Feb 18, 2014

Review--Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

"You can't touch me," I whisper. 

I'm lying, is what I don't tell him.

He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him.

Please touch me, is what I want to tell him.

But things happen when people touch me.

Strange things.

Bad things.

Dead things.

No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but the Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.

But Juliette has plans of her own.

After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovered a strength to fight back for the very first time--and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever.

So I finally read Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me, after all the rave reviews and explosion of the final book coming out I had to see what it was all about. And finding the first hardcover in the bargain section for $4 helped too! And after reading it, I find myself at lost for how I feel about it. I recall reading one or two reviews where the reader didn't care for it at all, and now I see why they had those thoughts.

Juliette is an unstable character, but I get it. When her parents discovered she had this lethal touch as a baby, they pretty much locked her in her room to fend for herself. I was actually surprised that they continued to raise their daughter and send her to school. Until one fateful day, she touched someone without thinking and ended up killing them. Then she was taken away from her parents, with no fight from them, and sent away. For awhile there were tests run on her and then she was put into captivity for nearly a year.

Then one day, she gets a roommate, Adam. And she's shocked to discover that she knows this boy. From long ago when she was in school, before she was taken away, he was there. And surprisingly, he was the closest thing to a friend that she had, even though the two never once spoke a word to one another. It was an odd friendship.

Then Juliette is released from her prison to meet Warner--the Warner everyone was talking about--and learns he has plans that involve her and a sort of "taking over the world" montage. For this world is broken, another dystopian where we see how devastated the world has become and society is crumbling and every day is a struggle to survive. Warner wants to use Juliette and her "power" to torture out confessions of the enemy in this ongoing struggle.

I guess one of the things that bugged me was the repetition. Juliette is our narrator and she isn't too stable mentally, I don't think. Which I can understand. Her parents never once showed her love or affection. She never really got affection from anyone. So she's unstable. But she repeats things a lot, like three or four times. And then there's the whole crossing thoughts or possible dialogue out. Like she was going to say one thing, but then changes her mind and says something else. That part didn't bother me too much, but it was the repetition she uses, kind of drove me batty. Like: "He looks so familiar so familiar so familiar to me." And then that's crossed out as well. I didn't understand the thoughts being crossed out so much.

That was my biggest issue with the book, otherwise, I did enjoy it for the most part. Of course, I am still left confused as to the world order and some of the revelations at the end. Guess that means I need to keep reading the series.

As far as romance goes there was a nice dose of it here. I was surprised, but yet not, based on what people were saying about Warner some time ago, that there was a love oddity in place. I say oddity, because it's not a love triangle. One of Juliette's "pursuers" only goes one way where Juliette has no feelings for him at all. So it was an oddity, I guess you could say.

I didn't really get a grab onto the plot so well either. Besides Warner having plans for Juliette and her wanting no part in them, there wasn't much direction for the story. But I can kind of see where it's going now that it's finished. At least in part, I'm sure there's lot more to come since our characters now might have a direction to go in their journey. Now it just comes to the debate whether or not I want to read the last two books in the trilogy. I did enjoy the second half more than the first. Juliette's mind, as I said, was a bit chaotic in the beginning, but I think the more time she spent around people, the more stable she became. The repetition became a little less as did the crossing out the thoughts, so she's at least becoming a more reliable heroine in some sense. As I said, the matter is up for debate. I might look into the second book and see if sounds intriguing enough, but as of now I remain undecided.

Overall rating 3.5/5 stars


  1. Interesting. I liked the beginning but then it went downhill for me. I thought the repetition and cross outs worked with the claustrophobic situation she was in but later she describes every blush...every single feeling in an over the top way and it started to annoy me. lol

  2. I'm sorry Shatter Me didn't work as well for you as it did for me, Jessica. I do hope you'll stick with the series. Destroy Me was enlightening, in my opinion. I like Ms. Mafi's poetic prose but I can see where it could be annoying. Oh, the prose in Destroy Me is different though, since Warner is the narrator. Nice review! :)


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