Though Shatter Me is touted as a combination between The Hunger Games and X-Men, I think it's fair to warn you that the superhero factor of the story doesn't really get going until the last hundred or so pages. I do have to agree that the dystopian factors of the story will appeal to Hunger Games fans, minus the love triangle (no opposing Gale, guys - sorry). The main bad guy, Warner, in particular reminds me of President Snow, minus that creepy detail of the blood-tainted breath.
Oh, and Warner's like nineteen. That was another detail that really threw me off. From the way Juliette describes him at first, I was picturing him as a sleazy old man. (Just goes to show you that I need to read a little deeper into my context clues...)
On the whole, I can see why Shatter Me appeals to trendy teen readers. The writing style and plot speed reminded me more than once of Twilight, and the heroine has an appropriate troubled past and unsure future. The world is appropriately dark and hopeless - food is scarce, people are dying and the new government that has promised a solution to it all is more interested in cruel dictatorship than a hopeful future.
However, for some reason, I really couldn't attach myself to this one. It might be the hype; recently, I find that if there's too much media storm around a title, I end up pinning too high hopes on it, and get disappointed when I find that it's not really what I expected. More importantly, there's a lot of strong language (one of my major pet peeves, as you probably know by now) and a few moments of what Hollywood would probably deem "brief sensuality".
Definitely not a PG read in my opinion.
Besides the language, my other main bone of contention was with the copious use of idioms and similes and metaphors that were rather distracting and in some places, quite disturbing. (My personal favorite: "my heart was a water balloon shattering in my chest" - my own heart gave a little uncomfortable lurch at that one. It sounds less like a moment of extreme tension and more like a medical emergency.)
The general conclusion? Not really my cup of tea, but that doesn't mean it won't be someone else's. Maybe I've had too much dystopians for this year...but then again, we're about to go head-on with 2012 and the Apocalypse in a couple of weeks, so we could also take it as a year well spent in preparation.
It does involve superheroes as the author promised.
One of the best books every, recommended for everyone.
The plot of this book is very well written. I love how in the beginning the Juliette, the main character is very insecure and unsure of herself. I love how Juliette has a strange power, she can kill anyone who touches her. The characters are introduced wonderfully and given a very distinct and beautiful personality. The story contains crossed out writing that the narrator, Juliette, crosses out as she thinks them, like censoring what she thinks to show how broken she is internally.
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Genre: YA Dystopia/Paranormal
Format: EBook, Print
Publisher: Harper Collins
On Sale Date: November 15, 2011
Recommended Reading: 15+
****THERE ARE NO SPOILERS****
SYNOPSIS: 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.
THE GIST: Juliette is locked up, has been for almost nine months. When she touches people, it hurts/kills them (think Rogue from X-men). The world is crumbling and there’s no such thing as justice–not in the world Juliette lives in. Freedom comes with such a high cost, being locked up and forgotten (or worse) might be a much better option.
I’ve seen people land on both sides of the “hate” fence with this book. It’s the kind of novel you either get or don’t, and it’s highly stylized, so if you’re into classic literature, this book might make you cringe. However, if you’re into numbers and possibly thinking the character (and you) might be crazy… you’re in for a fun ride. I’ve never seen anything like this, and it’s so unique and visceral that I would probably squeal like a star struck school girl in the presence of the great Tahereh Mafi. Saying she has “a way with words” wouldn’t quite cover it. Seriously, just preview the book online and you’ll see what I mean on the very first page.
Seriously, go look.
BREAKDOWN: Juliette’s plight is unimaginable. I can’t picture a life in which I could not touch another person. Mafi did a great job of pulling me into that dread and allowing me to feel the ache and loneliness, the sense of abandonment, and the agony of longing for human contact despite human contact being deadly (for the recipient). In reading, you hurt for this character. And she’s incredibly easy to empathize with, so much that you may even feel like you are right there with her, suffering. As it should be.
There’s plenty of action (in more than one connotation), with one hunk of a hero and a slimy yet somehow completely juicy bad guy in a dystopian society with a touch of paranormal for kicks. It’s exciting, fast-paced, intense, passionate, and shamelessly romantic. Juliette’s counterpart/hero shares a dynamic with her that’s intense from the start, and oh what a fun/excruciating ride it is watching them squirm.
Okay, okay, it can’t all be butterflies and rainbows, right? Don’t I have a single objective or critical opinion of this book? Well, not really. As I said, if you’re really into grammar, and if supposed/intentional ‘errors’ drive you nuts, or if you don’t like prose in present tense… you may not like it. Strike-throughs, random numbers, incomplete sentences, and missing punctuation all play into the state of mind of the main character of the story, which reads more like a journal than prose (as it was intended). For me, the way it’s written demanded that I read quickly, literally propelling me forward by the sheer anxiety it caused me to read the words as I imagined the character thinking them. And the style alone didn’t account for my inability to put this book down. I loved it. (Seriously, I can’t think of anything bad unless I wanted to go through and read it a third time just to find something to nitpick).
