Book Review: Shatter Me

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. 2011.

“You can’t touch me,” I whisper.
I’m lying, is what I don’t tell him.
He can touch me, is what I’ll never tell him.
But things happen when people touch me.
Strange things.
Bad things.”

What would it be like not to touch anyone for exactly 264 days? Juliette knows all too well. The last time she touched someone, The Reestablishment locked her up in a mental institution for murder. As she sits locked in a cell, her world is falling apart. Birds no longer fly, food is hard to find, and diseases are in abundance. Juliette might just be the solution to this chaotic world. The question is, will she choose to be a warrior or a weapon?

Shatter Me was one of the most hyped Teen debuts of 2011. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, and I promise you will not be disappointed. With hints of Hunger Games and X-Men, I was not able to pry myself away from this fast-paced post-apocalyptic/dystopian America. Shatter Me takes a different approach in this dystopia because of its electrifying villainy, jeopardizing choices, and paranormal twists. Mafi’s writing is not quite like anything I have read before. Her style includes lyrically written text along with breathtaking plot twists. The use of imagery and metaphors, are almost chilling in the way they are written. I also enjoyed the prose that is written as a stream of consciousness from Juliette’s point of view. Every thought is documented, which makes it feel as if you are reading her every thought. Many of her thoughts are strike outs, which is a very interesting technique:

“I always wonder about raindrops.
I always wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.
I am a raindrop.
My parents emptied their pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a concrete slab.”

The strike outs provide a cue to the reader of her inner struggle with who she really is. This technique was refreshing and unique and it made me really in-tune with Juliette.

For those of you who enjoy pulse-pounding romance, there is plenty of that as well. Adam is by far one of the most well-spoken male leads that I have read about in a long time. (Take that Edward!) You might even find yourself smitten by a handsome psychotic villain named Warner. Don’t get me wrong, Warner does horrible things, but he does them in order to survive. I will leave it up to you on whom you would deem worthy of Juliette.

Shatter Me also gives readers a taste of what is to come in future novels as well as many unanswered questions: How did Juliette develop her abilities? Who are the other people trapped in the Reestablishment prison with her? Check out Shatter Me for a whole new dystopian experience!

(Official Shatter Me Book Trailer courtesy of Harper Collins)

Kristin J.