I have a curse
I have a gift
I am a monster
I’m more than human
My touch is lethal
My touch is power
I am their weapon
I will fight back
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 by Tahereh Mafi
Paperback, 338 pages
Published October 2nd 2012
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book was so intense that it shattered my mind.
…you see what I did there? You see?
So we have this dystopian world where we’ve basically destroyed the earth, and now thousands of people are starving to death. The main focus is on a 17-year-old girl named Juliette, who has this strange power: she can kill people with a touch of her bare skin.
Juliette’s been thrown in an insane asylum, and she’s slowly driving herself mad with guilt and fear, until one day she gets a roommate. But he’s a boy. And she remembers him from 3rd grade. Adam Kent.
Now she’s going to be given a chance to rule with commanding officer Warner, and use her power as a weapon to torture and kill. But she’s conflicted inside: is Adam still there for her, or has he transformed into one of the cold soldiers of the Reestablishment?
A+++++ on the plot. The idea of all of our cultures and languages destroyed by this Reestablishment really got me thinking. In fact, the entire dystopian world was incredibly immersing, what with the animals dying out and the ozone layers killing us off slowly. I really enjoyed the pacing as well: we started out slow, and then sh*t went dooooown.
One criticism that I would have to make is that it seemed a tad plagiarized from the X-Men series (*cough*Rogue*cough*), but you know what? Those are some of my favorite movies ever, and it was really interesting to see a part of them translated into a novel.
P.S. Tahereh, if you ever see this, know that I think you are awesome and I totally don’t want to accuse you of plagiarism. If you’ve never seen the movies, then #1: I’m sorry, and #2: go watch them.
These characters were… not my favorite of all time, but they definitely deserve a high ranking. The raw emotion and power expressed within Juliette (our main character), the love and compassion shown with Adam (our love interest who I kinda distrust), and the psychotic control displayed with Warner (our vilain, who I felt very sorry for), all made for a superb cast of characters and personalities.
And of course, that is the main distinguishing feature of this book. You will notice the writing as soon as you read the first sentence. There are many strikeouts and repeats of words, like this:
I am lethal. I am power.
It’s kind of like she’s saying to herself, “No, no, that’s not what I meant.”
I believe the writing was basically the hit-or-miss for readers. I’m pretty glad that it was a huge hit for me, but I’ve read some reviews where it just bugged people. And I have to admit, some of the metaphors are a little ridiculous. Like this one:
His lips soften into a smile that cracks apart my spine.
That doesn’t make very much sense, does it? I can understand how some readers were annoyed. It was a little random, and also made it hard to get a general flow going. But somehow for me, it just worked!
The descriptions were very emotional, and I got a lot of feels reading about Juliette’s childhood. Don’t even get me started on the more *clears throat* passionate scenes. It was all so vivid and beautiful, and I can’t wait to read more from her.
WHAT I LIKED
-Juliette had some amazing character development
-Her powers were kickass to the max
-I’m immediately hooked for the rest of the trilogy
-Warner’s had an awesomely twisted personality
WHAT I DISLIKED
-I still distrust Adam
-Juliette didn’t give Warner a chance
-Juliette was a little stupid at times, and didn’t consider all her options
If you have not yet read this book, I suggest you go out and do so today! It’s worth the hype, trust me. I myself will be ordering the next two books in the trilogy quite soon. Tahereh Mafi is one author you can’t pass up on. Just try her out, you’ll see!