I came across this book in my search for dystopian YA novels after I’d read Divergent and the Hunger Games trilogy. It was the most pleasant surprise of my dystopian journey, and I read the book faster than I’ve read anything else to date. I literally only put it down because I had to sleep, but I picked it right back up the next day and finished. Thankfully, it was the weekend or I don’t know what I would’ve done.
I wanted a sequel so badly, and was disappointed that there wasn’t one at the time, but I knew this would be a series I’d have to follow. In October, Mafi released a novella called DESTROY ME which worked to tide her fans over until the February 5th, 2013 release of book 2, UNRAVEL ME. It’s not too late to get on board. You can easily catch up by then and be foaming at the mouth alongside me for the release of Unravel Me. In the mean time, you can move on to 1.5 in the series, the novella DESTROY ME… which I will post my thoughts on Thursday!
Shatter Me is a highly anticipated novel, and I suppose it's with good reason. But maybe I tried too hard to love this book, just because everyone else did.
My biggest problem - my only problem, really - with Shatter Me was the writing style. Commas are hardly used, and I understand that that's the style, but it irritated me to no end when there would be a sentence like . . . Well, I know I should give an example, but my copy is in my backpack right now. :o Anyway, while Mafi writes beautifully, I feel like this writing style just isn't for me. Sometimes a sentence just wouldn't make sense to me because she would say something like "The sun and moon explode as he responds." I just DIDN'T UNDERSTAND.
The metaphors were crazy. I barely understood any of them. They were all so nonsensical and confusing that the writing was almost painful to read sometimes. The writing style seems to be what people liked most - except me.
The other problem I had? [Highlight text to read. It's extremely spoilery :P] I need an explanation for why Juliette can touch Adam and Warner and no one else. I mean, I'm sure that's coming, but I need a real reason. It's just too convenient.
Juliette was, by far, my favorite part of the book. She's an interesting narrator and an amazing character. I loved how she was strong yet vulnerable at the same time. She was so real that I loved reading from her perspective. She was even fierce at times, and the way she felt about Adam was so easily translated. Her emotions came through clearly and always made sense to me.
The rest of the characters were all really well done, too. Kenji was the comedic relief, sort of, even though he wasn't a huge character. James was adorable, and I felt like he had a purpose for being in the book. Warner was awesome, even though he was a total psycho :P Mafi did a great job on him - I could understand why he was crazy. He actually had a real reason, one that made total sense to me.
And Adam. Oh, Adam. I don't even know what to say about him. Sometimes I wish he'd seemed a little more manly, but then he wouldn't be Adam anymore, would he? ;)
The plot was a nice part of the book, too. While I wish The Reestablishment's history had been explained more, I liked the idea. I loved how the book started off, too, with Juliette locked up like a monster. I loved seeing how her feelings changed about herself.
Overall: Shatter Me was a great start to a series, although I feel like some of the questions that are going to be answered in the second and third (if there's a third. I'm assuming it's a trilogy. Everything is a trilogy these days) should have probably been answered in Shatter Me. Despite my problems with the writing style, Shatter Me is a solid read that I can see a lot of people enjoying. 3 stars.
More of my reviews at http://wwwthebookshelves.blogspot.com
?Shatter Me was a additive, stunning, sexy, dysoptian debut that will leave you breathless after page one! It was riveting, gripping, and absolutely mesmerising! Tahereh Mafi weaves a book so good, you want to savor every sentence, word and page one hooked me!
Did you see that cover??? So flipping amazing! And the trailer????!!! Once I saw it I immediately bought it the day it came and I normally don't do that but this book...I NEEEDED IT!!!
The writing? Do I need to say anything? Its AMAZING. It flows so well and I experience a whole new sensation reading this book! It was flawless and beautifully written, Tahereh Mafi is only 23. Unbelievable right??? Everything pieces in and its hard to believe its her debut novel!. Seriously go out and buy this book. Right now.
Juliette hasn't touch another human being in exactly 264 days. She's looked up in an asylum where the Reestablishment treats her like a monster, with a curse, and they tell her locking her up was the best thing. Juliette is a strong, tough, I-have-plans-of-my-on type of heroine. She plans to escape and flee to a world she wouldn't have for once be judged.
She's counting the days, hours, second in small notebook hidden in a crevice of her cell.
