As soon as I read the summary for Shatter Me, I knew this was a book I just had to read. The premise was too intriguing to pass up, and it sounded exactly like my kind of book. For the most part, it did not disappoint. The writing is unique and experimental, which I appreciated. At first, it was hard for me to get into Juliette’s, the main character, head because of the writing style, but as I became engrossed in her story the writing just sort of fell away and what was left was a beautiful, if haunting at times, look at a character who has endured so much. I really enjoyed the exploration of Juliette’s humanity and how she came to embrace it over time. When we meet Juliette, she is, understandably, quite a wreck. She hasn’t had human contact in so long, hasn’t spoke for over 200 days, and has quite a heavy case of a personal crisis. By the end, Juliette interacts with people and realizes what kind of purpose she may have.
I think what really makes this book work is the first person perspective. I got to explore the world and other characters to Juliette’s eyes, which made Warner even more creepy and the idea of what the Reestablishment was doing to the world even more haunting. I found Adam a little flat at times in the middle of the book, but by the end I was genuinely enjoying reading about every character. I think this book would lose a lot of appeal for me if it hadn’t been told from Juliette’s perspective. I think I would have gotten bogged down in the experimental writing and been overwhelmed with the world to the point I didn’t care about the characters any more.
The story is fast-paced and well-plotted for the most part, but the thing that keeps this from being a 5 star book for me is mainly the way the book ended. By the time I reached the end, I felt all I had read was the set-up for a more interesting story. While I’m definitely excited about the sequels for Shatter Me, I have to admit that after reading, it just all seemed like an introduction for anything that could happen in the next books. There’s a few events that take place at the end that I would have enjoyed more if those plot developments had taken place in the middle of the book and had been explored more before the last page.
Final Impression: It’s an unique story that won’t appeal to everyone, but I loved seeing this new world through Juliette’s view. I wish this book had been developed a little more and seemed like less of a springboard for future novels, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. 4/5 stars.
Holy freakin crap! Mafi is a genius. When I started reading it, I was curious about the format (the number not spelled out and the lack of commas) and the style (crossed out and repeated words). It was my first time to encounter a book written this way but fear not, people. It actually helped. The repeated words emphasized Juliette's feelings without overdoing it. The crossed out words tells us the existing conflict inside her mind.
A few pages in, my heart started to bleed for Juliette and what she went through. A child doesn't deserve a family who doesn't care for her and wants her gone. She doesn't deserve all the condemning words she got from everyone who judged her based on what she doesn't have any choice.
Meeting the boys was something I was looking forward since I started reading the reviews. All the rave about Adam and Warner fed my curiosity and made me wonder which guy will I side with. And after reading... I am still torn. No, not really. I'm actually leaning towards Warner. Despite being introduced as a villain, there is something in him that convinced me that there's more than meets the eye. He was such a complex character that I can't seem to hate. There were instances that hinted about Warner's true self, although not fully revealing it, and it made me believe that he's actually good. He's just...lost.
But despite wanting Juliette to end up with Warner, I still can't hate her interactions with Adam. They are actually sweet and spells out love. (But come on, Warner here!) Adam actually reminds me of Alex from Delirium. He's working for the government but he's actually against their beliefs.
I can't wait to read the next books. Maybe my couple will have a HEA. Maybe the ending will break my heart.
- Unique writing style
- Complex characters, especially Juliette and Warner
I’m normally not a fan of the “I did this. Then I did that. Then he did that. And this, that, and the other thing. *insert metaphor here*” type writing style, but I think it worked really well for Shatter Me. Juilette has been in an institution with no social contact for almost a year when she gets a new roommate. The author did a great job of showing us how nervous (and conflicted) Juliette was about this, not only because of her previous isolation, but due to her little quirk: a deadly touch.
