Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi is the first book in the Shatter Me trilogy. The book follows a girl named Juliette who has spent her life avoiding touching living things for fear of accidentally killing them. She lives in a dystopian society but she hasn’t been outside in years. Not since her parents had her locked away. Unfortunately I did not like this book as much as other people seem to but there are some redeeming qualities. I also wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it earlier on in life before dystopians saturated the YA market.
I had such a challenging time rating this book because I found the beginning and the ending very interesting but the middle barely held my interest. I know I fall on the unpopular end of the spectrum since everyone seems to love and rave about this series but it just didn’t get me excited like it has for others. It’s possible that the book was overhyped and I went into it with high expectations which weren’t met. I’m also not a huge fan of stories that are heavily militial. About three-fouths of the way through the book did a complete 180 and the story suddenly grabbed me. I felt more like I was reading an X-Men origin story comic than a YA novel.
What I enjoyed most about my reading experience is Mafi’s writing style. It’s very fluid and Juliette’s narrative is a stream of consciousness which allows the reader to plow through chapters at an exceptional speed. However, I did feel like there were a lot of scenes that seemed like something out of an erotica novel. I never truly warmed up to Juliette despite feeling bad for her being unable to control her ability. I grew to like Adam more than her, specifically because of his relationship with his little brother James and I even liked the villain, Warner better. However, I did not like the insta-love between Juliette and Adam. I will also say that the novel is full of action and there are constantly things happening to advance the plot, but nothing excited me until the final chapter and epilogue. I’m so torn on whether to keep reading since I like where the story is going or stopping for fear of not getting into the second book either. I don’t know what to do!
Final Thoughts: I did not enjoy Shatter Me as much as many others seem to have but I do see potential in the series. The first book lays the groundwork for an X-Men story in the making and the while the writing is lyrical and fluid, the action didn’t hold my interest. I would like to see where the story goes but I haven’t decided if I’ll be reading on. If you enjoy dystopians, I would suggest checking it out!
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. (via Goodreads)