Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #1
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Dates Read: January 1-5, 2012
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.
When I began reading Shatter Me, I wasn’t sure whether or not I would be able to get into it. The story is told from the point of view of the main character, Juliette, in a stream-of-consciousness-type fashion. The narration is written as Juliette would write in her diary, with certain thoughts crossed out, and with grammar taking a sideline to frantic thoughts. However, I had this initial stylistic problem with Blood Red Road, and once I got into the story, I appreciated it. The same thing happened here. Once I became invested in Juliette’s story, I really found the style to be interesting and found that it added to the overall effect instead of taking anything away.
I thought the premise of the book sounded quite promising, and it certainly lived up to the promise. Juliette is a girl haunted by her situation, torn between her will to be such a good person but tortured by the fact that she cannot experience human touch without causing destruction. She is a girl that has been shunned all her life, forsaken by her parents and society alike. Shatter Me is a story about her escape from the physical and emotional prisons society has forced her into, and about the choices she has to make regarding her power. Is it a gift or a curse? Will she use it for good or evil? Who is truly worth trusting in the world? Shatter Me is a tale of self-discovery with a hard edge of dystopian science fiction and the struggle between good and evil. Overall, I would recommend it to people who think the summary/teaser sounds up their alley, fans of dystopian novels, people who like books about psychological conflict, and fans of things like X-men (Rogue, anyone?). I think you will be pleasantly surprised by this book, as I was.