Of course, that quirk is exactly why the Reestablishment wants her on their side. The Reestablishment is suppose to be…well, reestablishing society. However, Warner, the leader, has other plans; plans that require Juliette as a secret weapon. Warner is one of those characters that I just love to hate! He’s a despicable human being, but I found myself interested in what he had to say, and what he was going to do next. His obsession with Juliette was intense and at times creepy.
In contrast to Warner, is the other man in Juliette’s life, Adam. Adam was a puzzle that I was intrigued by, and I loved learning about him along the way. There was one moment about a third into the book that majorly disappointed me. I can’t say what it is, since it’s a huge spoiler, but I wassad it was there, even though it wasn’t a bad thing. It almost felt like a cop-out to me, and makes things too easy, until we get to Omega Point. Then my opinion changed.
Omega Point is amazing so far! I loved what was revealed about it already, and I’m dying to know more about it and its inhabitants. I also want some answers! Book 2 is too far away!
“The weather, the plants, the animals, and our human survival are all inextricably linked. The natural elements were at war with one another because we abused our ecosystem. Abused our atmosphere. Abused our animals. Abused our fellow man.“
First of all—the cover. I realize the cover has nothing to do with the actual book, but it’s a very nice cover, you must agree.
Aside from the cover, the story itself was good. It wasn’t too predictable, like so many YA books happen to be. I wouldn’t say that I was kept on my toes, but I didn’t guess what was going to happen the second I finished the first chapter. I liked that. If you know what’s going to happen, why even bother to read? So that was a big plus.
I liked the characters a lot as well. They were all charming and fun to read about. Adam is a swoon-worthy leading man, and Warner is a bad guy who I think has a bit more depth than your average villain (I’ll will look forward to reading more about him in the sequel). Juliette herself wasn’t my favorite character, as far as female progatonists go, but she wasn’t horrid or dull or stupid, and I liked being inside her head.
But the best thing about this was the writing. It was fantastic, absolutely amazing. It reminds me of Lauren DeStefano’s style, only I think Mafi’s goes beyond that and brings something more to the table. Every sentence was an image, every paragraph a metaphor, especially in the beginning. As the plot progressed, Mafi’s prose got a bit lighter on the imagery, just by necessity of keeping the action moving. But it still showed up.
One very intersting aspect of Mafi’s writing was the strikethrough text. I’ve never seen that in a book, and though at times it was distracting for me, I thought it was a lovely touch on the whole.
I could not find the locale used in the beginning—the insane asylum—to be believable. This sounds like a trivial detail, but in the long run I think it’s important. The asylum is where Mafi chose to open her book, and as far as world-building goes, I don’t think she did a good job here.
Mostly my issue my the asylum is with the “shower scene” described in chapter 3. I have a hard time believing that, even when the world is in chaos, a government institution like a hospital would function the way it was described. Opening all the prisoners’ cells at one time to let them find their way through a pitch-black maze of hallways to the showers? Not even realistic. Who in their right mind, if they wanted to keep control, would let a bunch of “disturbed” kids roam around a dark building with no idea where they are or what exactly it is they’re looking for? This sounds like a romantic plot device to get our two love interests alone together in the dark. Unimpressive.
However, my real issue with this book was Juliette’s character. Self-loathing does not make for a good plot. I can only put up with so much “woe-is-me-I-killed-a-person” and “I’m-so-isolated-from-everything” and “my-parents-hated-me.” It gets old. And it’s hard to have a strong female lead who thinks she’s worthless and should just die to save other people. The only thing that made Juliette’s character palatable was the fact that she snapped out of her woebegone self-loathing. Mind you, it happened in the second-to-last chapter. But it happened, so I forgive her.
This was a fantastic read! It’s only my second YA dystopian novel, but if there are others out there like this one, I see the appeal. Mafi’s brilliant writing was the big seller here, but in most respects it was a very good debut.
Great start, fresh voice, and awesome premise that was executed beautifully.
The writing style is very unique and it almost deterred me. It is journal style, almost prose, but not quite, but I am glad that I stuck with it because I was soon enamored by Juliette The prison that she is in, and the mysteries of her past quickly had me soaking it in and flipping through the pages, annoyed any time the outside world interrupted.
