Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Young-Adult, Dystopia, Romance
Publication date: October 2, 2012 (Paperback edition)
Pages: 340 pages (Paperback)
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Courtesy of Goodreads
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
Let me begin with the book being labeled as a dystopian novel. Don’t be fooled my friends, but this book is pure romance with “dsytopian” elements. As a lover of the dystopian genre, I was so disappointed. The world-building is nonexistent. As a matter of fact it’s reminiscent to The Selection , because just like that one, it was all about the romance and not enough explanation of how the society came to be. I somewhat wished that some authors would know what a dystopian world really is, because you can’t just label a book a dsytopia when the romance takes a front seat over the actual plot. While Shatter Me was a fast-paced and somewhat entertaining read, it is not without its flaws, thus, I gave it a three stars.
The writing was what I would call “pretty”. Ms. Mafi uses flowery language in this book and I did like it, however, there were times that it went overboard and could have been toned down a bit. As for the plot, it felt as if it dragged on. The majority of the book is spent on the romance between Adam and Juliette.
Our main character Juliette I have mixed feelings about. I loved her in the beginning, especially when she disobeys Warner–she’s so feisty and sassy, while in the second half she just becomes a lovesick teenager. Well she’s a teenager I’ll give her that, but I wasn’t sure how to decipher her character. She’s tough when she interacts with Warner because she hates him, but when she’s with Adam, she seems “weak”. Adam, the love interest was what I would call dull. Yes he’s very attractive, with blue eyes and dark hair, but his personality is so bland . Having him first introduced in the book and the first guy that Juliette interacts with, I am assuming I’m supposed to like him and cheer for him to end up with Juliette, but that is not the case. He was typical Mr. Nice Guy. Don’t get me wrong, I love sweet, nice guys in books; however, he was just so uninteresting. I was bored with his character and bored with his romance with Juliette. Warner on the other hand our “antagonist” ( I think he’s really not a bad guy) I really liked. He’s definitely the exact opposite of Adam in the personality department. Of course, I think it’s crazy that he claims to love Juliette suddenly, but I am assuming he knows more about her, for him to feel that way well—unless he really is deranged and obsessed, but let me be optimistic about him! He comes off like a psychopath, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you hate him, but I just have this feeling that there is more to him that meets the eye. He is a complex and mysterious character and I would love to get to know more of him as I read the rest of the series. And yes, call me crazy, but I am rooting for him! As for the minor characters, I liked Kenji. He was funny and definitely there for comedic relief.
Just like any young adult dystopia, there is a romance, and to my dismay it’s insta-love and a love triangle. Even though, Adam and Juliette knew each other from childhood, they never really interacted. So I wasn’t convinced when all of a sudden they start declaring their love for one another. Sorry, Ms. Mafi the romance feels forced and I’m really not buying it. Furthermore, I found their romance so dull and uninspiring. I even skimmed the pages that highlighted their lovey-dovey moments. As a matter of fact I felt more chemistry with Warner and Juliette than these two and definitely enjoyed their interactions.
Shatter Me, overall wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t impressive either. Minus, the rolling my eyes every time Adam and Juliette says I love you to each other, it had its moments that I found entertaining. It did drag on, however, the ending did somehow redeemed itself and I am looking forward to reading the next book. I read the book in a day so I would say I enjoyed it, but I expected more, especially with the hype that surrounds this book. Truthfully, this would have received a 2.5 stars, but my fangirling for Warner bumped it to three stars. 😉
Would I recommend Shatter Me? I’m really not sure. This might be one of those books where you just have to read it yourself.