Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Shatter Me by Tehereh Mafi

Title: Shatter Me

 Author: Tehereh Mafi

Published: November, 2011 by HarperCollins

Pages: 460
Series:  Series #1
Rating:4/5 stars

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.

liked loved adored Shatter Me (see what I just did there?). 
Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me is a book that received a buzz; another dystopian book which may or may not be the next Hunger Games, which inevitable spiked my curiosity.  The setup is familiar - a bleak dystopian future, however, it’s safe to safe it very different dystopian book compared to The Hunger Games. Unfortunately, Mafi doesn’t really delve into the intricacies of Juliette’s world.  Instead, the readers are given tiny details about it, mostly due to human waste and pollution, a world that Juliette (the heroine) is now living in.

Juliette starts out as an interesting character. One that is anguished and lost due to being locked up for an insane period of time without having any contact with any humans. She has had a difficult life, to be sure. The frustration, the silent suffering and torment that Juliette is undergoing can be experienced by Tehereh’s unique writing style (I’ll talk about this more after).  Truth be told, it can be annoying at times, but it is a cleaver way for the readers to actually know how Juliette is feeling, her character coming to life. 
I found Juliette to be incredibly endearing and likable, despite the fact that she hasn’t had a normal childhood, let alone any real adolescent experiences. I found her strong willed and a strong female character.  However, what annoyed me (and this applied to numerous other books) is when EVERYONE finds the heroine simply gorgeous and she doesn’t even know it or doesn’t understand why! Oh come onnnnnn, I get that Juliette is probably a stunning girl, but to say it repeatedly so whenever she meets a new male character just gets simply annoying.
One of the male characters; Adam was so sweet and understanding yet strong at the same time. He can relate to Juliette and it’s what makes them a sweet couple.
BUT the real romance and intensity lies between the villain, Warner and Juliette. Call me crazy (I can be sometimes) but I LOVE him and I LOVE their twisted relationship. Warner is both evil and not evil at the same time (if you get what I mean). What he does is truly evil....even psychotic, but he does it for what he thinks is the best solution for the world. Not to mention, he does truly love Juliette, even though she can’t see it and think he wants her for his trophy collection. I must say he is one of the very likeable villains (aside from Cato from The Hunger Games) and I simply fell in love with him. His dashing good looks and strong personality does to help. Safe to say I found myself clutching the book whenever he spoke (actually thinking about it, I might be just as psychotic as Warner, to find him and his character appealing!). However, he has been through a lot, just like Juliette, especially something to do with his mother. We are not told what exactly, but I am sure it will come up somewhere in the books.
The other male character is Kenji who is Adam’s friend and part of the secret society to revolt Warner’s Reestablishment. He was a hilarious character and brought humour to a somewhat serious book.  Even with a bloody nose and bruised leg, he still found some time to crack a few jokes, just to lighten the atmosphere.
The romance between Adam and Juliette was cute (not a very strong adjective, I know) and I liked the way they didn't fall in love at first sight. But as I said before, the real romance lies between Warner and Juliette. The intimacy that they share (even if it was a brief second) was more than enough then the intimacy that she shared with Adam. One can even tell the after that burning kiss that happened between Juliette and Warner, she was slightly confused about her feelings with him.

The plot didn't pick up until a fourth into the book. There are little scenes along the way that make up for it though. However, when it does pick up, it is full of action and suspense. Nevertheless, I do wish more about the past and the Reestablishment was shared with us.
Towards the end though, the plot took a twist and somewhat replicated events from the X-men movies, with a place full of people with other unique abilities.
In terms of writing, as I said before, it is a very unique style that the author used. Especially in the first few crucial chapters of the book, the writing is very disjointed in a sort of free flowing style. It looks like some sort of diary that Juliette is writing in, where her stream of consciousness freely flows. Mafi uses a generous number of crossed out words to illustrate Juliette’s real feelings vs. what she actually verbalizes.
The author also used a lot of metaphors, which helps with the descriptive area of it.

I cannot wait to read the next instalment and the mini novella that is coming out before the second book. Let’s just be honest, what I really want to read is more of that delicious Warner and his hunger for Juliette, especially when he find out that he can touch her. O, the more the merrier. 

See my video review of ‘Shatter Me’:

Notable quotes/passages:
Chapter thirty-nine: “He tastes like peppermint, smells like gardenias. His arms are strong around me, his lips soft, almost sweet against my skin. There’s an electric charge between us I hadn’t anticipated.”.

Book Trailer:

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