Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

When I first read the small blurb and saw the trailer I was very excited to get my hands on a copy of this book. I had high expectations, which may have influenced the way I think about Juliette's story. Even though I enjoyed reading it, it did not live up to my expectations.

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.

Juliette's touch is lethal power. Her life has always existed of lonelines and pain, not even her parents dared to love her. Instead, they sent her away to be locked up in an institution. Until The Reestablishment has other plans with her.

“My life is four walls of missed opportunities poured in concrete molds.”
The concept Tahereh Mafi created was astonishing and new. The setting, however, felt unreal and boring.
Mafi's writing style was certainly mesmerizing: a flood of metaphors drowning you in words.
At first I liked the creativity of it, read sentences over and over again, amazed by the simple beauty Mafi had folded into words of spring. However, it was simply too much. Knowing you have 300 pages to go, filled with beings comprised of letters, is harsh. As you may already have noticed.

“Hope is a pocket of possibility.
I'm holding it in my hand.”

Hope. There was a lot of hope in this book. The thing I didn't like about Juliette is that she didn't do anything to realise that hope. She followed the villain, Warner, in almost anything he asked her too. Where Juliette is a tool of power, a weapon in a war, she doesn't know how to fight for herself.
Luckily, she has her own hero. Adam, who has been in love with her since he was a little boy. It didn't matter that they had never actually talked. Adam is a genuinly likeable character, I have to admit that. The way he protects Juliette and how he cares for his brother got to me. It's simply his unrealistic romance with Juliette that makes me this bitter.
He has been Juliette's hope since she was still a rose bud, before she unfolded her petals and became the center of male attention.
Because, unsurprisingly, there's another male character who fell in love with our heroine before he had even met her. Warner, our villain, is obsessed with this human monster. After he has finally caught her in his web he reels her in to keep her close to his heart.
Where I liked Adam, I loved Warner. Warner might not be a typical villain, he certainly is evil. His education taught him to be cold, calculating. He was raised a killer. Even the way he obsesses about Juliette and declares her his love didn't ruin him for me. It fits him.
“His smile is laced with dynamite. "Go to sleep"
"Go to hell."
He works his jaw. Walks to the door. "I'm working on it.”

It's the little things that made me doubt this book, but I most certainly will be reading the next books in the series. Other little things made me love this book: James and Kenji, the moments of brilliance, the raw hope at Omega Point.
The discovery of Omega Point and the fury of the Reestablishment promise a rather interesting Unravel Me. I just hope Tahereh will use her talent in a different way. Because she is a gifted writer with great potential.

My rating of this book

E-book copy.

Other links
Find this book on Goodreads
Visit Tahereh Mafi's website here
Tahereh Mafi's blog. It's pretty hilarious.

~ Sylke


  1. I think...that I will not read it

  2. Awe, what a shame you didn't like it as much as I did. Another Warner lover! Have you read the 1.5 book yet? I'm working on it, but Warner scares me.

  3. Awww sorry you didn't like it! I wasn't a fan of the ending but I really liked the journey! :)

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

  4. I had a hard time getting into this book. I couldn't see what everyone was raving about until I got to the end. I loved Omega Point and if Tahereh Mafi continues along that storyline I think the next book will be great.

  5. I feel really sorry too, as I truly think Tahereh Mafi is an incredible author. Juliette's feelings are delicately described even if too many literary devices were used to my liking.
    For me, the story got better near the end though, after the escape. Which is also why I want to get my hands on Unravel Me: Omega Point is fascinating.

    I've read Destroy Me, I loved it! Warner is a tad scary, but I like him that way. If Unravel Me is written in a similar way I have high expectations. :)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)