by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #1
Published: 15 November 2011
HarperCollins, Hardcover, 338 pages
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.
After months of speculation and one of my best friends recommending it to me crazily, I finally got around to reading Shatter Me. If I had to describe it in one word, it’s definitely lyrical. Tahereh Mafi has such an intricate and unique writing style which though at times get a little complicated, is ultimately effective in bringing out the character of Juliette, the protagonist.
Personally, I felt the first part of the book was stronger than the rest. I loved how Juliette seemed slightly demented and how intensely she felt emotions. Although I was a little confused by how she found Adam familiar, it was all explained pretty soon. However, the rest of the book was slightly lacking as compared to the first few chapters.
Firstly, the romance escalated way too quickly. Everything was so physical, the strong emotional start between Juliette and Adam got lost. It has also been made pretty known that there’s a love triangle in this trilogy. But truthfully, I don’t see how it can even be called a love triangle when the other guy, Warner, doesn’t stand a chance. Anything between Warner and Juliette was crazily screwed up and cannot even be called love or like.
Despite the lackluster romance, I found Warner a very intriguing character. I might even say he was the most interesting character in the story. He was full of personality and awesomely nutty. It all makes me very curious about his past. As for Adam and Juliette, I think they are a better suited pair than Warner & Juliette but they are quite… boring. They seem like just another lovey dovey couple and nothing between them really stands out as the story progressed.
Moving on to the world building, for some odd reason, I had assumed Shatter Me was an urban fantasy novel before reading it. It was actually dystopian and post-apocalyptic. Juliette’s world was quite what you would expect our current world to be like if it was to fall apart right now. Weapon damaged buildings, diseases, chaos, damaged nuclear plants and all that jazz. It could’ve been further elaborated about how exactly the world fell, though.
All in all, Shatter Me was wonderfully written with such enchanting words and sentences. However, I wish the characters had been better developed and it wouldn’t hurt to bring the physical romance down a notch, replacing it with more emotional stuff.