Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi

Published July 19, 2013 by bibliobeth

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

What’s it all about?:

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.

What did I think?:

This was a really interesting book for me, and to be honest, left me a bit divided. It opens with seventeen year old Juliette stuck in a cell. In the future dystopian world, the sky is greyer, no birds fly, and most of the other animals have been poisoned with the pollution in the air. A group that calls itself The Reestablishment has taken over, and divides all humans into groups – the strong, which are invited to join the group as soldiers, the sick which are “gotten rid of,” and the problem individuals proclaimed insane and committed to an asylum. Others survive in run-down buildings where food is scarce and disease is rife.  Juliette is one of those that are institutionalised, mainly due to strange and dangerous powers that she possesses – a touch so lethal it can kill.

Then someone else is thrown into her cell, Adam (who is not what he seems) and she finds the will to live again, falling in love with him after she realises he is immune to her deadly touch. But The Reestablishment has plans for Juliette. The despicable leader, Warner, who has no qualms about killing and torturing, wants Juliette as a sidekick, and potential weapon for fighting a war against the rebels who are trying to overturn the corrupt Reestablishment.

I wasn’t sure at the start of this book whether I was going to enjoy it, I thought the addition of the strikethroughs was quite original, but wasn’t sure whether it was going to get irritating tiresome over the course of the book. Thankfully I did enjoy it when the strikethroughs were present, and as they weren’t too cumbersome, it didn’t affect the brilliant pace and drama of this story. The characters were all quite likeable, even the extremely unlikeable and deluded Warner. The author has a wonderful talent with words, and at times, the prose seemed quite poetic and was a joy to read. Unfortunately, I did have a little problem with this novel. At the end, it is reminiscent or incredibly similar to X Men. You know, the girl who cannot be touched, a leader with psychokinetic abilities, an albino type with electrical powers… Although I enjoyed reading this part and am looking forward to the next installment in this series, I was slightly disappointed as I feel this is not unique and we’ve seen it all before. Nevertheless, I believe this author is incredibly gifted and a welcome addition to the Young Adult market. I eagerly anticipate whatever comes next (as long as we don’t see a man with metal claws aka Wolverine….)

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

3-5-stars

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