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Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi [Review]

Title: Shatter Me
Author(s): Tahereh Mafi
Edition: Audio, 9 hours 13 minutes/8 parts
Publisher: HarperAudio
Publication Date: November 15, 2011
Source: Overdrive
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Book Depository

I 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 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 Opinion

I have been sleeping on this series, and it's only thanks to my book club that I have gotten to enjoy this book.  With the new book in the series, Restore Me, coming out in March, we thought re-reading (or in my case, simply reading) the series would be fun.  I am so glad this was suggested because I really loved Shatter Me!

Shatter Me starts out with a punch:
I've been locked up for 264 days. (pg. 1)
Just from that one line alone I want to know more.  Juliette is isolated, scared, and alone but she is never broken.  Even going through all the hardships and abuse she has endured, she always believes in the innate good in the world.  And that is what really make this story so interesting.  

We meet Juliette after she has been locked up in a psych ward for the above mentioned 264 days.  And Juliette is not all there mentally.  She doesn't trust herself and writes her thoughts down in a stolen notebook that she hides from the guards.  Mafi does an excellent job of showing us how unstable Juliette is and how much she doesn't trust herself through the internal monologue of Juliette's mind and of the writings in her notebook.

An especially effective device that Mafi uses to illustrate this is "scratching" out certain lines of text, showing a thought or feeling that Juliette has that she feels is too confusing or too vulnerable or too true.  An example:

(taken from Shatter Me Amazon preview, pg 1)

At first, when I was listening to the audiobook, this part was weird to hear because they use a pencil scratching noise to denote these, but after a few times it didn't bother me at all.  It was actually very cool that they did that, so the listener could get the impact of Juliette's thoughts.

This is an effective part of Mafi's writing, but the most beautiful part is the lyrical language.  Juliette has been isolated or locked up her entire life.  This lends to a large imagination developing.  This imagination is reflected in the way Juliette describes the world, other people, and herself.  Beautiful, sometimes whimsical, and sometimes frantic, each line of description shows the reader exactly what and how Juliette is feeling.  A wonderful example of this is:
Raindrops are my only reminder that clouds have a heartbeat.  That I have one too. (pg. 5)
Absolutely gorgeous language and sentiment such as that is liberally used throughout the book.  

Don't get me wrong, there were some things that irked me a little, like how frustrating it was when Juliette wouldn't defend herself or speak up, but overall the plot and characters won me over in a big way.  And what's great is you can see the progression of Juliette through the book, and how she starts to blossom with just a little bit of kindness thrown her way.  She is really one of my favorite heroines.

A beautiful beginning to a beautiful series (I have now read all three books), if you've been sleeping on Shatter Me like I was, stop!!  Go grab your very own copy from your local bookstore, or borrow a copy from your local library (or be on the lookout for a special giveaway I'll be hosting very soon!)

Final Rating


Book Trailer

Other Books by Tahereh Mafi

Coming out 03/2018

1 comment:

  1. I love how this book starts! It's intense and really grabs you from the beginning. Yay, go book club! I'm glad you finally got around to reading this one. I've only read the first two, but I really want to re-read those and continue the series.

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