Monday, November 7, 2011

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

From the Back Cover:

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.

My Thoughts:

I knew from the first page that this book was going to be different, and not just because Ms. Mafi's distinctive style made an immediate impression, but also because the story, and Juliette, had me from the first sentence. Juliette's been in solitary confinement for 264 days, and this girl is in rough shape. She's got the stream-of-consciousness, half-mad thing going on, and it's a raw, gritty, heartbreaking portrayal of what a lifetime of loneliness can do to a person. Juliette is jarred back into reality by the arrival of a cellmate, Adam. A boy. A boy who wants to talk to her, who wants to touch her. But she can never let him, and she can never let him know why. If he knew she killed a boy just by touching him, he would turn away from her like all the others, and she can't bear to lose the only human contact she's had in 264 days.

But someone's been looking for Juliette. Warner, a maniacal leader of the Reestablishment, has been following the trail of rumors about a girl who could kill with a touch. A girl he could use as the ultimate weapon in his bid for power. She is freed from her prison only to be encased in another, as the showpiece of Warner's plans to smash the resistance forces gathering against the Reestablishment. After spending a lifetime shunned, feared, and unwanted, Juliette is thrust into the spotlight, forced into a life of luxurious servitude, alternately pampered and terrified by Warner. She is forced to confront her secret fear that she may grow to like using her devastating power, and to reconcile her growing feelings for Adam. As Warner's obsession grows out of control and his tests of her power grow more twisted and sadistic, Juliette and Adam find themselves in a struggle to survive, and must find the courage and the means to run for their lives and seek out the resistance. And if the rumors are true, Juliette may not be as alone as she thinks she is, and she may yet find a way to harness her power for a better purpose.

I just loved the way this was written. I think it takes a lot of guts to try something different, and a lot of talent to make it work. The words fall like poetry on the pages. I think it's brilliant, but it won't be everybody's cup of tea. And not only are the words mesmerizing, but the story is, too--emotional, unpredictable, suspenseful, and sexy! Juliette, Adam, and Warner are fascinating characters, and the love story is to die for. I can't quite call this perfect because I did find some of the emotional byplay to be a bit overdone. But it's still a great read, and I could not turn the pages fast enough as the story neared its conclusion. This is the first in a series, but it ends in just the right place with a satisfying combination of revelation and intrigue. It's poised perfectly for the next book in the series. I won't go into detail and give too much away, but I will say that I was a big Super Friends fan as a kid, and I get really excited when I think of the potential this series could have moving forward. The teen superhero league/war-torn dystopian combination is deliciously promising :)

My Rating:  4.5 Stars out of 5

*Please note: This review references an advance review copy received through the Amazon Vine program, and the finished copy may differ. Though I received this book from the publisher, these are my honest and unbiased thoughts, and I was not compensated in any other way for reviewing this book.


  1. I'm really glad you like this one. There's been so much hype for it, that I was getting worried it might not live up to it. Great review :)

    Radiant Shadows

  2. I REALLY want to read this one. I have it on my wish list, I'll have to get it asap. Great review!

  3. I've seen this around but never really read what it's about. But now I have to add it to my wishlist. Great review!


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