Sunday, May 20, 2012

Book review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (November 15, 2011)

Blurb: 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.

My thoughts: With the girl in the white prom dress depicted on the cover, I had no idea what this book was about. Another paranormal romance? Nope. What I found inside Shatter Me floored me. From the mysterious opening to the exciting ending, I loved it. Juliette first comes across as this poor victim, a freak of nature who can kill by simply touching someone. She has been locked away inside some type of asylum and many times she questions her sanity. But at her core, she knows she isn't insane, just different. When a guy is tossed inside her prison room, she recognizes him as Adam, someone she used to know but doubts he would remember her since her childhood memories were so abysmal. As the story progresses, Adam tries to get her to open up and talk to him. She resists until she is taken out of the room and brought somewhere else. Then her life totally changes.

For a debut novel, Shatter Me literally shattered my expectations. Mafi's prose is oftentimes poetic, at moments striking or gripping, and very unique. I loved the repetition of words, the spots of open space on the pages, and the strike-through of words and lines. With very little the author manages to say a lot and I completely understood Juliette from her fears to her hopes.The twist with Adam's character and their ensuing romance (and what a romance they have!) along with the introduction of the suave yet sadistic Warner as the antagonist, kept my eyes riveted to the pages. I always love it when I get to have a love/hate relationship with the bad guy. Once Juliette was taken from the asylum to The Reestablishment building, the pacing picked up and remained steadfast throughout the rest of the adventures. This book was a complete roller coaster ride, one I want to ride on again and again. With hits like this, the dystopian YA genre has become a trusted genre for this reader with its vast selection of intriguing titles like the Hunger Games and Divergent. Can't wait for the next book in this series.

Rating: I loved it.

Favorite excerpt: (From page 152)

"Until he stepped into my cell, I hadn't seen Adam Kent in 3 years.

And he does look different. Tougher, taller, harder, sharper, tattooed. He's muscle, mature, quiet and quick. It's almost like he can't afford to be soft or slow or relaxed. He can't afford to be anything but muscle, anything but strength and efficiency. The lines of his face are smooth, precise, carved into shape by years of hard living and training and trying to survive.

He's not a little boy anymore. He's not afraid. He's in the army.

But he's not so different, either. He still has the most unusually blue eyes I've ever seen. Dark and deep and drenched in passion. I always wondered what it'd be like to see the world through such a beautiful lens. I wondered if your eye color meant you saw the world differently. If the world saw you differently as a result.

I should have known it was him when he showed up in my cell.

A part of me did. But I'd tried so hard to repress the memories of my past that I refused to believe it could be possible. Because a part of me didn't want to remember. A part of me was too scared to hope. A part of me didn't know if it would make any difference to know it was him, after all."

Cover comment: Not a fan of this cover at all. I found this misleading and thought it was a typical paranormal YA novel. The white dress never appears in the book and her pose--considering the type of character is--is pathetic.

Book source: Swapped.

1 comment:

  1. I really loved Warner-although villainous, he was filled with charisma and this was one of the few books, where I really adored the bad guy.

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