Thursday, 16 February 2012

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

4.5 Stars (dystopian YA)

A great read full or heart and amazing romance.

I haven't been giving away many 5 stars yet this year, in fact I don't think any of the book I've read yet have blown me away enough to get a flawless review. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi comes very very close though.

As far as dystopian-esque books go, this one is among the ranks of must reads. Although the plot isn't so much about a floundering world and doesn't concentrate all that much on the digression of society the book is an apt portrayal of the corruption of humans themselves and how the quest for ultimate power can lead us astray.

I'll start with the few things I had trouble with first, because they were very few. I wished that the world had of been built up a bit more. For the first half of the book readers are secluded with Juliette in a cell in an asylum. She hasn't seen or spoken to anyone in 264 days until a boy is suddenly thrust into her cell with no explanation. There is mention here and there about something known as The Reestablishment, who have since the "big bang" when society started to plummet, taken over and are intent of wiping out anything and everything that could lead society astray once more. All we as readers really know about them is that they are corrupt and are trying to annihilate any form of diversity. Diversity of all kinds, which means Juliette is targeted for a curse she doesn't know how to control. After a tragic accident, Juliette is sent away by her parents and locked away by the Reestablishment, until she is targeted for her power when it is seen as something that can be used in the fight between the government and those who hope to fight against it.
The little that we got of the outside world and the politics and the way everything works sounded so very interesting and I wanted to know more, but as readers we are so locked within Juliette's perspective - not a bad thing at all - except that we didn't get to learn much beyond the bare facts about the outside world and how it works. How did society falter? When did it happen? How do people live? We get a few hints at the changes but not enough. Hopefully this will all be more developed in the later books. 

The only other little nagging element I had was that some events seemed to transpire too easily. I won't give any details for fear of giving spoilers, but I'll just say that when things seemed really dire, something popped up and it made it just a smidgen to convenient.

Now, for the good. The prose is beautiful! It's poetic and heartwrenching and makes you as a reader, feel every emotion Juliette is experiencing. I loved that Mafi used the strike out lines to emphasis the difference between what Juliette was thinking and really wanted to say, versus what actually came out of her mouth. It was a unique and very well employed device. 

The characters were great, I loved Juliette, her scared, shy exterior that masked a deeper strength that I hope we get to see expanded in the next books. Adam was adorable and loving and everything swoon-worthy. I liked that he was a mystery in the beginning and then a past with Juliette was slowly revealed. This couple was lovely and so heart-warming. Loved them to bits and their relationship was easily one of the best things about the book.

I'm so excited to see where Mafi takes us in book 2 and 3. I'm a huge fan of these characters and the plot and can't wait to see where it all leads given the ending :)

A great debut novel!



  1. Yaseena, this is such a wonderful review! I'm afraid I didn't manage to put all my thoughts into words. I do agree with you on just about everything, though, and I truly appreciated that Juliette showed strenght and determination. I'm a little tired of weak characters.
    Following you now!
    Maja @ The Nocturnal Library

    1. Thanks for following Maja, as you can tell I really enjoyed this book :) hope the next one is as good!

  2. I am glad to see that you enjoyed Shatter Me. I have seen a lot of mixed reviews. I will have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews