Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Release date: November 15, 2011
Series: Shatter Me #1
Source: ARC sent by Harper Collins Canada
Reviewed by: Tynga
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 asThe 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.
Taken away from her family 3 years ago – and they were all too happy to get rid of her – Juliette finds herself locked-up in a cell in an asylum, after accidentally killing someone. How was she suppose to know a simple touch of her bare hands could end a life? She hasn’t breathe fresh-air (or what passes for it anyway), haven’t seen the light, or spoken a word in 264 days, when a boy is shoved with her in her cell. Boys and girls aren’t suppose to mingle. Have they finally decided to kill her and give her cell to this boy? Is he a test? A treat? An ally? Juliette isn’t sure of anything, but she was right about one thing: The day this boy entered her life, is the day her life changed forever.
Tahereh Mafi is an amazing and stunning writer. Shatter Me is her debut novel and from the very first page I was engrossed in this broken world she created. We destroyed our planet: animals are sick, crops are dying and food is hard to come by, the vegetation is destroyed, the seasons are a mess and the sky isn’t even blue anymore. A group stood-up and pretended they would save us all: The Reestablishment. Their plan is to destroy everything that could’ve caused our downfall. Art, languages, comfort, everything is destroyed and anyone standing in their way is killed. Nobody is safe and Juliette will be able to witness the damage firsthand when she’s unexpectedly taken away from her prison.
Mafi didn’t only create an addictive world, she also painted multi-faceted characters you have no choice but to have a strong opinion about. Juliette is a broken girl. She was always mistreated, cast out as a monster by other children and never got to enjoy a loving embrace – not even from her own mother. She’s been isolated for nearly a year, without a single human contact, and even though she is still very sane, Mafi’s writing let’s us privy to her insecurities. Here’s an excerpt, I’m sure you’ll understand what I mean.
I want to be angry-angry-angry.I want to be the bird that flies away.
"What are you writing” Cellmate speaks again.
These words are vomit."Why won’t you answer me?” He’s too close too close too close.
This shaky pen is my esophagus.
This sheet of paper is my porcelain bowl.
No one is ever close enough.
Adam, her cellmate is very mysterious. Mean an instant, sweet the moment after, following orders yet sometimes breaking them. Juliette just doesn’t know what to do of his attitude and feels more lonely than ever when he turns his back on her. Along their journey, we also meet other amazing characters, cruel psychopath men and some goofy allies, providing us a wide and completely variety of personalities.
Original and surprising, Juliette’s journey in this harsh world will keep you on your toes. I haven’t foreseen any of the events and was delighted by the intensity of their quest. Shatter Me is full of twist and turns that will keep you hooked to its pages and when you finally reach the end, all you can do is pray for the second installment to release soon because even though the end isn’t a cliffhanger, it promises the new beginning of an outstanding adventure.
The novel as a whole is a masterpiece if I may say. The story, the world, the characters are exquisite, but Tahereh Mafi’s writing is what makes this adventure so special. I’d end this review with a couple of amazing quotes if you don’t mind =) (quotes from ARC, may have changed in the final edition)
I have no idea where I am.
I only know that I was transported here by someone in a white van who drove 6 hours and 37 minutes to get me here. I know I was handcuffed to my seat. I know I was strapped to my chair.
I know my parents never bothered to say good-bye.I know I didn't,t cry as I was taken away.
I know the sky falls down everyday.
Adam is pointing a gun at my chest.Adam is pointing a gun at my chest.
Adam is pointing a gun at my chest.
His eyes are foreign to me, glassy and distant, far, far away.
I am nothing but novocaine. I am numb, a world of nothing, all feelings and emotions gone forever.
I am a whisper that never was.