17 April 2012

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Book: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Pages: 352
Source: Bought
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

 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.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

Caution: Slight spoilers may be revealed in this review.

If Shatter Me was a meal it would be a delicious appetizer: exquisite and full of potential but unsatisfying since I'm left a lot hungry for more. Shatter Me is a great novel, and I honestly wished I could have liked it more but there were a bit too many issues for me.

One would be that I found it hard to connect with Juliette in this novel. She's a mess of things and didn't develop so much in this book. The majority of the time I found her just whining and complaining, which is completely understandable, but she did it up to the point where it was absolutely ridiculous. She puts up this innocent, scared front because of all those horrible years in her childhood but doesn't take the step to stop being afraid and take on the world.

Another would be her relationship with Adam. She's known the guy for many years from her childhood, silently admiring him for his courage and bravery, but they never even talked to each other! Is it really possible to say, "I love you", to someone you've never had a conversation with? I'm not saying they obviously just like each other when it's not that situation, but I would save those words for someone after you've built a deeper relationship and had more experiences with them.

Adam in his own right is an adorable character but I found it somewhat challenging to actually fall for him. He's protective and sweet towards Juliette, especially gentle...and that's pretty much everything. Not that those qualities aren't to die for, I'm just used to seeing more complex male love interests even if they were "good" or "bad" boys.

And last but not least, this quote, this bad boy right here: "In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents...a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men." It should be changed to "a superhero story that contains very similar elements to The X-Men." It was all too much for me when Rogue Juliette went to Xavier Academy Omega Point and meets up with Professor X Castle who then proceeds to blow her mind with  Professor X's mad mind skills his psychokinesis. He welcomes her to Xavier Academy Omega Point and assures her how she's now with fellow mutants people like her. *facepalm* Also, the whole book felt really short, like there wasn't enough world building or enough twists and turns to make me go gasp at the sight. I wished Mafi elaborated more, but hopefully she will in the next book.

I did however enjoy some things. I loved the writing. At first it was a bit hard to get used to, but after a while, I was mesmerized by its gorgeousness! Honestly, I felt there was way too much metaphors and it distracted me from the whole big picture. It's an interesting writing style, and I look forward to seeing it in the next book.

I also really loved Warner and Kenji! Warner has more to him than what meets the eye and I'm determined to find out. He seems like a deliciously twisted character that I would love to unravel, especially after that scene with Juliette in the classroom. It was just...amazing. I loved it. I also enjoyed reading about Kenji. He's got a great sense of humor and where he tries to use his charms to "win over" Juliette's heart, he's already won mine over. ♥ (Cheesy, I know.)

In all, Shatter Me is a promising debut with lovely writing and a fast-paced plot. I devoured this baby in about a day or two and I really enjoyed the whole ride. If my issues and problems are resolved in the future books (which I most definitely will be keeping an eye out for), I could see myself absolutely raving and loving this series.

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6 lovelies:

Rachel @ Unforgettable Books said...

:) Nice review! I always love love interests with death and charisma.

Emily said...

I agree with you about the writing style. I didn't like it in the beginnning but as I read on I loved it. I'm sorry it wasn't your favorite book but I loved it. And I've never even seen X-Men but just from your review I can see the similarities.

P.S. I reviewed this book as well on my blog, Emily's Crammed Boookshelf, if you want to check it out. Thanks!! :)

roro said...

♥ (Cheesy, I know.) lol
i loved kenji

Anonymous said...

Aaaaah, so sad to hear you didn't enjoy it as much as me! D: Because for me it was a total win-win. But yes, I definitely see those points you mentioned -- Juliette not fighting back, not being more action in the romance department... I think it's one of those love-hate things.

At first I also found the narration weird. I mean, English is not my first language so I don't know that much... and Tahereh Mafi's narration is a bit poetic, full of metaphors. Needless to say, I ended up loving that aspect of the book.

Anyways! I hope when you read the second it finally clicks with you. And then we'll fangirl about it and about Adam together :)

Alexa said...

So many people raved about this one and I read it and was thinking the same things you put in your review. She was a lot like Rogue and it did have X-Men elements, especially the ending of the book. I do hope that the second book which was pushed back till 2013 will give us more answers and will smooth out some of the X-Men stuff.

Thanks for the great review, glad to see someone else felt the book was less than EPIC!

Gianna said...

I thought I was the only one to not like it as much as everyone else o.o Glad to see I'm not alone xD

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