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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me (ARC) by Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pub. Date: November 15th, 2011
Pages: 352
Series: Shatter Me, #1
Age Level: 14+
Source: Gift

Synopsis via 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.

Before I read Shatter Me, there had been a significant amount of hype spreading throughout the blog world testifying to its amazingness. It released the day before my birthday and after everything I'd heard about it...well...I was pretty damn excited for this one. At the same time, a part of me always holds onto a sense of caution when reading a book that has been hyped up so much, because sometimes, when expectations are set too high, it makes you more likely to be disappointed if things aren't perfect. That said, I didn't fall head over heels in love with Shatter Me like I'd hoped, but I wasn't exactly disappointed either and still found myself really enjoying it, despite some minor issues.

Overall Juliette was a great protagonist. She was strong, brave and had a slight sense of humor. My only problem with her was she was a bit unrealistically good. I mean, look at how she'd been treated by people her whole life and yet she doesn't have hardly any yearning for revenge? You can crave revenge, or for someone to get what they deserve, without having to act on it, and that is perfectly normal. But no, she didn't want to hurt anybody. Very angelic of her. But, really? Maybe there are a handful of people out there who are just truly that good. Me? Not one of them. Because even if I didn't act on it, boy would I be pissed and, if nothing else, ready to scare some people with my power. I guess you could say this made it a little hard for me to relate to Juliette. Moving on though. Adam was a pretty smexy guy and what I really liked when it came to the romance between him and Juliette was how long they had known each other, so the romance didn't just come from thin air. They had history. The more the story went on the more I learned about Adam and the more I grew to love him. As for our villain, from the very beginning, there was something I liked about Warner. Well, as much as you can like an evil villain. He's bad, that's for sure, and twisted and sick but I got the feeling that somewhere, deep down in the darkest recesses of his stone cold heart, he really did start to love Juliette in his own perverse way. I also found his attitude and way of putting things very amusing. I can't wait to see where Mafi takes his character from here. There were a couple of other great supporting characters as well including Adam's little brother and his friend the guy he'd worked with.

Shatter Me is a very compelling and original dystopian-esque story that has a main character with a powerful ability, reminiscent of a paranormal type aspect. The plot moved pretty quickly during the first and last parts of the book but lagged a little bit in the middle. Even then, though, it was still enjoyable. There was some pretty good world building and I look forward to finding out more in the next book. Even though there was a lot of set-up, it was never at all boring.

The writing, while very beautiful and poetic, was almost over the top, as if the author was trying to make a point of it being complicated and unique. As a result, it tended to stand in the way of my enjoyment of the plot at times, ruling over the entire book. However, this improved as the book went on and I was able to love the writing more.

The ending was practically perfect. I loved the way it tied things up, allowing me insight into what I could expect of the world in the next book but without ending the book on some dramatic cliffhanger.

All in all, Shatter Me is an impressive debut from Mafi, despite my few small problems with it.  I would definitely recommend reading this one and I look forward to devouring the second book.

(Sorry this review isn't quite on par with what my reviews normally are. I read this back in December. A lot has happened since then so my brain is working with what it still has left. lol.)

Characters: B
Writing: B+
Plot: B
Ending: A-
1st in Series: B
Enjoyment/Likability: B
Recommendable: B+

Overall: B/B+

Cover: B

Buy Shatter Me
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We Heart YA said...

Not on par? We thought this was a great review! We had some of the same issues with the book that you did, but we didn't love the characters as much. (Except Warner, and the hilarious best friend whose name now escapes us b/c it's been awhile...) Anyway, glad that you were able to enjoy it, despite The Hype Machine. :P

Unknown said...

Great review. Shatter Me is on my to-read list.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

I loved this book and I am glad you did too! Great review

Stephanie said...

Great review! I agree with everything you said, especially the writing being distracting in places--I love a good metaphor, but some of these I read three times and still wasn't sure what she meant! I also felt the language sort of covered up the fact that the story and world building wasn't all that original. I kind of felt this was a dystopia only because those are trending right now, and it almost would have worked better as a fantasy set in some other world. And while Juliet's goodness didn't consciously bother me while reading, I did think most of the characters seemed like archetypes, and I think her goodness played into it--Julie and Adam were GOOD, Warner was the TORTURED VILLIAN, Kenji was the GOOFY SIDEKICK, etc. Not that using archetypes is necessarily a bad thing, but I felt that too would have worked better in a fantasy novel, rather than a supposedly somewhat realistic future.

Anyway, good review!

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I did not really like Adam-I thought he was lame but I was fascinated with his brother, his friend, and Warner. Golly I really liked Warner and I do not usually like the villains but Warner had so much personality and charisma, he just popped off the page!

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Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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