Shatter Me Review

Author: Tahereh Mafi Publishing Date: November 11th, 2011 Series: Shatter Me #1 Genre: Dystopia, romance, fantasy, young adult ...

Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publishing Date: November 11th, 2011
Series: Shatter Me #1
Genre: Dystopia, romance, fantasy, young adult

I have a curse
I have a gift
I am a monsterI'm more than human
My touch is lethalMy touch is power
I am their weaponI will fight back
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.

This book was interesting. I won't say I loved it or hated it I'm leaning slightly more towards the latter option, but I was definitely captured.

The story starts in the dark. Juliette is a girl locked away like a crazy person. She has been there for so long, and she has counted everything, the cracks in the wall, the days she's been there, the threads in her sheets, the scabs on her skin, the strands of hair on her head... whatever her eyes laid upon she would count. She would take inventory. She held onto her sanity and humanity while hiding in the corner of her dark prison. 

"Raindrops are my only reminder that clouds have heartbeats. That I have one, too." -Juliette while staring out her small window. 

And then she gets a roommate. Adam. 

Things I Hated: 
I'm going to start a little backwards. I need to get the things I hated out of the way. I'll start with how a good fourth of the book was crossed out and I could see how crossing some things out would be a great idea because in our heads we back track on certain thoughts and it was cool to see that mental process written down but then at some points, a lot actually, the crossing out didn't make a lick of sense and there was too much of it too often and it made me want to hunt down Tahereh Mafi and tell her to stop and while she was at it maybe she could stop making long lists that lacked commas it's one thing to not add commas to your lists like that could be a literary style or whatever but some lists did have commas and I just felt annoyed half the time because ...I don't know, just read the book this crap gets hella irritating  some stuff frustrated me to the point of multiple eye rolls and internal groaning.

Mafi wrote tons of wonderful metaphor filled lines, and she had such a poetic style. It was great. I was fascinated with the words at first, but as time went on, I couldn't take the character seriously anymore. I didn't realize that somebody could actually overdo imagery or metaphors and make so many descriptions sound overly dramatic. I felt so annoyed with how the character Juliette described everything to death in her lofty tone of voice. It got so bad, that after only a few chapters, I couldn't take the main character seriously. Sometimes Juliette's observations were elegant, and then other times Juliette sounded like a love-sick thirteen-year-old writing bad poetry (taking that line from this review because it's spot on). I actually laughed out loud at some of these ridiculous descriptions-

"I'd like to cry into his eyes." Oh God please don't.

"I’m wearing dead cotton on my limbs and a blush of roses on my face."

"Hundreds of thousands of seconds pass and I can’t stop dying." Note to reader: Juliette's not dying in this scene... or fighting anybody. She's just having a conversation with somebody.

"My eyes break open. Two shattered windows filling my mouth with glass."

"His lips soften into a smile that cracks apart my spine."

"Warner thinks Adam is a cardboard cutout of vanilla regurgitations."

"He says it with a small smile the size of Jupiter."

"My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps."

"My jaw is dangling from my shoelace."

"Hate looks like everybody else until it smiles. Until it spins around and lies with lips and teeth carved into semblance of something too passive to punch."

"You made me do that on purpose?" NO SHIT SHERLOCK! Juliette asks this of Warner after Warner makes Juliette use her powers on Jenkins. Warner makes her do it. On purpose. Obviously. And then for some reason Juliette wasn't aware of that, and then she is horrified to realize that he made her do it on purpose. Juliette was so annoying and clueless.

The characters! Let me just start out by saying that Juliette is the only girl in the entire book, minus the brief feature of two twin girls at the end. And every one of the main character's annoyed me at some point. This is such a juvenile and lazy word, but they all felt so stupid

Adam was sweet and compassionate and strong, yes, but for the most part, he was just muscle for Juliette to lust over. Many hot scenes were shared between them. I didn't feel like they had reason to love each other. Whenever they were around each other, they pawed at the other person and shared passionate sexy moments. There weren't any scenes where they just got to know each other. There is no depth to these characters. Yes, they share a past, but they never spoke to each other in their past, they just skated around each other. There is no connection between these two besides longing looks and smooshed lips glued to each other. I use "each other" way too much in this paragraph.

