Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

It feels like forever since I've sat down to write a book review. I could offer you some excuses, but they would be pat and trite. I respect you all more than that, so I'm not going to offer any and instead say that here I am again with a review. I hope you enjoy it!


 

Shatter Me (#1 of 3) by Tahereh Mafi

Published Year: 2011
Genre: YA Dystopia
Subtitle: Not a fan (2 stars)
 


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.


 

Shatter Me is the first book in a dystopian-esque novel by Taherah Mafi. The novel opens with Juliette locked away in an insane asylum, and we get pieces of information slowly over time as to why she's there and how long. Pretty quickly though, it's clear that if you touch her, you feel agonizing pain and/or could die. Not so fun. And then they give her a roommate. This doesn't really raise that many red flags for Juliette, for some reason. She just thinks this is some way for her tormentors to amuse themselves. That is, until said roommate is a boy -- Adam. This is where things start happening. I won't give anything else away, but this is where Juliette wakes up essentially.

TM's writing style is very unique. Not only did she use the writing style you can see in the description where Juliette was constantly striking things out, but there were really hyperbolic metaphors. These made Juliette seem extra dramatic. Some people, I'm sure, will read these and find them beautiful and romantic. I'm sure I would if I were reading them in a different book. But in this setting and in this novel, they seemed like added drama to me.

The characters were obsessive. They were all obsessed with Juliette in fact, including Juliette. She's obsessed with the fact that she can't touch anything and that she'll be forever alone. All of the other characters are obsessed with her to, the varying degrees of obsession just make it more disturbing. I did not like how everyone seemed to know about her. I would love for someone to have walked up to her and been like, "who the heck are you?". Would have been so refreshing.

I may or may not be a little over the dystopian-esque novel, and it may have taken me this novel to realize it. Shatter Me is set in the not-so-distant future, where the world (nature, government, countries and all) as we know it has been destroyed. The Reestablishment has taken over in only three years (and is divided into some absurdly random number of factions, maybe units? whatever). Of course The Reestablishment is horrid/cruel/doing it wrong and the people of the world are starving, etc. However, The Reestablishment is seemingly run by a 17 year old? With clear mental issues? I'm just not buying it.

Overall, I won't completely rule out other series by Taherah Mafi if she writes any, but I won't be moving forward with the Shatter Me series.

2 out of 5 stars.