Author: Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: November 15, 2011 (paperback)
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Overall: 5 Stars
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.
Shatter Me is undoubtedly one of the most hyped novels of the year, and for good reason, because it’s well worth the high praise in every single way! Even though I set some very high expectations, Shatter Me still managed to go above and beyond my wildest dreams, shattering them within the very first few pages. I was immediately captivated by the way Tahereh Mafi completely breathed life into every aspect of Shatter Me. I couldn’t imagine the thought of setting this riveting book down for even a moment!
For 264 days, Juliette has found herself in solitary confinement, thrown into a cell to waste away by The Reestablishment because society considers her to be a monster. Inexplicably, terrible things happen when Juliette touches a person… and during her isolation, she’s tried to keep her sanity by watching the world wither away outside her window and writing her thoughts in her notebook. Juliette finds the simplest joys in the beauty found in nature and yearns for the touch of another human being, even though she knows that can never happen… not if she doesn’t want them to get hurt. She’s kindhearted and so much stronger than she realizes, and while humanity has turned their backs on Juliette, she still refuses to return the favour in kind. As for Adam, the incredibly gorgeous and swoon-inducing romantic interest, let’s just say he melted my heart and I still don’t think it has quite recovered. The chemistry between Juliette and Adam leaped right off the pages, and I fell for him just as hard as Juliette did!
I loved how Tahereh Mafi so easily twisted our views of Warner. While Juliette considered her abilities a curse, Warner recognized the power in her touch and wished to use it to further The Reestablishment’s cause. In so many ways, Warner is a reflection of what Juliette could so easily be if she let thoughts of revenge get the best of her. He was dangerous and certainly unpredictable, but despite everything, I felt sympathy for him because he was all alone, desperately trying to hold onto Juliette, although in a rather obsessive way. There’s a depth and complexity to Warner’s character that you simply don’t often find in a villain, and I have a great appreciation for that.
As if well-developed characters and an amazing storyline weren’t enough, Tahereh Mafi’s gorgeous writing style also left me wide-eyed in complete awe. Her use of strikethroughs were a clever device, revealing Juliette’s innermost thoughts which were just as chaotic as the crumbling society she lived in. Every page of Shatter Me was filled with the loveliest of metaphors, drawing the grandest of comparisons and painting a vibrant image of a world which was simultaneously hopeful of a better future and frightening at the same time.
Tahereh Mafi has sure made a powerful entrance in the YA writing scene with her debut novel! I already have a feeling Shatter Me will prove to be one of those everlasting novels I’ll find myself reading over and over again, and each time, only falling in love with the novel even more. It’s easily one of the best books of the year… and I’m highly anticipating the second novel in this pulse-racing trilogy which promises to only get even more exciting from here. Shatter Me is an absolute must read for everyone!
Thanks so much to HarperCollins Canada for providing this review copy! To learn more about Shatter Me, you can find more information about the book on HarperCollins Canada's website, "like" their Facebook page, and visit The Savvy Reader!