Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (November 15, 2011)
Series: Shatter Me #1
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Cover: I think I might be alone here but I'm iffy about this one and I'm not really sure why. I just don't connect to it. That being said, when I received this novel in the mail and it was all shiny and reflective, I feel in love. So on the internet, it's so-so and in person, it wows!
First Sentence: I've been locked up for 264 days.
Mini-Review: Shatter Me is an eye-opening debut novel stuffed to the last page with gorgeous writing, ardent romance and danger.
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 asThe 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.
There are some novels that remind you how seemingly normal things in life can be the most beautiful and sacred of things to someone that doesn't know them. Shatter Me takes this idea of the simplicity of touch and weaves it into an additively passionate and eye-opening debut novel stuffed to the last page with gorgeous writing, ardent romance and danger. There are a handful of novels that leave me breathless and even fewer that make me want to be a better writer. Shatter Me cracked both of those categories effortlessly.
Juliette isn't a character you meet everyday. I've met my fair share of broken narrators and as an audience we are being introduced to unreliable narrators more often, but Juliette is so broken, she can't even think in full sentences. She's so broken, she lies to herself. Meeting her in the beginning of the novel is literally like ripping your heart out and handing it to a character. You want to lend her your strength so she can piece back together her world and mend over all the rough stuff. And the best thing about her is that she wants to. At times she refuses to fight, to lift a finger to hurt another soul. At others, she is willing to drop anyone and put everything on the line for what she believes in. To have such an equal balance and for Juliette to feel so right while doing is, is such a tricky line to walk. But Shatter Me succeeds a million times over.
Juliette's male counterpart is every bit as interesting and alluring as she is. They are an equal and strong pairing. From the moment Adam enters the picture, I want to know more about him. I want the author to tell me why I should like him even though by all other counts I shouldn't. Their budding romance is shaped and molded by their own hands like clay. It starts out rough but as they learn to work together and to trust it turns into something beautiful. Of course, this form can't finalize unless it goes through an oven and let me assure you, Adam and Juliette's romance is equally as steamy. There were scene in here that could make a grown woman blush (and they did make this grown woman blush) but it was because of their deep appreciation of each other that I wanted to keep reading (fine, the steamy bits had a little bit to do with tearing through the pages too).
I have a feeling people are going to have some problems with the state of the world of Shatter Me because it isn't really explained in this book. We are told about the state of the world but not really about how it got that way. For me, this isn't really a problem because I saw that that is where the next novel would be going but I wouldn't be surprised if I hear complaints about this. For me, the character relationships forged in this novel were far more important than the state of the world but I do expect that as Juliette learns more about the world she's been trapped away from, answers will surface.
The pacing of Shatter Me was excellent. I don't mention pacing a lot even though it's a tricky thing do. What I loved though was that every time I would question where the story would be going, something big would happen that would change the playing field, thus making the plot move along. The prose style with the missing commas and the crossed out lines and repeated thoughts is an amazing way to show the reader Juliette's broken mind. What I really enjoyed about the book is that as the story went on, more and more of these things started disappearing because Juliette and Adam were working to put her back together. This book was one long line I wanted to memorize. If I could see the world for one day as Mafi must see it every single day, I'd be a lucky girl. Every sentence had something unique and beautiful to offer.
I'm not sure if your getting my intense love for this novel yet. You should feel it wafting in between every sentence of this review. Shatter Me doesn't read like a debut novel because it feels like an author very well advanced in their career. Bubbling over with swoon-worthy romance, gunslinging action, and prose so pretty it'll make your tooth ache, Shatter Me is an intensely beautiful read. It'll leave you breathless and definitely just made it to my top 5 favorite novels this year. Got plans? Drop them for Shatter Me. You'll thank me later!