Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Shatter Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Published: November 15th, 2011

Number of Pages: 352

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

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. [From Goodreads]

Official Review Sent to HarperTeen*:

Tahereh Mafi’s debut novel, Shatter Me, is brilliant and has made Mafi one of my favorite Young Adult authors. The premise itself is thrilling and freshens the slightly diluted dystopian genre, but it was Tahereh Mafi’s absolutely magnificent prose that enshrouded me in happiness from page one. Ideas and thoughts that are already interesting – and border on profound – are relayed in such a mesmerizing way that very few readers will be able to resist.

Review:

IT IS GOING TO BE SO DIFFICULT NOT TO TYPE THIS ENTIRE REVIEW IN CAPS.

IT’S THAT GOOD.

SERIOUSLY.

‘KAY, I’M DONE NOW.

But it deserves capitals. It even deserves bold words and italicized ones. Shatter Me is by far the best dystopian book I’ve read this year. In fact, it’s one of the best YA books I’ve read this year. I swear it has some sort of power, some sort of magical force that stretches its hand out from the pages and wraps you in its fist. From the very first page, I was mesmerized by the unusual format and voice. Tahereh chose to mirror the voice in the format. Many of the lines are slashed out, so the reader knows they were thought by Juliette, but she’s repressed them. In moments of panic, Tahereh left out punctuation entirely. Whatever she chose to do for any given line was perfect and amplified the feelings expressed by the words. It was one of the most entertaining things I’ve ever seen in a book.

There were dozens of other wonderful things about Shatter Me. The most important of which was Juliette. She was so great! I love it when I have almost nothing negative to say about a heroine. Juliette is a tortured soul, but she’s so thoughtful. She has such a beautiful personality and sees the world in 4D. Everything is deeper through her eyes. I can promise you that, if you’re going to love Shatter Me (and you should), you’ll know it by the end of the first chapter.

And Juliette isn’t the only hook. The world Tahereh’s created is mind-boggling. Juliette is not the only tortured thing in the book. Her entire world is. Really. It’s a mess. However, that leaves tons of progress to be made in the series. This series has so much potential to be as magical (in feeling) as Harry Potter, as heart-wrenching as Delirium, as action-packed as The Hunger Games, and as well written as, well, the best written book in the YA genre.

And did I mention a romance more perfect than almost any other in dystopian books? I don’t know if I should tell you who this dream romance involves… I think it’s better to see as few spoilers as possible and preorder the book. All you need to know is this: You’ll need a lot of chocolate to comfort you from heartsickness when you remember that this boy is officially off-limits due to the facts that 1) He’s taken and 2) He’s fictional. Feel free to sob.

The only other person I want to mention is the villian. I loved him! He’s so fantastically weird and twisted and awesome. He’s perfect and just the sort of bad-guy you want to pop up around every corner.

The final word? Shatter Me is the ridiculously awesome novel heart-throb you’ve all heard it is. Mark the 15th on your calendar. Take a sick day and read.

*Thanks A TON for the ARC!

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