Books

Book Review: Shatter Me by @TaherehMafi

Shatter Me is the first in a YA trilogy. Unravel Me is the second and the third, Fracture Me, is released next February.
Shatter_MeJuliette 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.

If you’ve ever watched X-men and wondered what life must’ve been like for Rogue before she went to the Academy, you’ll love this book. Juliette’s story is Rogue’s, but taken one step further and way more thought out and in depth (than the movie Rogue. Can’t speak to comic Rogue).

Poetic, striking, and alluring—the writing is beautiful. The reader is really taken on a journey through Juliette’s mind through the use of language. We see her first in a cell, where she questions everything she thinks (by crossing out text), and interprets the world largely through metaphor:

“I’m wearing dead cotton on my limbs and a blush of roses on my face . . . I catch the rose petals as they fall from my cheeks, as they float around the frame of my body, as they cover me in something that feels like the absence of courage.”

“The tilt of his head cracks gravity in half.”

“I see dead dead dead red and burgundy and maroon and the richest shade of your mother’s favorite lipstick all smeared into the earth.”

Sigh. I’m in word-lust.

As Juliette is drafted by Warner, a rich leader determined to make use of her special gift, and becomes more and more stable mentally, we see less and less of these heavy metaphors and cross out texts.

Warner signs Adam to guard her. Adam, the only person who ever was nice to her. Adam, who had a crush on her.

Adam, the only person who can touch her without dying.

Their relationship is sweet and rich, exactly what you can picture for someone who hasn’t had human contact in a year or for most of her life. It’s not insta-love, but a lot of their feelings is based on who they knew each other to be when they grew up together.

However, Warner is the other factor in their relationship. He’s a psychopath. I’m even wondering if he’s a sadist. Though, to be fair, reviews of the enovella Destroy Me say we see another side of Warner. Is he really a psychopath or just misunderstood?

Juliette has the option to work for him and torture people or go back to prison. What happens when she doesn’t want either option and chooses Adam instead? The answer may surprise you.

You’d love this book if you’re a fan of X-Men, I am Number Four, books that deal with troubled minds, and gorgeous writing. If all the metaphors will throw you off or if you don’t like twist endings, then this might not be the best fit for you.

Check out Mafi’s website here.Follow Mafi on Twitter here.
Like Mafi on Facebook here.
How do you pronounce Mafi’s name? Find out here.
Read the enovellas from Warner and Adam’s point of view, Destroy Me and Fracture Me.

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