Published on December 19th, 2011 | by BookCrack2
Review: Tahereh Mafi Shatter(ed) Me!
A Best YA Book of 2011
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi*
We’re putting this right out there: Shatter Me is a love it or leave it kind of book. However, the BookJunkies were split down the middle almost like a 7-10 split on this one. If you lurk on Goodreads, LibraryThing or Amazon opinions swing harshly one way or the other, leaving very few wavering in the middle without a strong opinion. We had a bit of all three. It’s marketed as a dystopian romance but the consensus here is, nah. Not really. More paranormal romance with a bit of dystopia/Sci Fi thrown in.
What we liked? Mafi takes a lot of chances, writing in a very distinct style with a boatload of
strikethroughs (which reveal Juliette’s inner emotions), metaphor and purplish prose mixed with intense action and even more intense romance. Some of the prose is a bit…well much, but Mafi makes the longing between her main characters so palpable-down right tangible! Who knew that longing for even just the simplest forbidden touch of a boy could propel a story and add so much sexual tension? Oh right, that was Twilight!
Kidding! Okay, maybe we aren’t.Whether you loved and longed for Edward and routed for Bella or not, we say GIVE Shatter Me A TRY! Why? Shatter Me contains a dangerous insta-love romance, BUT it’s not really because it comes with a years in the making reveal scene (or two or three) that totally make it worthwhile. Soon our girl who hasn’t spoken or been touched in 264 days finds herself with the boy she never thought she had a future with and these star crossed lovers can’t keep their hands off one another and we don’t want them to, even knowing Juliette’s touch has killed innocents before and could kill the boy who’s trying to save her, the one who wants to teach her it’s safe to love again.
Rating: 4.5 STARS
*Number in countdown does not denote ranking on our best list!
“The world is flat. I know because I was tossed right off the edge and I’ve been trying to hold on for seventeen years. I’ve been trying to climb back up for seventeen years, but it’s nearly impossible to beat gravity when no one is willing to give you a hand. ”
“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.”
― Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me
Is it getting hot in here? Click to jump to the book trailer and our review.
Tahereh Mafi’s debut novel is a YA romance set in a dystopian future where thanks to the Restablishment, the world looks more like a war zone than a place of planned peace and prosperity. But perhaps that was never their plan at all and the people of this world have been lead astray. Not that Juliette would know that. For the last year she has been locked in solitary confinement in some sort of mental institution/prison compound right out of Mockingjay. But that’s where the similarities between these two books begin and end. Because with one touch Juliette kills. And when they get their hands on her, that’s just what the new government is hoping she will do-for them. Juliette does not want to be their weapon but will she fight to be free with the boy she loves?
Mafi’s a talented writer and while we didn’t mind the chances she and her publisher took with this novel, you may find that you need to just go with the flow. When you do, you just might find that Mafi’s prose helps to beautifully illustrate Juliette’s fears and suffering in a way that gets under your skin. Like any good YA novel, you feel the angst and her fear. Juliette’s loneliness and absence of love and acceptance come though on every page. When a boy is suddenly tossed into her solitary cell she doesn’t trust him and neither do we. But soon she must begin to rebuild her fractured mind and heart and dare to live again in order to escape and not be used as a weapon. From there the adventure begins…
Yes, we realize we’ve been painstakingly careful NOT to reveal too many story details especially about the boy she loves or the young man who’s desperate to keep Juliette and her powers for himself. We think you will thank us as you read it and discover their secrets for yourselves. For those of us who loved this book that was part of its charm.
We don’t want to give away too much as many nay-sayers have in the forums. Our only concessions would be that we agree that the dystopian world outside the prison and the X-men like slant to the plot are both a bit… underdeveloped. Yes, we’ve read X-men and loved Rogue. Mafi made Juliette her own woman and we got inside her head to understand and feel her pain. The X-men like slant to the story and lack of background for all three main characters left us a bit bewildered, but we’re sure that will be answered for in the sequel.
Bottom line: Shatter Me is addicting. It oozes sexual tension. Juliette is a strong, interesting, kick-ass young woman and we want to get to know her more, especially now that she is coming alive and speaking her mind
without so much internal editing.
Count us in to see where this series takes us next… And yes…one or two of us found ourselves kinda also digging the bad guy, cause we’re pretty sure he’s got a story of his own. Mafi’s recently admitted that they are not the only ones with a bad guy crush on her site. If you find you’ve got a bit of a thing for Warner
you’re crazy, take heart, Mafi says you’re not alone!
The second book in the series Destroy Me is due October 2012 and a planned finale is due 2013.
For those of you who have read it was it insta-LOVE or insta-HATE for you? Tell us in the comments below!