Then the unexpected happens. [Yep the romance.] Adam Kent. ADAM. ADAM. He was the perfect guy for Juliette. I can't remember the times I was reading this and swooning over the scorching romance scenes. It was beautiful. It was like cookies and milk when you eat them it melts with perfection, that's how the romance is. I can't believe how easily I loved Adam and Juliette....PERFECT!!!!!!!!! :D Adam was a tought, swoony, heart-pounding guy. There was something about him that maded all YA romance novel guy not the same at all.
Warner. Warner was convincing and intrigiung each time he spoke and him personally. He can really twist your mind and make you think of yourself as a lethal weapon, like he did for Juliette. I actually liked him. Odd right? Well, he really jumped between the lines of a romantic, supper evil villan.
Juliette stood up to him. She was a total bad ass, with the power to take down people with a slight touch of her hands. Don't tell me that's not total kick-ass power! Think of her clawing through four walls of concrete and glass. Imaginative! Best Dysoptian ever. Period.
I can't stop thinking or shwoing off this book! It was PERFECTION. Perfect. Perfect. I can't stop saying how awesome this book is! I'm actually reading it for the second time beacuse I can't get enough of it and me praising alll about it! This book was delicious throiughtout, crispy in the edges, and a slice of stunning perfection! I cannott stop looking at that cover!
I can't read fast enough, I can't read fast enough, I can't read fast enough! My eyes are blurs raking across every word, every word, every word, burning into my brain... I keep going...
What an amazing way to start off 2012! This book surpassed every expectation I had. I was completely and utterly shattered by everything about this book. I cannot recommend this book higher, because, unfortunately, my superpower is not in raising the maximum number of stars to at least one million. Best. Book. Ever.
I am not just gushing here. Okay, I am gushing a little, but just a miniscule amount compared to the amaZING awesomeness that is SHATTER ME. Stop reading this review and RUN to the nearest bookstore and buy it. You won't regret it. This book is among my favorite Christmas gifts. And, believe me, I received autographed books. An autographed copy of this book (or an autographed bookplate to stick in my copy) would put it even higher on my list!
Now onto the description.
It is a bleak future, devoid of life as we know it. Plants and animals have died out. The environment is irrevocably damaged. It is our fault. We let this happen.
Even worse, this inextricable change has caused Juliette to have a terrible power. Her touch is lethal. Her parents don't want to deal with her, and when the truth of her powers becomes all too clear, Juliette is locked up in an asylum for a death she never intended to happen.
She counts the days minutes hours seconds and writes about it in her journal.
But when she's faced with a cellmate, things become even worse. Her cellmate is a boy. A boy she knows from her past. And she's not sure if he's there to help her or hurt her.
I would love to give you more, but you won't need it. Honestly, I was completely captivated by the end of chapter one. The ratio of questions to answers moves progressively forward, but elusively never enough.
The author expertly drives the story forward on the razor sharp edge of a knife. With it, she (gently) twists the blade in the reader's side and keeps twisting this way and that all the way through the book to the amaZING ending that is as mindblowing as the end of CATCHING FIRE from the HUNGER GAMES trilogy. I am not even kidding. The tension is palpable and kept me turning pages as fast as my fingers could find them as fast as my eyes my eyes my eyes scrambled down the pages devouring gorging reading every word and every lined out word I could find.
Juliette becomes torn between a boy she loves and a boy who thinks he loves her, in his own warped and twisted way. Namely, if love were equal to power. Without giving anything away, Juliette must decide whether to become a weapon of the evil dystopian government, or whether to risk everything for love and take matters into her own deadly hands.
I guarantee you won't be able to put this book down once you start. My wife and I even raced through the book to the end it was so good. I won, of course, but you can have your own wrestling match and get this book. Just don't tell your spouse you have it, or she'll try to steal it from you before you're done.
Oh, and this book has already been optioned for a movie. And, books 2 and 3 are on their way. Join the ranks of those who are gushing about this book, and salivating for book 2. You'll love me for it. You'll hate me for it. I'm okay with that.
This book had me hooked. I read it every time I could, in the car, walking somewhere, and under the school desk, trying to avoid being told off by a teacher. I would like to say I finished quickly, but I tried to linger it, and the times I did read it were few. But that didn't stop me loving this book, all of it was truly spectacular. The characters, the writing style, the plot and the brilliant power that Juliette had, the power to kill when touched.
I loved Juliette's power, how awesome would it be to kill someone who got a little to close for comfort. It seemed like a brilliant dream for me, until Juliette started talking about how even her own parents hated her. This made me depressed me, I felt extremely sorry for her, something that normally doesn't happen in books, unless they are of great quality. I was dancing in relief when Adam was able to touch her, I would of screamed if he couldn't.
