Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

by - Thursday, February 20, 2014

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Harper
Series: Shatter Me #1
Format: Paperback, Turkish translation (DEX)
Source: Own purchase


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.

My thoughts:

Shatter Me is the story of Juliette, who's been claimed to be crazy and locked up in a mental institution. She's in her cell alone, and she hasn't touched or let alone talked to anyone in a very long time. We read the story through Juliette's words, and what sets her apart from most narrators is she lays everything out just as she thinks about them. Some parts are crossed out when she changes her mind, and this is something I quite enjoyed, something that made her real to me. It was refreshing to read, when, especially considering most YA narrators just try too hard.

Juliette was deemed crazy because she has powers that nobody understands. She's not at the point she can control it, therefore she ends up hurting people. Summary: she touches you, you die. She herself doesn't understand what's going on either, which is actually what pulls her toward insanity. However, everything changes when a guy called Adam shows up in her cell as her new cellmate, and they end up breaking out. Juliette slowly starts understanding that her powers aren't evil as most people think them to be, that she can be loved despite that, that there are people just like her and she's not alone. 

I imagine Juliette's story to be a sort of a metaphor: in real life as well, if someone's way too smart for "regulat" people to understand how it can be, if someone's considered too strong or powerful, they're ignored and left out. If they're considered to be "out of the ordinary" by society, nobody tries to understand them; it seems to be easier to just put them away and forget they exist. 

On a more fun note, when I got into the story a little bit, I thought I'd be all about Adam, but instead I fell for Kenji, who's fun, a bit of a smart ass and just plain cute. I must also add that Mafi really knows how to write great kissing scenes, and I learned a new word by choice while reading the book (it's not in the book in case I make it sound like it is), which I think describes it really well: 

BASOREXIA: The overwhelming desire to kiss.

I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next, and I'm definitely craving some more Kenji.

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