Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Dystopia, Paranormal, YA
Protagonist: Juliette Farrar
Other Characters: Adam Kent, Warner, Kenji Kishimoto, James Kent
Summary: As long as Juliette remembers, her life has always been isolated. Her classmates hates her, the teachers are scared of her and even her parents thinks she’s a monster. Imprisoned for a crime she was unwilling to commit, her only hope is to survive the four cells that surrounds her. For almost a year, all she knew was the weather from her small window and the unnerving routine that has been keeping her sane. For almost a year, she hasn’t communicated and hasn’t touch another human being, until she was introduced to her new cellmate. Plunged into uncertainty, Juliette must learn to open herself up to another person and to trust again. Shatter Me has a dystopian backdrop where Mafi introduce us to a different earth, where the sky is the wrong color, animals are dying, the human population is slowly diminishing and a girl, who’s life is going to be shattered by revelations.
Review: I really enjoy reading mainstream books because I like knowing what everyone is reading and get in on the hype. I recently, meaning a year ago, started following booktubers (that’s youtubers with book related accounts, for those who doesn’t know) and this series was popping up on everyone’s reviews and *gushes*. So being a nosy book reader, I decided to eventually start the series. Unfortunately for me, it took me almost a year to buy the book and a few more months to actually read the book. I was very hesitant to buy Shatter Me because there were many instances where I bought the first book in the series/trilogy of new authors, and I ended up hatting it. Being burned so many times, it was an internal battle. I’m glad that I ended up buying it since I did enjoyed reading Juliette’s story, but there are things that irked me along the way.
Although I did enjoy the book, there were times when I just couldn’t stand it and had to put it down for a few hours. My main problem for the most part was the writing. Don’t get me wrong, Mafi is a pretty good writer and she brings life to her characters through her words, but I just couldn’t stand some of her writing style. Especially the way she uses numbers to describe Juliette’s thoughts. I wouldn’t have minded as much if it was used once or twice, in fact I even enjoyed the first few. I just don’t understand why she kept using them, especially when Juliette and Adam are together! For me, it didn’t make the sentence better, in fact it did the opposite and after a couple of times it started becoming cheesy. Since I’m already ranting about Mafi’s writing, I might as well mention the repeated words and sentences. I feel that this would have made an impact, if it was only evident when Juliette was still in the asylum and her constant acknowledgement of certain words and sentences show how she’s struggling to keep her sanity. Seriously, I could deal with the strike through all over the book, but with this, it eventually got to me. Like I said before this would have worked for the first half of the book, but I think Mafi should have kept her writing simpler. There were too many unnecessary forms in her way of writing that it really bothered me during the slow moments of the book and I eventually found myself jumping from one sentence to the next just to skip the pattern.
I know I ranted a lot about Mafi’s writing style, but I really did have a great reading experience overall and I feel that for this book the good outweigh the bad. The relationship that blossomed between Adam and Juliette was the main reason this book was a hit for me. I was skeptical about his intentions in the beginning, especially after the incident in the asylum, but I eventually got over it. His thoughtfulness, caring nature and just the way Mafi describe his gentleness towards Juliette, would make anyone’s heart melt! I’ve heard that there is going to be a love triangle in this series, but as of right now, I don’t see how Mafi can pull off the Juliette and Warner pairing. Maybe I’m just being close-minded, but Warner seems so evil, too evil. I like my share of bad boy exterior and softy interior, but Warner brings the “bad boy” image in a whole new creepy level. As for our protagonists, she was different, in a good way. Mafi weaves a tale of such sorrow and sadness that it made me cry for Juliette. Having such a horrendous childhood and being forced into a place of such awful conditions made my heart break a little. After all the tribulations she went through, Juliette was still able to stand-up and care for those who almost destroyed her. She represents a new kind of kick-ass heroine, one who doesn’t physically fight, but rather her strength lies within her and this made me like the book so much more. As much as I enjoyed our heroine, there were other characters that I enjoyed even more. One of them is Kenji. I know, very random, but I find him to be hilarious during times of such conflict and that’s what some books needs. I understand there are serious moments, but its also nice to laugh such gripping scenes. I really wish that he will be a good guy until the end of the series.
Although I found the ending to be rushed, I seriously didn’t mind. I’m glad that it ended the way it did. Cliffhangers doesn’t really bother me, but I like things to be tied together in a pretty little bow. Even if there are questions that still need to be answered, I feel content with knowing what Shatter Me reveals.
Ending: Coming into this book, I really didn’t know much about it except for Juliette’s deathly touch. Other than that, I didn’t even know it was dystopian. I actually thought this was suppose to have a similar setting as X-men. I’m glad I was wrong. I like that Mafi introduced a world different from my imagination, the desolate and grim background on Juliette’s world made her powers even more exciting. Her super strength was a total surprise, with her powers being opposite of her physical appearance is a nice touch. I do wish that Mafi made either Warner or Adam immune to her, but not both. I just think that’s too convenient, which made me a bit wary.
I’m not really sure what to think of Omega Point. I like the idea of a resistance to the Reestablishment, I just don’t want it to be a District 13 copy-cat. That being out of the way, I’m glad that Juliette found a haven for herself and Adam. Plus, its nice to have a place where she can be accepted and loved for who she is. After all her hardship, she really deserves to be happy and comfortable of herself. I want to read more of the different powers that the other 36 others like Juliette. We do get to see Winston, the doctor that heals Adam, who can stretch his body in different directions, of course there’s also Kenji, who can turn invisible and the two girls, who I think can heal people. Just meeting them, made me excited to see what everyone else can do.
By end of the book, I half expected people to just fly off like the Avengers. Especially, when Juliette wore her special skin tight clothes with gloves and ankle high boots. Seriously, the image of that leaves me in a fit of laughter. Being serious, though, the ending was acceptable, with Adam and Juliette facing the world together hand in hand.