Author: Tahereh Mafi
Classification: YA Fiction, Dystopian, Paranormal
Would I recommend it?
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
I've waited a pretty long time to write this review. After my first read of the book, (I've read it twice now,) I'll admit, I was pretty... entranced.
This story really ensnared me. Juliette's story is so compelling, I couldn't help it. After my first read, I was convinced that it was the best book of the year (2011 at the time).
Now that I've had some time to think about it, and some time to re-read it, I think I'm now able to write a more critical review.
Seriously, if I had reviewed this book right after I read it back in 2011, it probably would have looked something like this:
HOLY HOLY HOLY HOLY CRAP THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! READ THIS BOOK. RIGHT NOW. GO BUY THIS BOOK AND READ IT RIGHT THIS SECOND!!!!!!!!!! OMG JULIETTE!! OMG--ADAM! KENJI!! WARNERRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Because really, this book has seriously fangirl-making powers.
While the story of Shatter Me is probably the strongest aspect of the book, the writing is what really sets it apart. The style is almost lyrical to a fault. In Juliette's voice, almost everything is made lyrical. Everything is given significance.
And when you read the story with one eye closed, your critical eye, let's say, the style works. Considering Juliette's hardships, the things she's had to go through, the writing style fits.
But with this type of narrative, when you see the seams in the story, they are incredibly obvious. The hints of foreshadowing, the planting of a recurring or overarching theme, the clumsy inclusion of backstory. These bits seem glaringly obtrusive in a narrative as overtly lyrical as Juliette's.
However. While I have overcome a good deal of my fangirl obsession with this book, there is still no way that I will miss the remaining books in this series. I pre-ordered Unravel Me almost a year ago!
Would I recommend it?