Title – ‘Shatter Me’
Author – Tahereh Mafi
Published – October 2nd 2012 by HarperCollins
Pages – 338
Format – Paperback
Book Summary –
‘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.’
*Warning – Contains minor spoilers*
This was an odd book for me if I’m completely honest. They story line enticed me massively and I’d previously heard a massive amount of good things before picking this book up. I was ever so slightly underwhelmed if I’m truthful. In no way was this a bad book per se, in fact it got a look better as it went on however I did struggle to get my claws into it at first.
Initially I really disliked the writing, it seems very ‘childlike’. It had lots of repeated words and I found myself wanting to add punctuation here and there… I felt as if it needed correcting. I know it was meant to add to the feeling on the book and the story and that it represented Juliette’s train of thought but it just annoyed me initially. Something else that bothered me was the crossed out words, I can see this really not being to some readers taste. I found myself subconsciously skipping over them and even as I got used to the flow of the book I very rarely paid to much attention to them.
Thankfully the writing improved throughout the book and the childlike elements seemed to be held back towards the latter half of the story. Maybe it was due to the introduction of more characters and action in the latter half but it made the first half seem incredibly dull and slow in comparison. I struggled with the first 90 or so pages of this book because it didn’t seem to be going anywhere. But as I said the action increased massively in the last 100 pages and the writing style seemed more ‘grown up’ and paced which made it a far more pleasurable read.
Now onto the characters. Juliette was a half decent main character, despite being locked up for a couple of years at such a young age she hadn’t lost her sanity and still cared for the world outside the walls she was confined too. She came across as a very typical character, sometimes confused, sometimes smart.. sometimes scared and then suddenly brave. It wasn’t massively hard to predict her in all honesty. Adam was a slightly more diverse character, on the one hand he was a well trained member of the army, stern and trained to kill. On the other he was simply the boy doing what he had to to survive, he was simply the boy in love looking for a way out with those he cared about. I did like his dedication to Juliette, it was sweet and made sense. It wasn’t the sudden flick of a switch kind of romance that some stories like to have, it was a love that had been building for many years and a flamed that had never dulled. I did enjoy the way their relationship progressed, the way they bounced of each other was sweet. Although, it was ever so slightly convenient that the one person Juliette never forgot, always had feelings for, was the one person (well, technically two) who she could touch without harming.
In terms of the other characters in the book Warner, James and Kenji all were written well. Despite Warner being the main villain of the book, he didn’t come across no where near as scary as I thought he’d be. His obsession and anger brought on more of a subtle rage than a complete insane breakout so to speak. He seemed controlled but at the same time was breaking away at the edges of his persona. I’ll enjoy seeing him the next book, his character reminded me of a typical stalker, obsessive, controlling and full of fanatical ideas and dreams that border on insanity. Adam’s younger brother James was a very sweet character, the typical 10 year old in some ways but so incredibly mature and grown up in others. Despite the numerous things he’d seen and despite growing up the way he had he still had a certain amount of innocence about him, hadn’t quite lost his grip on the childhood that he nearly didn’t get. And Kenji added some humor to the book, I loved that he brought Adam out in a jealous ‘rage’ when he flirted with Juliette, he was the cheeky chappy character of the book and one with a very well kept secret. I wished he hadn’t shown up as late as he had in the book, same with James, as I believe their additions could have made the first half of the book more entertaining.
To sum up this book, it was a decent read.. once it got going. It was a slow start with not a lot of progression but then all of a sudden it was like someone hit the fast forward button and things started happening much quicker. And with the introduction of more diverse characters this book grew to be a nice read. The story line could have done with a major twist possibly and in my opinion a bit more information on the ‘Omega Point’ group before it came to an end. It’ll be interesting to see how this story develops and how Juliette learns to control her powers, especially since she’s discovered she can do more than simply harm with her hands but also the superior strength she has with them. It’ll also be interesting to see just how far Warner will go to get his hands on Juliette, he’s probably the character I look forward to seeing more of.
Would I suggest this book to other bookworms? I can see how this wouldn’t be to some readers taste however it wasn’t bad so yes, I’d suggest it..
Will I be reading the other two books in the series? Yes.
Am I completely in love with this book? Not in love no, but I don’t dislike it.
[I rate this book 3/5 stars]