This worked really well until Warner was able to touch her. I wanted to punch him on the nose. I hated Warner, he seemed like a massive, rich, selfish snob, the opposite of Adam. He just wanted to use Juliette, even if he tried to show how much he liked her. He might of been an ok guy in a different universe, but he just went about life the wrong way.
I loved Adam, he was a perfect hero. I loved him, he was just the most selfless, passionate, kind character. His caring nature for his brother and Juliette is just what all boys need. He risked his life for her, including signing up for the army. He was just perfect, perfect, perfect.
i loved the writing style, I have never read a book that had words crossed out every now and then. I thought it was weird at first, but it really worked in the end. Also, at the start, Juliette was slightly insane, her mind wandering into crazy land every now and then. But as the book progressed, both the crazy times and the crossing outs decreased in number, as she started becoming less insane. It was just a brilliant technique that worked really well.
This book was truly unique, and I cannot wait for the next one to come out. When it does, I will be the first to get it. It was just an amazing book that everyone should read.
-i loved the writing style, I have never read a book that had words crossed out every now and then. I thought it was weird at first, but it really worked in the end.
-I love the way she thought, with the magical comparisons and descriptions, it was super poetic
-Adam is a great character!! Kind, selfless, perfect.
Wow. This book lived up to my expectations! This was not another whiny-girl love story. This was actually very good!
The story that was told in this book was about Juliette, who can kill someone by touching him/her. How cool and horrible is that? Never being able to touch anyone should be terrible. Not being able to shake hands, or help someone when they need it. But, you can't be touched by anyone either. So when a tiny, little accident happens, and a little bit of your bare skin and someone elses bare skin are involved, you might just end up killing someone...
Juliette, the main character, is unique. Not only because of her 'gift', but also because of the way she acts and reacts to things. Juliette might always do something unpredictable, just to keep the story interesting. She will not obey orders from someone she dislikes. Actuall, she just won't obey orders, because she has her own will, one of the few things that still is hers.
The world this book was set in reminded me a little bit of the Hunger Games. Mainly that was because of the Reestablishment, they were like the Capitol. Also, the world is destroyed. Then there was Juliette, who was in the same position as Katniss was in in Mockingjay. Fight for them, or fight agains them. I didn't mind the tiny things they had in common. Actually, I liked those things, and I loved the Hunger Games.
The writing style of the author was great, easy to get through and a normal pace. This made the book even more enjoyable!
And oh my god the romance in this book was so awesometastic. Usually I am not the girl who loves the romance books. Of course, I like romances, but it shouldn't be a book only about romance. Tahereh Mafi combined romance and action in this novel, and she totally nailed it. I didn't lose my concentration once while reading this book. I didn't even look on facebook or twitter, which is a total miracle!
Only one thing, don't start reading this book on the evening before you've got to take 3 exams! I hope I didn't fail any :S I just couldn't put this book down, and well, then my study schedual was messed up :$ But whatever, it was totally worth it!
A book I'd recommend to every girl that loved the Hunger Games, or any other dystiopian series that contains romance. Full of romance and action, Shatter me really is a read you should be checking out!
I honestly can't wait for Unravel me, the sequel to shatter me. Too bad it'll take so long until it releases...
This book was a little slow for me in the beginning, but it soon picked up and I found myself making up places to go so I could listen to it in my car. The audio experience was one of the best I have listened to! Something unique about this book is the way the author incorporates the strikethrough. With this being an audio book you could actually hear a sound that sounded like someone scratching out a word. I thought this might be annoying, but it actually made the story more powerful.
Tahereh Mafi has an extraordinary way with words. They way she combines words is like an intricate puzzle that fits together perfectly. At times the book read like a song or poem.
I quickly grew to care about Juliette. She is such a kick butt girl, who is just discovering what she is capable of. She has always seen her "gift" as a burden, but as the story goes along she begins to consider the benefits of her gift. She definitely puts other people first, and deals with a huge amount of guilt for things that were out of her control. She has nobody until Adam shows up.
Adam is another male in YA to crush on. He is everything we want our YA heroes to be! I liked him immediately. I also liked how he had a history with Juliette, which helped me to accept and believe the "insta-love" a little easier.
A character that I ended up adoring was Adam's little brother James. He was just awesome and brave and accepting and enthusiastic. I think one of the reasons I loved him so much, was because of the narrator's portrayal of him. He was just fun!
Overall, this book was a super audiobook. With that aside, I would have LOVED this story if I had just read it. The story itself holds its own, and the audio just adds to the experience.