Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: Nov 2011
Classification: YA Novel
Challenge: Outdo Yourself
Summary from 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.
Alright by now you know that everyone has been raving about this book. The hype was through the roof for this one and I was expected greatness, greatness I tell you! Sadly, I didn’t get a book that I was all out in love with, this one did have its ups and downs for me. I felt like I liked 2/3rds of this book but 1/3rd of it really lost me.
Before I get ahead of myself let me lay it out from the beginning.
So during the first 150ish pages of the book I was in love, I will admit it! I was in love with the beginning of this book, the writing was great, the story was extremely fascinating and who couldn’t feel for Juliette. Plus there is sorta this hot guy named Adam, hard not to fall head over heels for this guy. I mean his basic mission in life has been to find Juliette! Romantic right?
After the glorious opening of this story where I was so amazed, I started to notice that I wasn’t amazed anymore. Yes the concept of how the dystopian world worked was fascinating to me and I did like all of the characters. The exact moment that I hit a wall came with the writing. In the beginning Mafi’s unique style of writing was something new to be discovered, over time it wore down my patience a little bit each chapter. I wanted to connect with the beautifully devasted world and the great relationship that was developing between Adam and Juliette but I feel like I got lost. I got so wrapped up in how the writing was bugging me after so long of reading it that way, that I lost touch with the characters for a chunk of pages.
Honestly, I didn’t get back into the book until Kenji arrived at Adam’s place. I felt like he provided some much needed comic relief. The story had gotten so serious and had Kenji not shown up when he did I probably would have stopped reading. Kenji, although he was only in the novel for the ending 100ish pages, he was the character that I liked best!
Of course things were a little shocking in the end, kind of an exact rip off of X-Men, which the book is even compaired to in the description. So I’m not sure how I feel about the ending other than I was interested enough in this book to want to read book two after the cliffhanger I was left on.
Overall, I had a battle with this book but in the end I will give it 4 hearts because while X-Men are certainly not original I feel like no teen book has been written like this before. This subject is a new direction for teen literature and I want to explore this setting some more.