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.
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.
Let me start by saying how beautiful Tahereh Mafi writes. I haven't been touched by such wonderful writing in a while and I found myself wanting to keep devouring page after page of this book. I haven't read anything like this book in awhile, the premise was completely unique to me. When I first opened up the book I noticed that there were words crossed out and I was instantly mad that I thought someone had ruined the book! As I looked through to see how bad the damage was I realized that it is part of the book. It's a unique feature that represents Juliette's conflicting thoughts. I loved this feature; it added intrigue and provided more of an insight to Juliette's character.
I love that there are some dynamic characters in this book. Every character in this book is so full of life that they came alive out of the pages to me. I have heard critiques that Juliette is a weak person; that doesn't ring true to me. Juliette is shattered in the beginning of the book because of her past and how she has been treated. Adam is a strong, determined man that you can't help but root for. Warner is such a villain and I haven't read of such a strong villain in a long time; I couldn't help but want to punch this guy in the face through the pages. Devour Me, book 1.5, is from Warner's point of view and from what I've read it has made some people actually start to root for him which intrigues me to read this book asap.
I loved that there were some big events in the book that I didn't see coming. This book successfully delivered suspense, action and romance.
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...
I love this book.
Seriously. I started it while at work, and read practically the whole thing in between checking out customers during my eight hour shift.
It was recommended to me by a friend here on goodreads. I was a little iffy at first- mostly because the cover doesn't look like something I usually would pick out, but I guess you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.
Juliette is different. Very different. She's never had a friend, no matter how good natured she really is. She doesn't touch people. She can't. Her touch is fatal. The Reestablishment locked her in an asylum for what she did. No one cared. She thought no one cared, or even noticed. She was completely alone. Out of nowhere, it seems as though The Reestablishment has changed its mind. She is of value. She will be able to fight their wars for them. But will she pay the price of her humanity to do what they tell her?
The way the author decided to write this is so perfect. It took me a few pages to get used to it, but after that, I liked it LOVED IT. It makes you feel like you are in Juliette's head, utterly and completely.
The plot is great too. I was easily able to follow along with whats happening. It was pretty much just perfect. Even though no one in the realistic world would be able to normally relate to a person like Juliette, I still did. Her character was shaped with such a great personality, making me enjoy the book even more. The reader knows everything she thinks, everything she sees. It's the perfect way to write a story. The symbolism was interesting as well- I loved the flying white bird. I hope it follows along into the next book of the series as well.
The second book doesn't come out until February 2, 2013. That's not for another year. I don't think I can wait that long.
Shatter Me kept me entirely focused on the book. I had no clue what was happening in the real world because I was so enveloped in the world of The Reestablishment. This book deserves 5 out of 5 stars for the characters, the mechanics of the writing, the plot. Everything.
Before I read this, I had read a bunch of reviews most of which said this was a horrible book, and the writing style was hideous. So, I almost didn't pick this book up. Thank God I didn't listen to them. This book is fantastic.
I absolutely loved the main character and her unique power which you don't see nowadays. I also absolutely LOVED the dystopian world the author created. I guess I'm already a sucker for dystopias, but this one is one of my favorites.
The characters were amazingly developed. I was actually kind of surprised. It was hard to figure out who was the bad guy and who had just been brought up incorrectly, and all that jazz. At some times I felt angry with a character and certain he/she was pure evil, and at other times I felt as if there was another side to the character. And this is how characters should be. Not many people are truly evil or even truly good. Everyone makes mistakes.
The writing style is different. I'll give the other reviewers that. But, you get used to it. And then you start to like it...a lot.
Read the book. It's good. And once you're done read the next one, because Shatter Me is a series. And Shatter Me is one of those books that needs to be a series.