Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter MeI have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I 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 colour.

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 finishing this novel, I had mixed feelings. There are many positive things about this book, however there are also some negatives as well… I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would, but as the story progressed I found that I was enjoying it more and more.

Plot

The idea of Juliette having a lethal touch intrigued me. I was curious as to how it would affect Juliette as a person, and how she would choose it use, if she chose to use it at all. The first hundred pages or so are focused on Juliette’s life in the asylum and the Reestablishment taking her out of it. After she arrives in Sector 45 HQ, it takes a while for her to adjust and accept a life of luxury because everyone else in the world is living in poverty. After she settles in, the romance begins! At first I tried very hard to justify how attached Juliette was to Adam (I would tell myself that Adam is the first and only person who could touch Juliette), however looking back on it, it was over done and annoying. The plot didn’t get interesting until Adam and Juliette finally escape from Sector 45 and arrive at Adam’s house. From this point on, the plot was fast, exciting and full of action.

Characters

Juliette Ferrars is the main protagonist of this story. She has been ostracized for her whole life because of something beyond her control: her touch is lethal. By the time the story starts Juliette has been isolated for 264 days, and has been hated by everyone since the day she was born. When you take this into consideration, it seems realistic for her to be timid, and constantly trying to convince herself that she isn’t a monster.  By the end of the book, Juliette had become more confident, stronger and more outspoken. Util she started to develop as a character she was starting to get on my nerves, however I admit that I enjoyed watching her grow.

Adam Kent is a protagonist and the primary love interest.  Adam is unlike everyone else; he is immune to Juliette’s touch and therefore able to touch her. This alone is enough to make Juliette fall in love with him. For most of the story, Adam doesn’t grow as a character, however he plays an important role is Juliette’s development. I personally didn’t care much for Adam, however I absolutely loved what he did to Juliette and how he helped her in various ways.

Warner is the head of Sector 45, and is the antagonist. He is a cold and manipulative person who is willing to do anything to achieve and maintain his power. From the beginning of the novel, it is clear that he loves, and is even obsessed with Juliette. For the entire story, Warner is trying to convince Juliette to use her touch to hurt others as a form of twisted revenge for what others have done to her. Even though Warner was the antagonist, he was probably one of my favourite characters! I felt bad for him because I knew there was a reason why he was such a cruel, power-hungry person and I wanted needed to know why he was that way.

Writing Style

One thing that I definitely different about this book was the way it was written. Mafi’s  writing style involved the use of strikethrough, poetic passages and very detailed descriptions. I admit that I really enjoyed Mafi’s use of the  strikethrough tool because it showed what Juliette was really thinking. Unfortunately as the story progressed, it was used less and less. As for the countless poetic description of simple things started off as a cool idea because I seemed like a thing that Juliette would say/think… I personally thought it would have been fitting that she took to developing complex and poetic descriptions of simple things because of the lack of social interaction in her life. I thought that I could have been a way for her to cope with the endless years of loneliness and a way to keep her from becoming completely insane. However, I also thought that after she started to interact with others on a regular basis, that the elaborate descriptions would slowly begin to fade until they could almost completely disappear. This didn’t happen, and it quickly began to become excessive and annoying. I did believe that there was potential for Mafi’s writing style to be something unique to her, however it seemed like she tried a bit too hard to achieve this, causing the whole thing to fall apart.

I would recommend this book to readers who like sappy romance novels with hints of supernatural powers and those who like a poetic writing style.

Emily sig

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