Soon enough, another character, Adam is introduced, and there is also questions that arise about his character. Did she know him in the past? Does he just look like someone she knew? Is her fear from something she did, or is it something he did to her? But we also see glimpses of his softer side through the tough exterior, and that makes him appealing to me.
When Warner comes on the scene, I don't know what to think of him, because I had read some reviews that talked about Team Warner vs Team Adam and I kept waiting for what made people attracted to him. Then I also saw peeks of his pain and what he has been through, and the similarities he had to Juliette, but then some of the things that he did made me second guess anything I though I saw.
But about half way through some things come up to make me question Adam! So, Mafi has a talent for twists, and making me on the edge of my seat questioning motives, and what was the real or pretended front for the characters.
As of right now I am going to have to claim team Adam, he is sexy, sweet, and there is a history with them, and a connection.
The world building was okay for me. We learn about it through Adam because Juliette was there for the beginning of the change, but was mostly locked up for it. It is a dark and chilling world.
I couldn't believe some of the developments and how Shatter Me left off.
I loved every moment, and couldn't wait for the next book. I was mad at my library and wanted Unravel Me to be in my hands the moment I closed the book.
Bottom Line: Great start, fresh voice, and awesome premise that was executed beautifully.
Why I Loved It: I wasn't expecting to like love this book. The cover is gorgeous breathtakingly beautiful, but I had a hard time getting into the writing style. Let me give an example of the style I speak of:
“What are you writing?” Cellmate speaks again.
These words are vomit.
This shaky pen is my esophagus.
This sheet of paper is my porcelain bowl.
It was different and strange and really worked for me. It just took me some chapters to adjust and appreciate. Juliette is an incredibly well created character. The style created who she was, naive and confused and emotionally lost. She has spent her life never being able to touch someone without causing them enormous pain. That's a hard existence to live. It isn't until she meets Adam, a boy who is immune to her touch, that her world changes. Even still, Juliette harnesses a great power which is normally craved by ambitious people. Juliette will have to fight to avoid being a pawn in a world full of destruction.
Ms. Mafi has such a unique style that worked so well. The writing is choppy and messy and filled with complete honestly and lies. The world around Juliette has the bleak landscape of many dystopian novels, but it managed to hold it's own and maintain a uniqueness. My ARC of Unravel Me is dying to be read.
The book is a mixture of fantasy and romance with a hint of my beloved X-Men style of sci-fy. It was an incredible read, and one I recommend to those who enjoy fantasy.
You can usually count on mermaid books to be fun and fluffy and that's exactly what Fins Are Forever was. There were some semi-serious parts since Lily is growing and learning how to fit into the adult world, but overall this was a pretty light read. Not that that's a bad thing, in case you were wondering.
It was nice to see Lily growing up, but she really can be a bubble brain (see what I did there?) at times. She was incredibly rude to Dosinia for a good bit of the story. I'll give you that Doe can be quite nasty, but Lily was being mean before Doe even did anything wrong. Lily also tends to have a flare for the dramatics, but I found it to be endearing rather than annoying. I'm still a big Quince fan, but I didn't like him quite as much as in Forgive My Fins. I still liked him, of course, but he seemed much more like a background character here and I would liked to have seen him come around a bit more.
Overall, I enjoyed it, but it felt as if too much stuff was shoved into this one tiny book. With everything in there, some things just ended up being kind of swept under the rug by the end. Case in point: for the entire book Lily is stressing about college and SATs, but by the end of the book we had no idea as to the outcome. And everything that happened with Dosinia felt rushed but also like it came out of nowhere. These both contributed to the feeling that the end was a bit rushed and left me wanting more.
Final Thoughts: Fins Are Forever is a nice fluffy read complete with soft-hearted biker dude and super cool mermaids. If you're in for something light with just a little more fantasy than contemporary, this could definitely be the one you're looking for.