Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

August 25, 2014 Review 0 ★★★★

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh MafiShatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #1
Published by HarperCollins on 2011 November 15
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 338
Format: E-book
Source: Won
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four-stars

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I'm more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

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.

Before I start gushing about this book, let me thank Lexxie first for holding a giveaway for this one. 😀 If not for her, I would have procrastinated in picking this up until who knows when and by then, I would have missed out on a lot of fun.   Shatter Me is one of my best reads for 2014 as it completely satisfied my inner X-Men fangirl.  Except for those freaking metaphors, everything about it was completely balanced: the romance, the twists, the world building… blah, blah, blah.

The first instalment in a trilogy, Shatter Me instantly sucked me into Juliette’s life.  Though she didn’t quite appeal to me as a heroine, she was likeable enough to not ruin my reading experience. Yes, I admit that she’s really a strong girl with all of the things that she went through but sometimes, her exaggerated reactions even on the most mundane of things are quite exasperating. Her character would have been more palatable to my taste if her tendency for melodramatics was toned down for a bit.

Luckily, Shatter Me has a lot of awesome characters to keep me entertained and thus, it was easy for me to let Juliette off the hook.  First, we have Adam who surprisingly piqued my interest. I have to be honest with you but good boys rarely appeal to me. Most of the time, they’re too good to be true and I find myself being intimidated by them. However, Adam was one of those rare MCs that got my sympathy. I cannot say that he’s a favourite but yeah, he’s just interesting. And I look forward to reading more about him in the sequels to come. I am especially curious on how Mafi will develop his character further given that he’s already the good guy.

And now, let’s talk about the most awesome character in this book who is no other than Warner. But I bet you already know that. I know that I am some crazy girl rooting for a manipulative, sadistic, murderer like him but the thing is, he never pretended otherwise. But while he is all that, he still manages to be wittingly charming. And I am irrefutably entranced with his character every time he opens that mouth of his.  I think that that is a mark of a really interesting villain. At some point, he reminded me of Loki, dancing on the fault line of evil and salvation.  Before I wrote this review, I actually finished reading Destroy Me and made me understand his motivations. I know that his past horrors didn’t justify his present doings but given the mercy he had shown Fletcher’s family, the way he ignored the thieving that has been going on in his army simply because he sympathized with them; I know for certain that he’s not yet beyond redemption.

Another thing that really sold me on Shatter Me was its plot.  Yes, there is predictability in it but it was executed well.  Most importantly, it has an X-Men twist which had me reeling. Because I love love X-men. As I contemplated about it, we have

  • Juliette- As Rogue
  • Blondie/ Dr. Winston- Has almost the same power as Mercury
  • Kenji- As Wraith
  • Castle- Dr. Jean Grey
  • Brendan- Surge
  • Sonya and Sarah- as Elixir

See? You’ve got a nice line up of X-Men characters in there. I wonder whether Mafi is still planning to create Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm and Mystique in the next sequels. If she is then that would be perfect.  Kidding aside, there’s actually more to the plot than blasting supervillains to pieces.  The romance was done well and in my opinion, Adam and Juliette are good for each other.  And perhaps, I can have Warner for myself. 😀

As said earlier, I have an issue with Mafi’s overreliance on metaphors.  While some of them are beautiful, a lot of them are simply maddening. It’s not only that but some of them do not even make sense.  Yes, Mafi certainly has the potential but it’s not yet as awesome as Ness’ or Marchetta’s or Spooner and Kauffman’s or Taylor’s.

All in all, Shatter Me really justified all the hype.  It’s a spellbinding debut novel that greatly portrays Mafi’s boldness and creativeness. I completely trust her to deliver the same performance with Unravel Me. (However, I am still hoping that she’d run out of crazy metaphors by then.)

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