[Review] Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me
(Shatter Me #1)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publication: November 15th, 2011 by Harper Teen
Page count: 340
Genre: YA – Dystopia, Paranormal, Romance

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.


Seriously, what is this? X-Men?

^That was me by the end of the book.

I can’t. I don’t even know what to say anymore. This book left me speechless but in a bad way.

Prior starting this book, I have heard mixed reviews, mainly negative feedback but I decided to give it a chance. I thought my biggest problem would be with the writing. Apparently, although some sentences resulted in awkward laugh or terrible frown on my face, eventually I got used to it and even found the writing to be mildly tolerable. Some were beautiful even.

“My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”

What I couldn’t just tolerate were the poorly-developed, unrealistic characters and the nearly non-existent plot.

Right from the start,we know that Juliette is locked in a prison due to her superpower for 200+ days. I completely understand how such thing would affect her emotional state — no friends, never experiencing any parental affection. I would believe if she had difficulties trusting people but BAM…once Juliette knows that Adam is her childhood friend she just melts…

Which leads to the second issue, the romance. I had difficulty buying their relationship because it seems to be based on past experience. I mean, just because you went to the same school and both of you suffered from terrible condition back then doesn’t mean that it’s love. I want build-up tension. Sparks and chemistry.

And that revelation in the end? I did not expect that it would end that way because the whole book was dedicated to romance with political talks inserted here and there. I thought the sudden plot development was rather far-fetched and now I don’t know whether I should continue the series or not…

17 thoughts on “[Review] Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi”

  1. I am sorry. I am laughing at the fact you didn’t like this book. I knew this wasn’t my kind of book in the first place but the love triangle made it a definite no for me. I am never really one for flowery writing. It’s enjoyable but for the most part, I love straight forward stuff. I feel like reading this book would twist my brain into a pretzel with me trying to understand what the author was trying to say.

    Fantastic review, Kezia!! 🙂

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

    1. Yes I didn’t understand some sentences — they were too metaphorical or philosophical… And there’s also this ridiculous sentence about Adam’s small smile as big as Jupiter x_x Shatter Me shattered my brain

      But I really liked that quote that I included in my review, probably because I feel almost the same way hahahaha

  2. Aww, I’ve actually been hearing tons of good thing about this that I started to wonder if I was the only one left who hasn’t tried (and have no interest to, whatsoever XD Sorry not sorry) this.
    But unrealistic character and undeveloped plot was like, the worst combo ever 0-0 And the romance sounds pretty sad also.
    Guess I won’t try this then. But thanks for the review Kez! Haha

    Neysa @ Papier Revue

    1. People say the good thing was in Unravel Me sooo maybe the series will get better ?? I don’t know which one to believe — my classmate who said that Juliette turns into this crying mess in the 2nd book or my blogger friends who totally adored this series xD

  3. I completely agree about the romance – I couldn’t have cared less whether Adam and Juliette ended up together. And I totally second the X-Men thing – though I didn’t mind it as much because I love the X-Men movies and reading stuff like that is always fun.

    As for reading the sequel, I’d say yes. The romance is still a bit annoying, but really it’s Warner I read Unravel Me for, and then that means you get to read Ignite Me, which is the best of the three!

    1. I wouldn’t have been bothered by the X-Men thing if it had been written…less cheesy? O_O I just didn’t like that there was a very sudden development like everything is dumped into the last few chapters…

      Everyone keeps saying that the second book is better because there is Warner xD I would read it but what’s making me unsure is would I be able to tolerate Juliette? ><

  4. I loved this book but when i got to the end I immediately thought of X-men as well haha! I wish Mafi took a different route in that one but for some reason this book just clicked with me.But I completely understand why you didn’t like it.

  5. I ended up really liking this one but can definitely see what you mean by all the sentences. Plus I was young and naive when I first read it (sixteen-what am I talking about, excuses 😛 ) but I know when I read the second book Juliette got on my nerves sooo much. BUT. The second book has a whole different feel and the third book is definitely my favorite, although it has a different focus Juliette is actually tolerable.

    1. Lol I remember back then when I just started reading I LIKED almost everything I read. And now when I think back to my past ratings I’m just like “how did this book get 5 stars??” ><

      Ooh, my friend said that Juliette was such a crying mess in the second book and that’s what made me wary of continuing the series. Because I could barely tolerate her in here…BUT I’ve heard about all the Warner feels so I might give it a thought 😀

  6. I’ve been holding off on this book for a while and have heard people complain about the writing and plot. In your opinion, did you think the novel was realistic?

    1. I’m sorry for my late response!! ><

      No…Juliette’s change came way too sudden, the romance lacks sparks and tension it just fell flat for me. The worldbuilding had potential but sadly it was very underdeveloped because the book only focused on the romance between Juliette and Adam.

  7. Oh dear, I’ve heard a lot of similar sorts of reviews about the romance and lack of plot, perhaps you should see how people’s reactions to the last book were to see if it’s worth continuing? I will be picking this up because of the different unique narrative though.

  8. Yeah this book was… lol I don’t know where to start. I’m a fan of the ol’ metaphor and Mafi’s writing is beautiful but I don’t think it fit with the story and Juliette? I have never wanted to punch a fictional character quite so much so best I didn’t continue cos violence ain’t cool! Sorry this didn’t work for you!

  9. I’ve only ever heard good things about this book so reading this review was refreshing. I do still want to read the book – just so I can form my own opinion – but now I’ll go into it not expecting too much.

    It’s such a pity the romance doesn’t revel with sparks and build up. 🙁

    Great review!!

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