Warner was a great villain, for the most part. He was so insane and unpredictable and sadistic. Then he would go and say such cheesy things that I groaned in irritation. Warner had great potential to beat out Moriarty on my favorite villain's list. But then he was sexualized. It wasn't enough for him to just be good at being a bad guy intent on screwing up people's lives and ruling the world. He had to go and become apart of a love triangle. Throughout this entire book, I could not understand why so many people loved Warner over Adam. This guy is horrible. Cheesy one-liners directed toward Juliette do not make him something to moon over. He's still a sadistic, crazy, sociopathic, creepy, melodramatic, manipulator who wants to own Juliette (admittedly, reading Destroy Me, made me think differently of Warner and see him in a whole different light, but still... he's horrible in this book). I want to sincerely offer my apologies to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Moriarty for ever thinking that Warner was in the same league. And I want to punch Juliette for being attracted to him after all he's done, because even though Destroy Me makes me want to forgive him, at the time Juliette gets stirrings for him, nobody knew about his other side, so I can be angry at Juliette for getting the hots for Mr. Psychopath.

Juliette is a useless cow sack that can occasionally use her super human mojo to break things while she's suffering from way too many feels. She spends 200+ days in a dark cell with little food and hardly any opportunity to keep up with personal hygiene. Despite this, everyone thinks she looks like a supermodel. I find that hard to believe because under her circumstances she should have been deathly skinny with brittle hair and bruised sallow skin.

And at the end, when Mafi turns her Harlequin Romance into X-men fanfiction, Juliette gets a new purple superhero suit, and Adam thinks she is so sexy in her stretchy purple gymnast-esq outfit. They start kissing, but I couldn't stop laughing, because all I could imagine was Adam kissing this lycra gimp thing- 

Things I Loved:
This book is about a lot of things, but I love how it's set during the establishment of a tyrannical regime, and not an already well established government worthy of rebellion from the descendants of years of repression. These characters actually remember the old life. They remember going to the movies. They remember nature and grocery shopping and houses and clothes and food and just life as we know it. 

But the world went to hell. 

People took over in the name of making the world a united, better place. I think what is so interesting about this story is that this is possible. The story isn't like The Hunger Games, or Divergent, or Matched, or anything else that I can remember reading about overthrowing a Dystopian government. The cool thing about Tahereh Mafi's world is that it could happen but I would have appreciated a little more world building on how it actually did happen

Some other things that interested me where Mafi's words. Every word she wrote felt like poetry even though most of it was bad. It was so beautiful to read lines like these-

"The sun is an arrogant thing, always leaving the world behind when it tires of us.
The moon is a loyal companion.
It never leaves. It's always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our darkest moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it's a different version of itself. Sometimes its weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.
Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections."

"I spent my life folded between the pages of books. 
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction. 
They want to delete every point of punctuation in my life from this earth and I don't think I can let that happen."

This book got boring in some places. It was like swimming in a sea of words that made no sense and added nothing to the plot but hey, Adam wanted Juliette to wear a purple dress, so I guess it was worth it. Warner was the only interesting part, along with the two all the fight and action scenes, and the end with the superhero information. I pushed through the bland plot and characters just so I could see more of Warner. Yes, he is a horrible little bastard, but he was interesting and still has potential to be a well rounded character. Reading Destroy Me definitely solidified my opinion about him.

Overall: 3/5
I ENJOYED IT! Yes, so many things are frustrating about it, but it's still interesting. I want to find out what happens to Warner and more about the superhero life that Mafi portrays. I'm not sure I'd buy the book... but I'm definitely interested in the rest of the series because superheros and Warner

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  1. Ohmygosh. I'm so glad to see someone else mention the striked out sentences. I'm currently like 10% through reading it, and I don't think I can finish it. It's really distracting. And YES. PREACH. Juliette and her damned descriptions. I haven't ran into many yet, but the ones that I've already endured are annoying to no end. It really is overdone. I guess I'll get off my soap box now. Wonderful review, though! Absolutely spot on.

    1. Thanks for commenting! :) I hope you finish the story. Even though it was horrible in some places, I still enjoyed it. Reading Destroy Me made me like the story more xD

  2. haha! Great review! I've been meaning to read this book for a while.