Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me #1)
Publisher: Harper Teen
Format: ARC
Genre: Dystopia, Paranormal, Young Adult
Publication Date: 11.15.2011
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.

Hope in this world bleeds out of the barrel of a gun.
-Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me
Utterly compelling. The most amazing part of Shatter Me is the author's ability to breathe life into words on a page. The story is written out as the exact stream of thoughts from the main character, Juliette. I can't say that I have come across an entire book written like this before, and I'm not sure I will ever again find one that is done so well. It is breathtaking it is amazing in its effectiveness.
I can't get it out of my mind.
I can't get it out of my mind.
I can't get it out of my mind.
I can't get it out of my mind.

Admittedly, there were times when I felt like the metaphors and similes got to be a bit much. Some of the metaphors were a bit of a stretch for me, and they pulled me out of the story because I needed to pause and think of how they could make sense. For the most part though, I was blown away.

I love the story; it's very realistic and engrossing. I could feel Juliette's environment as if it were my own, and that added a layer of belief to her character. Her personality is defined by the moments of her past that led to her being locked up; moments she loves, and moments she resents. She is quiet and timid on the outside, but inside, her mind races with thoughts and details. The phrase "still waters run deep" comes to mind when I think of her. Also: her power is wicked cool.

Adam is one sexy character, and it's not because of any display of macho--he really cares about Juliette, and is capable of making an entire show of emotions with a single touch or glance. He is dependable, and likes to think ahead, meaning he is also prepared for anything.

Their relationship develops quickly, but as more is revealed in the story, their deep feelings prove credible. As two very deep thinking people, I have no doubt of how much can be said between them by simple gestures and acts of kindness. They really seem to be able to draw strength from each other. There are also some sexy words spoken between them that had me sooo jealous that I'm not Juliette! And that  >>>shower scene<<<! HOT.

I would have liked to have been shown more about the world they are living in. The worldbuilding wasn't quite there, and I had questions regarding what exactly happened to make citizens all around the world give in and accept the current government. I also wondered where everyone was, since we see so few people, aside from those directly relevant to the story. Who delivers the food to Juliette's cell? What happened to the other people Juliette used to hear crying in their cells? Who are the people who locked her up in the first place? We never get answers to these questions. The ending is also a bit jarring, since the last few chapters change course from the rest of the book. It brings on an X-men type of deal that felt more contrived than I want to admit.

Overall, Shatter Me is a thrilling debut, and one that I highly recommend reading. It boasts a cast of diverse characteristics, and enchanting writing that is so beautiful, you will be writing down your favorite passages with every page. I have never before had so many quotes I wanted to save from just one book! Read it for the the unique writing, and love it for the captivating story.

Read this if:
...you see beauty in the written word, you like to feel what your characters feel, and you can deal with standing on the outside of an utterly dystopian world for the duration of the story.

Content Warning
*This section may contain some spoilers about content!*
Highlight between the brackets to reveal the text.
{Some swearing, some violence, lots of sexual tension, making out, and petting.}

Purchase Shatter Me:
Tahereh Mafi:
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  1. Just like with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer it's hard to believe that a book is that good and I think I can only believe all of these reviews when I'm reading it myself (still waiting for my copy to arrive). But your review just made me want to read this even more than before. :D Thanks for sharing!

    Fictional Distraction

  2. I've added this one to my to-read list. Thanks for the compelling review!

  3. Oh my! What a review. SO well written! Blew me out of the water. This sounds fantastic!

  4. A fantastic review! I am soooo eager to get hold of this book.

    Sharon @ Obsession with Books

  5. I really want to start this one tonight but I will probably read it later this week. Your review is written just as beautifully as the book sounds. I can't wait to read it and you have me very curious about that shower scene! I just must find time to read this one.

    Thanks for the great review. :)

  6. This is one of the few books this year with so much hype (!) that I really adored. Such beautiful writing, and I loved the characters. They felt like they could be real people because of their complexities.

  7. Wow, incredible review. I haven't added this to my TBR list yet, but I am definitely going to now! I am really intrigued by this book now--it sounds amazing.

  8. I LOVE this book! It's just amazing, and I can't believe it's her first book. I need the second book, now. (Yesterday even!) Great read. :)

  9. Ooh!! I absolutely enjoyed Shatter Me as well! It's one of the best I've read this year :) I love Juliette and Adam, they're one of my favorite YA Couples! Awesome review!

    Mia @ Girl about Books

  10. Carina: I totally understand. When there's a lot of hype, I am less likely to want to read it just because I usually don't like it...but THIS--this is one that I loved! I hope you love it too. :)

    Alison: Glad I could help!

    Juju: That's so nice to hear! I'm glad you liked it. Must have been the writing in the book rubbing off on me. ;)

    Sharon: Hope you get it soon!

    Alexa: Thank you! And yes--get ready for that shower scene.

    Ashley: I totally agree. So beautiful, and with such great characters.

    Kelly: Yes! I hope you love it.

    Chirsty: Wasn't it? I can't wait for the next one, either.

    Mia: Glad you loved it too! Such beautiful writing. :)


Thanks for commenting! I read each and every one, and reply as soon as I can :)

Please note: The Reading Fever is an award-free zone. I am very flattered, but comments are all the thanks I need.


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