[REVIEW] Shatter Me

Series: Shatter Me #1
Tahereh Mafi
young adult, dystopia, romance, fantasy, paranormal, science fiction
October 12, 2012 (first published November 15, 2011)
Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

I have a curse.I have a gift. 
I’m a monster.I’m more than human. 
My touch is lethal.My touch is power. 
I am their weapon.I will fight back. 
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 discovering 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.

[All spoilers are in white font color (there are hints if a text is hidden such us space gaps, parenthesis, or colons). Highlight the white texts to read the spoilers if you want to or if you’ve already read this book]

I became interested in Shatter Me because of its overwhelming popularity. I decided to give it a go because of the review I read saying that Mafi’s writing is beautiful. And it is. I admit that. It’s the first thing I noticed about Shatter Me. The moment I read the first chapter, I fell in love with Juliette’s voice and how she beautifully describes the things around her as well as her feelings.

We don’t really have seasons anymore. The animals are dying, birds don’t fly, crops are hard to come by, flowers almost don’t exist. The weather is unreliable. Sometimes out winter days hit 92 degrees. Sometimes it snows for no reason at all. we can’t grow enough food anymore, we can’t sustain enough vegetation for the animals anymore, and we can’t feed the people what they need. Our population was dying off at an alarming rate before The Reestablishment took over and they promised us they had a solution.

The world of Shatter Me is absolutely beautiful. I love how it shows a world that is a result of our incessant negligence on our environment. I think that it’s a really interesting idea and it’s something I’ve never encountered before (but maybe it’s because I haven’t really been reading much in the past couple of years). Aside from the dying world that Shatter Me presented, there was also the presence of Juliette’s very unusual curse ability and later on telling us that there were other people with abilities.

I really like Juliette. I love her voice, her use of words, and even her story. I love how she stays strong and nice to people despite how they stay away from her or how they treat her as if she’s some kind of bomb that’s ready to explode anytime soon.

Juliette’s position and background is something to really look into or consider so that you can understand where she’s coming from in all thoughts. There’s always her internal conflict with Warner’s offers and how he relates to her in a lot of ways yet I like how she keeps her own beliefs and values throughout the story. I just visualize her as a weak looking 17year-old girl yet she’s really strong in standing up for the things she believes. She isn’t easily swayed but of course there’s all the romance issue which she isn’t very familiar with herself.

I wish I could stuff my mouth full of raindrops and fill my pockets full of snow. I wish I could trace the veins in a fallen leaf and feel the wind pinch my nose.

I love how Tahereh Mafi wrote the first few chapters with only Juliette, Adam, and a bunch of beautiful metaphors. With those first chapters, I just fell in love with her writing. I love how Juliette narrates everything that’s going on between her and Adam in the asylum – her thoughts about their interaction, about her familiarity with him, and the way he acted towards her at the beginning. There was just so much to love about Mafi’s writing style and how she can describe things in the most beautiful way possible.

I totally have mixed feelings with the romance. I’m not a fan of Adam (ugh~). At first, I kind of like him because of Juliette’s observations and how she knows him and all. In a sense, I like how this their feelings started years ago without even talking to each other (gotta love that kind of romance~). I like how the other just observes the other and they just can’t find a way or the courage to approach each other as if there’s this concrete wall hindering them from interacting with each other.

But as the story goes on, their relationship just shifts into more physical ways of showing it which is absolutely something I NEVER enjoy. Aside from that, there’s this repetition of their years back in 3rd grade (was it? I can’t remember clearly…). And I really hate how things are repeated over and over since in most cases there wasn’t really anything new… we’ll just go over the same things and proceed with the story… (sooo… yeah, whatever…).

It’s kind of odd how there wasn’t any foreshadowing about Omega Point (OR if there’s any, I absolutely missed that. AND NO, I don’t consider the tiny Kenji talk at the middle of the book as a foreshadowing of Omega Point. It just gave me the idea that there’s still someone out there that we’ll meet). I KNOW that rebel groups are a must but really, there could at least have been a mention of them from like pages earlier in the story. I don’t like how the story just introduces things out of the blue.

Kenji bristles. “Is there something you want to say to me?”
“I don’t trust you.”
“Then why am I still here?”
“Because I trust her.”
Kenji turns to look at me. He manages a goofy smile. “Aw, you trust me?”
“As long as I have a clear shot.” I tighten my hold on the gun in my hand.
His grin is crooked. “I don’t know why, but I kind of like it when you threaten me.”
“That’s because you’re an idiot.”
“Nah.” He shakes his head. “You’ve got a sexy voice. Makes everything sound naughty.”

Kenji is the best character here. He appeared at like 1/3 or even 1/4 of the book yet it almost felt like he’s the life of the book. For me, he’s the ‘comic relief’ type of guy which really just makes me like him more. Kenji is like this guy who seems like he’s just going with the flow and who’s pretty damn easy to beat the hell up. I never wanted to suspect his character of anything deeper. I never really looked into whatever he says because of how goofy he sounds. But yeah, he’s the funniest and nicest character in here and he pretty damn knows what the heck he’s doing.

Adam was like a ‘meh’ hero. For some reasons, I didn’t like Adam as much as I like other book guys/heroes. It’s no secret that Juliette has been trying to make Adam sound like some totally caring, protective, brooding, and totally attractive guy (with a totally blue blue blue eyes). But yeah, it’s totally not working for me. I don’t feel anything for Adam and in a lot of times, I generally don’t care about him at all despite his oh-so supposedly sad (or whatever negative shit I should say about that) history with his dad.

*             *             *

What I like: (1) KENJI! (totally adding him to my fave characters :3), (2) the writing style (I saw a lot of hate in goodreads but I’m ignoring that. I fell in love with the writing but I kind of find it a bit inconsistent), (3) Juliette, (4) Warner  (okay, I’m starting to write every prominent character aside from Adam), (5) the whole idea of the world destruction due to pollution, etc., (6) Juliette’s touch, (7) the romance (more like the watching-each-other-since-them romance at the beginning), (8) THAT COVER!!

What I didn’t like: (1) Adam (okay, maybe not so much… but I’m not exactly fond of him… but I do love Juliette’s words about him :3), (2) the romance (more like the too-touchy romance), (3) how the climax doesn’t have so much impact to me, (4) the lack of development/foreshadowing on Omega Point

quick read. appealing writing style. beautifully constructed dystopian world.

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