Wednesday, July 16, 2014

{Book Review} Shatter Me #1: Tahereh Mafi

Rating: 8/10
Series: Shatter Me #1
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, Dystopian, Young Adult, Fiction,
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: November 15, 2011
Page Count: 338
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Goodreads Synopsis:
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.

While this wasn't the BEST book I have ever read (*applauds* Congrats Sofia for having such a positive first sentence), it certainly is one of the most exhilarating, romance-filled, yet fast paced novels I have ever read. My first, pre-first point is that Shatter Me has had a lot on controversy surrounding it and people who have read it have either loved or hated the book. Personally, I was one of the ones that loved it.

Backstory Time:  It's past midnight on Monday, the 14th of July. Sofia (yes, it's third person time) has already finished two books in the time she has been awake that day. And instead of going to bed, what does Sofia do? She starts a new book which happens to be Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. *Fun Fact* Sofia had been wanting to read Shatter Me for a while now, and had borrowed it from the library, but she was not intending to start this specific book. Yet, she literally reached down to the floor (where the pile of books are *flips hair* obviously), and picked it up on a semi-whim. So then Sofia reads until almost 4 am and would have liked to keep reading, but was too tired to continue doing so, and promptly leaves off at 238 pages so she will have an even 100 more. The very next thing she does later that day (because it was past midnight) is pick up the book, and continues reading until completion at approximately 11:30 am. 

Writing Style: This is unlike any book I have ever read before. The text itself was crossed out in certain places for either a word, or a sentence, or even an entire page. I have only ever seen striked through text in Every You, Every Me by David Levithan, and the same rules applied in Shatter Me. Crossed out text is what the narrator truthfully thinks/wants to say versus what is actually said and done. On top of that, the phrases and quotes were beautifully lyrical, and the writing just flowed and almost gave off a whimsical feel.

Romance: There are two things most people in the bookish community hate. Number One - Instalove. Number Two - Love Triangles. Shatter Me.... had both of them. Yet, I personally think they made the story better. The romance played a huge part in the novel, and was one of the factors that drove the plot without Shatter Me being A. annoying or B. over-bearing. There are two love interests, Warner and Adam. Warner is the over-bearing obsessive and possessive 19 year old leader of Section 45. Adam, on the other hand, is the secretly rebellious soldier who works for Warner and has an instant connection with Juliette because of his connection with her because of her somewhat tragic past.  
Warner: As Sofia, 95% of the time, I gravitate towards the main character, and more commonly if the MC is a girl. Yet, that is not the case with Shatter Me. My favorite character in the book, as well as one of my favorite male characters of all time (he's seriously up there with Peeta, Day, Percy, etc). Don't ask me why I like him so much either. He is actually an extremely psychotic person, who is borderline creepy at times. If I were to try and compare him, I would say he was a much rougher and gruff Anden from the Legend if Anden were in the head of the military instead of the head of a country. *Sidenote: I do not count being a pilot as part of the military* Warner is a very.... twisted person that is twisted in an almost stalker-ish way. Then again, you really have to read the book in order to see his appeal, because the way I'm describing him to you.... is making him seem like the LAST character you want to read about.

World-Building: I am aware from some reviews that people had the impression that the world-building was poorly done. I loved the world that Tahereh has created. While it was a standard dystopian premise, I appreciated all of the details she gave us, and the intricate background. Occasionally, it felt like there was info-dumping, but I still enjoyed hearing about the rich structure and everything that had gone to hell.
Pace: In my personal reading experience, Shatter Me was one of those books where you open page one, and all of a sudden you look down and see that you are on page 67. I know that some might say it was too romance driven, or not enough political intrigue, and a number of other complaints, but something about Shatter Me made me feel like I was on an insane rollercoaster that was going 100 miles an hour (yet I didn't throw up which can be a huge downer). There just seemed to be event after revelation after plot twist after intense making out session.

Continuation 90%: I have already reserved the other two books in the trilogy and cannot wait to dig into them. I have heard that the series just gets better and better and that Ignite Me is one of the most explosive finales some people have ever read.

Conclusion: Shatter Me is a gorgeous novel with beautiful prose, detailed world-building, breakneck pace, and swoon worthy protagonists.

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