Sunday, 9 December 2012

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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.

Shatter Me has got to be one of the best dystopians I've read up till now. I loved all of it - the plot, the characters, the writing. Especially the writing. This novel is fast-paced and filled with intensity. There literally isn't a boring moment in it at all, and it was pretty much unputdownable for me.

Juliette is a prisoner who can kill anyone with a single touch. She is being contained for a crime she didn't mean to commit. A crime that will stay with her forever. She has suffered in silence for 264 days. Can she be saved? Will she fight for her freedom?

The reason I love this book so, so much is because of Tahereh Mafi's beautiful writing style. She is an incredible writer! Excuse me if I go all English Lit student in this review, but I can't help it, the writing was just the amazing. There was a plethora of vivid imagery and personification in Shatter Me, and, combined with the very real characters, the whole book just came alive to me. I felt what Juliette felt, I wanted what she wanted. And I don't think there are a lot of books that can do that to someone.

I always wonder about raindrops.
I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.
I am a raindrop.
Another thing I really liked about the book was the crossing out of lines. At the beginning I thought it might annoy me, but I grew to love it. It gave me an insight of what Juliette is really feeling - what she is not allowed to feel. Also, the fact that the crossed words thinned out towards the end of the book shows me that Juliette slowly overcomes her fear. She isn't afraid anymore, and she's determined to fight.

Juliette is an amazing protagonist. I can't get my head around how entirely kind-hearted and innocent she is. She truly doesn't want to hurt anyone, not even people who have hurt her in the past, who wouldn't hesitate to do the same to her again. She's so generous, so good. It's actually quite unbelievable. And yet she's strong-willed and fierce and brave, and she stands up for what she believes in. Juliette grew a lot over the course of the novel, changing from a meek, frail girl to someone with unimaginable power. But she doesn't lose sight of what's right. She knows exactly who she is and who she wants to be, and I find that really admirable.

I really really liked Adam in Shatter Me. He has this undeniable connection with Juliette from the beginning, and I just knew there was some history to that. He's kind to her like no one else, he cares for her, he can actually touch her! At first I didn't like the predictability of it - that Adam is the only one who can touch her. Then I realized there's probably a reason for that, something we'll find out in the sequel, Unravel Me. Adam has also been through a lot in his life. Losing his parents, for example. He joined the army for a reason, and he'd do anything to save Juliette. Adam and Juliette really need each other in Shatter Me, and I want to know if or how their relationship changes in Unravel Me, when their need is less than their want. They really love each other, and it's sweet to see that they really understand one another.

“It's been me and you against the world forever," he says. "It's always been that way.”
“God, Juliette, I'd follow you anywhere. You're the only good thing left in this world.”
And now we come to Warner. Honestly, I don't really know what to say about him. He's manipulative and cruel, but at the same time I feel pity for him. I don't think it's his fault that things are the way they are, but he isn't doing anything to change that. His feelings for Juliette seem real, and that really surprised me. He doesn't seem like a guy who would actually care about someone. I hope Destroy Me, the novella told in his perspective, will help me understand him a bit more, because I'm really curious about him.

Shatter Me is a stunning debut, and I honestly can't wait for Unravel Me! Tahereh Mafi has drawn me into her world of beginnings, endings, trust, and hope, and I don't think it's possible for me to find my way out. And I don't want to.
1 word, 2 lips, 3 4 5 fingers form 1 fist.
1 corner, 2 parents, 3 4 5 reasons to hide.
1 child, 2 eyes, 3 4 17 years of fear.
A broken broomstick, a pair of wild faces, angry whispers, locks on my door.
Rating: 5/5 


  1. Great review, Richa! I love this book :)

  2. I've been hearing so many good things about this books and it does look very good. Great review,I really have to get this book now.

  3. This book sounds amazing and that cover it quite stunning! Such a great review, makes me want to run out now to buy and read it!


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