Title: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Young Adult | Sci-fi > Dystopian | Romance
Synopsis: 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.
Final Rating: ★★★☆☆
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Okay, so I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about this book. It’s always “Shatter Me is fantastic” or “Shatter Me is the best thing since Nutella” or “Shatter Me is so good, it makes me want to die.” So, it’s safe to say that I went into this book with really high expectations, and I never learn that high expectations are always the downfall of an otherwise good book. But it’s human nature. Expectations exist- they suck, but they exist. I was ready to love this book. I was ready to be astonished by Mafi’s writing. I was 200% ready to fall in love with Warner… but I was horrendously disappointed.
This book is not bad. Nope, not at all. I actually finished it in two sittings because it was really addictive and fast-paced. It was light and entertaining, and it was just a lot of fun to read. It was very enjoyable, but was it anything BUT enjoyable? Er, I’m not sure. I wasn’t invested in the characters. I thought the synopsis and the hype was kind of misleading. I didn’t like the protagonist much. By the end of the book, I had no drive to pick up the next one, and I’m still not sure I will.
The entire gist of this book was this: I had really high expectations, and it didn’t just meet up with them. If I didn’t have high expectations, I might have liked this much more than I actually did.
If you like this book, read no further. I try to be neutral in my reviews, but sometimes, I get carried away and may offend someone who is a die-hard fan of this book. If you continue to read this, I am sorry. I do not judge anyone based on their preference of books, I promise.
I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Shatter Me had a very fast-paced plot that had me hooked from beginning to end. Although there were some things I didn’t agree with, the book itself was very entertaining. Especially the first fifty or so pages were fascinating, and I really wanted to know where everything was going.
But when I say the synopsis was misleading, I’m saying that in the sense that I had expected a lot of kick-assery from our main character. I mean, come on, her touch is lethal. I expected a lot of awesome, twisted action. A lot of death, rather than a meek little heroine who fell in love with the first guy she laid eyes on. The book was too romance heavy. This is more of a romance book than a dystopian, to be honest, and I was put off by it. I was sick of reading about Adam’s lips and his touch the thirtieth time Juliette mentioned it. The romance itself made me feel nothing, because there was no umph to it. It was flat.
I also felt like everything was way too predictable. There were no plot twists worth noting, nothing that had me completely on the edge of my seat, nothing that had me shocked or wide-eyed. It was a smooth-sailing novel with its ups and downs here and there, but nothing too drastic.
As of now, I’m not curious at all about what the next two books hold. The only reason I MAY pick them up is because I absolutely hate leaving series unfinished.
This is where everything started crumbling. I felt absolutely NOTHING for the characters, and when I say nothing, I mean nothing, nada, zilch. Absolutely nothing. I didn’t care for Juliette because she cried half the time. You’d think after everything she’d been through, she would have skin made of steel or a vengeance deep inside her heart but nope. She had no flaws. Despite her touch being fatal, she was Mother Theresa because she cared and loved everybody and would never hurt a fly because it’s wrong and human life is precious oh goodness no.
Let’s talk about her love interest. Can a guy like Adam exist? A guy who is absolutely selfless, a guy who would give his life to protect the love of his life and his brother and his friends, a guy who is intelligent and beautiful and has some special ability? What was wrong with Adam? Nothing. He was perfect, and that annoyed the crap out of me. Perfect characters are flat because there’s no nuance to them. There are no shade of grey. They don’t feel real, they feel fake and pretentious and that’s exactly how Adam felt to me. Sympathetic when Juliette needed him to be, strong when she needed him to be, all over her when she needed him to be, sensitive when she needed him to be. He was there solely as a prop for Juliette, and had absolutely zero personality otherwise.
Warner. Okay, why the hell does everyone love Warner? He was absolutely awful. And not only in a way like, “oh he’s a horrible person.” No, he was just an awful character. One moment he’s spiteful and cruel and bad-ass, and then the next second, he’s a cheesy little fucker with no reasoning behind his sappiness. WHY? We get no back story for him. Juliette barely interacts with him enough for us to know what he’s like. He’s as flat as a tabletop with absolutely no complexity to him. He had the potential to be a crazy ass villain, but nope. Sigh.
Okay, so I was astounded by Mafi’s writing in the first hundred pages or so. I loved her metaphors, and I loved how lyrical her writing was. I haven’t read an author write in such a unique way in the longest time, and I was really taken aback. But that was my first impression. After a while, it started to get annoying. How exactly was Juliette’s jaw dangling from her shoelace? What the actual shit, Mafi? How does someone wake up like an old creaky staircase? By the middle of the novel, I was frustrated with the writing because it felt forced. Like Mafi was trying WAY too hard to be different. The metaphors were overdone and pretentious. And when Mafi didn’t have a metaphor to write, she would repeat a character’s actions like ten times. I don’t know how many times Juliette blushed or flushed or how many times her body filled up with roses (that’s still her blushing, by the way.)
I don’t think I’d be able to stand another book with the way Mafi writes. Don’t get me wrong. I think Mafi’s unique style of writing can work if she just toned it down a little. Just a notch.
Would I recommend? No, not particularly.
Would I re-read? No.