Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Happy Book Birthday to SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi

In celebration of SHATTER ME's Book Birthday today (meaning you can read it, today!), I wanted to re-post my review from August 4th. This is one of those books that was an instant favorite of the year for me, an absolute surprise, an "I want to be able to write so amazingly" unique writing style for a debut author, and a fall must-read for all of you! Enjoy reading my thoughts on the advanced copy I was lucky enough to read and then go buy yourself a copy of SHATTER ME!
Goodreads Summary:
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.

Juliette is alone - and can't be touched. She is deadly - and lonely and neglected. All she wants is to feel human again and know that she has a choice in what she does and how she's treated, but with her abilities, it's not meant to be. Once people realize what she can do, they're going to try to use here. They're going to try to sway her to their side. They're going to try to make her do what they want. Juliette's journey through this book leads to a growing strength and conviction as she figures out what she really wants and who she wants to be. Along the way she discovers a strength she never knew she had - in more ways than one.

Tahereh's writing is really, really unique. It's a little bit reminiscent of a Laurie Halse Anderson style with a not completely linear writing quality-there are poetic parts to it and repeated lines and an interestingly effective use of the strikeout tool that I've never seen before amazing incredible entrancing. It took me a little while to get used to it, but once I did, I was hooked. Oddly, I noticed the use of the word "shatter" quite a bit throughout, and I'm not sure if it's because I knew the title so it stuck out to me more, or if it was a bit overused, but overall, a slight quirk in an otherwise extraordinary story.

The first part of the book is really about Juliette and her solitary confinement, but then a boy shows up. Adam was unexpected. Adam turns out to be different than he seems; although, he does have his secrets. I loved Adam though - he is the kind of sweet boy character who has always been out for good that I like to read about in YA books. He's probably one of my favorite boy characters I've read (he's kind of in the vein of a Peeta-type of love interest) recently. There are some definite scenes of romance in this book-nothing too graphic, but definitely there.

Once you get to a certain point, it's a can't-put-it-down read and the action kicks in. Up until then, it's a more subtle kind of book. It's a dystopian, but you don't really get the world building until the last part of the book; it's much more character driven up until then. It doesn't really all come together for the reader to understand what's actually happening until the last part of the book - and by then you care so much about the characters that your heart is breaking for them. But, we get Kenji then - and oh how I loved Kenji and the comic relief he provides when it's most needed. I hope we get more of him in book two!

There is an overall feeling of a slow exposition and then a lot of the action happening in the later half of the book. By the end, I was left with a Hunger Games-ish feel. In the last quarter of the book - all of a sudden the game was changing with much bigger stakes and I was even more intrigued by what was going to happen. I very much feel like the ending was left open for a series and can't wait to find out what's going to happen next now that Juliette knows what she does. I do think this will be a much talked about book come November!

1 comment:

  1. I got my copy yesterday and it is absolutely fabulous! I was able to read it in one day thanks to the great Shatterday the author put on where they published the first 25 chapters about a month back on facebook. One chapter an hour starting at midnight. Of course they took it down. But Barnes and Noble had chapter twenty six. So it was fairly easy to finish in one day. If I had had to read the whole thing, it wouldn't have been. I loved the writing, so poetic. And Juliette is so fragile. The characters and so great. It was a perfect book to me. I can't wait to read the next one!