Book Review – Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Author – Kiera


‘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 is a YA Dystopian novel centered around our main character called Juliette. When we first meet Juliette she is imprisoned in a brutal mental asylum, where she has been in solitary confinement  for the 264 days since she arrived. Until one day a boy called Adam is thrown into the cell with her, and she doesn’t know why. One of the things I should probably mention about Juliette is that any contact with her skin will kill you. She doesn’t know why or how, all she knows is that she can’t control it, her whole life her parents have hated her, she’s had no friends and she cannot make physical contact with anyone. So when Adam arrives into her small cell, she is sure he’s been sent to kill her.

The world building in the story was quite sparse. Most of what we knew about the world was from Juliette’s memories or from what she could see from her small window in her cell. We get the idea that we have run the world into the ground. Animals and plants are dying, people are starving and The Reestablishment are here to try and restore order, but in their own self-serving way. I’ve read quite a lot of Dystopian books, so I didn’t find this to be a huge problem and could fill in the gaps. For someone new to the genre it could be a bit of a problem.

For the most part I like Juliette as a character. She has been slightly broken mentally (for obvious reasons) and through out the story you see her claw back small pieces of her sanity and really develop as a person. She is strong willed and is fighting for what she believes in, and I like that she sticks to her principles when most people would thrown the towel in a long time ago. The only thing I disliked about her is that she seems to make some stupid decisions (and I’m sure there will be more to come in the rest of the series, I can just see them coming) and that can be quite frustrating. I did shout at the book a few times! Now Adam, I loved! He’s smart, strong, caring and super hot. What more could you want? I enjoyed the development of the relationship between Adam and Juliette, they seemed to mend each other. Warner on the other hand. Ugh. I don’t really like ‘bad boys’ in any stories and Warner is no exception. Can someone slap him already! He’s not a very nice person. Warner has power and influence, and he won’t stop until he gets what he wants. Unfortunately that happens to be Juliette.

The writing style of this book is beautiful. It’s poetic, filled with metaphors and the striking out of text. I can see how some people would not find this enjoyable to read, but I did. I felt in gave a real insight to Juliette’s inner thoughts, the ones we all have but never say out loud. You know the ones I mean, right?

“The moon is a loyal companion.
It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.
Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.”

Overall I did enjoy Shatter Me. It was a fast paced and engrossing read especially if you like YA. There was just something that stopped me from loving it though, and I can’t quite put my finger on it.


4 thoughts on “Book Review – Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

  1. This book had been recommended to me by quite a few people, so I finally read it and came away feeling the same as you, but for different reasons. My main beef with the book was the writing style – I felt I was too old to be sucked in by all the metaphors. And I love a good metaphor, but I cannot abide a book full of them. Sometimes I just want to read some prose and not have to read between the lines, through all the lofty, breathless, swimming pool eyes and whatnot. That said, I loved Warner. Like loved him. And if I ever return to the series, it will be solely to get more of him and his story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think a lot of people definitely got a bit fed up with the metaphors. I’d never read anything that was quite so packed full of them before, so it was a bit of a novelty. It will be interesting to see if it wears off! The boys seem to separate people, don’t they! I guess that’s the point though. It’s a great discussion point 🙂 ~ Kiera.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The boys do separate folks – for me it’s again an age thing. At this stage in the game, a boy like Adam does nothing for me. Warner is interesting. This book also stands out for me because it’s the first YA book I felt too old to read. And not to say I’m crazy old, but something about the writing style seemed geared towards young girls and getting them all hot and bothered. And I’m just too freaking jaded to fall for it. haha. Girlfriends swear to me the writing gets “less young” as the series progresses, but so far I have not taken the plunge, despite the numerous references to book II, chapter 62. 🙂 (Also, if we’re being totally honest with each other, Juliette doesn’t really do it for me and I have a feeling she’s also a big reason that I haven’t moved past book I.)

        Liked by 1 person

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