Friday, July 15, 2011

Book Review: Shatter Me

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. [Source]

I was able to read and review an ARC of this novel through OUaT tours (see button below my rating).

Let me preface my review by saying that I have never watched (or been remotely interested in) X-Men. So I came into this novel clueless and not knowing anything about Rogue or her specific powers. Thus, I didn't quite understand Juliette's power until I read further and did some indirectly related research.

Okay, back to the review.

This novel is about Juliette, who has been in jail for 264 days. Before she was lucked up, she was poked, prodded, tested, examined, and questioned extensively. Before that, she was shunned, teased, ignored, and exiled. All because of the mystery of her touch. It causes pain, torture, and death.

The world outside the jail where Juliette is being held is not the world we know now. In Juliette's world, there is no green, and the weather is erratic. Animals and plants have mostly died off. The Reestablishment is trying to regain control over society in order to return the world to the way it used to be, or so Juliette thinks.

When a strange man, Adam, is locked inside Juliette's cell, she learns that the Reestablishment is lying. Rather than return to society to the way it used to be, they are trying to create a new society, a new way of life. Adam and Juliette reforge a bond that had been created long ago. With this new friendship, and as her life dramatically changes, Juliette must look inside herself to become who she was meant to be. She must learn to accept her mysterious condition as a power, not a curse, and she must live freely, rather than locking herself up inside her own self.

I loved this novel from page 1 to page 342, start to finish. I was instantly enthralled in Juliette's world. I couldn't put the book down! Juliette is a likable character; she is smart and strong, even though she doesn't truly realize it yet. Her childhood was sad and lonely; my heart ached for her.

Adam was so lovable, despite the fact that I truly didn't trust him until I met his younger brother. My heart ached for them, too.

Actually, now that I think about it, my heart ached a lot while reading Shatter Me. I think it had to do mostly with the author's writing style. It's not easy to read poetic/lyric narratives, but that style always seem to trigger my emotion more than simple dialogue or descriptions. Tahereh Mafi's comparisons and descriptions were magical and fluid. I saw everything that Juliette saw, and I felt everything she felt.

Warner is that kind of character that you hate to love, and love to hate. He was very well-written, although not developed yet. I am anxious to read more about his motivations, what makes him tick.

The last 7 chapters provide more of a resolution to the conflict, but they do not wrap up the novel in the least. Far from providing closure, I was left with more questions, wanting more, needing more. Castle has gathered together some powerful people, and I need to know his plan. This entire novel was most certainly set up for a sequel, and I am more than ready for it to be written.



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