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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Publication Date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: Harper
Series: Shatter Me #1
Young Adult
Pages: 338
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction
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.

*Purchased this book of my own accord*

There has been very mixed opinions about Shatter Me in many reviews that I had read. When I first saw the novel's original cover, I was excited because it was absolutely stunning: The shattering wall, the dress, the text with a line scrawled through it, I knew that I wanted to read this book. Even the paperback cover is stunning. And no matter if it reminded people of an X-Men rip off, I was wound up to read this exciting dystopian novel. 

Tahereh Mafi has a unique writing style. The use of the strike out feature. She is vivid in description with beautiful narrative and poetic style. There were so many lines that I really loved reading, they were put together perfectly, making me envious at such a gorgeous style of writing. Though there are multiple words that Mafi likes to repeat and then strike out in the text, I found that dynamic to become a repetitive motion that lost its effect after the first few times and then started to agitate me many times later into the novel. So even with the pro of elegant writing style, there is also a con of repetitiveness that weakened the novel in certain portions. 

As the story goes, I enjoyed the artificial world that Juliette lives in. A world where she prays to be free and go where the natural light and the beauty of the world exists again. A world where she is seen as normal rather than a monster. I loved the idea that Juliette had not been touched in days, not just days, over hundreds of day, close to a year. No form of endearment, no comfort, no accidental brushing of skin--nothing. Locked up in an asylum, her thoughts are all over the place but statistical. Numbers are huge in her life. They are constant. And there is a feeling inside me while reading, a feeling that pities her condition and a feeling that wishes the best to happen to her. You want Juliette to escape and be free, live a normal life. 

In the reviews I read, many people loved Warner, the main antagonist. I had no care for him. I had no cares for Adam, the main love interest of Juliette, the boy she's known as a kid and the one determined to save her from a cruel fate. I was just focused on Juliette the whole time, watching her struggle time and again, her strength keeping her from crumbling. She was my main focus. Not the romance, not the sort of love triangle, not even Kenji (who happened to be my other favorite character in this book, he made me smile whenever he came into light in the story). It was just Juliette and what was going to happen next. 

Final Summation: I am excited to see what will be going on in the second installment of this series. Though I wasn't all that impressed with the ending, I do expect Tahereh Mafi to bring an action packed, kickass sequel. Hopefully my hopes won't be crushed. And for whoever has yet to read this novel, I definitely recommend it to all readers. The style is quite something, very unique.

First Line: I've been locked up for 264 days.
Story: S
Old/New Cover: S