than I thought I was!
Overall Review: I’m not sure if I’m going to read this one again, but I am sure I’m going to do my darnedest to read the second! The ending is SUPER DUPER interesting, and makes me want to know more. Also, I’m looking forward to reading more of Mafi’s writing! If you like intense love scenes, strong female leads, poetic writing, and a little bit of the paranormal mixed in, Shatter Me would be perfect for you
HEY GUESS WHAT!!!: This comes out November 15th!