SHATTER ME – TAHEREH MAFI

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. No one cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pay attention.

But The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul in a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Spoiler Warning! This review may contain a few spoilers.  

After a massive number of setbacks with study and work, I finally got on to reading this book and, I have to say, I am glad I did. I, rather surprisingly, loved this book. Shatter Me is one of those light, simple reads that you can’t help but enjoy, no matter how predictable and cliché it may be.

While being a little slow at the beginning, the story picks up quite a bit after you push past the first few chapters and I actually found myself getting really into the story. It made me really curious, to the point where I didn’t want to put the book down until all my questions were answered.

After years of misuse, the world has been brought to ruin; plants struggle to grow, animals to feed and everything is dying - the usual. Confined in a mental asylum for 264 days, Juliette has never felt the warmth that the love of a parent or friend can bring. Born with a touch that can kill all who so much as graze her skin, Juliette struggled through a life of isolation before her accidental murder led to her imprisonment under the strict lock and key of The Reestablishment, the group that gained control over the world with promises of the restoration. As instability and rebellion threatens to topple the meticulous system, The Reestablishment realises Juliette is more than just a girl. She is a weapon, one that can be used to strike fear into all opposition.

On one hand, Juliette can be a little annoying and whinny, with this odd instant connection with the male lead that seems fuelled solely by lust and the fact that no one else has ever been able to touch her. But, on the other hand, she is a little feisty and able to stand up for herself. I loved that she is both powerful in a physical sense and a mental sense. Not only can she rip through concrete and reinforced steel but she can deal with difficult situations, not allowing herself to panic until the danger is gone, and she can do it all without ever putting anyone down. She doesn’t have to snap her fingers or dominate to inspire others or show that what she has to say is worth listening to. Despite my initial concern about Juliette’s characterisation, her development from a girl with a dreary future to a woman pushing past her dark past really made her a worthy character.

I don’t think I have ever been so divided in what I think of the male lead, I just can’t decide what to make of him. When we are first introduced to Adam, he is stealing Juliette’s bed, forcing her to spend the night on the cold floor. I’m sorry but that is just rude! I know that Adam is meant to be a nice character but it really took me a while to warm up to him. I did, inevitably, fall for him. Despite all his flaws, he is sweet and caring, not to mention genuine.

As for the relationship between Juliette and Adam, it was charming and heart-warming and perhaps if they took it a little slower I would be totally on board with their relationship. I just felt that their ‘connection’ was perhaps taking the cliché a tad too far; it bordered on just plain creepy.


I don’t know exactly what it is but I find Warner really intriguing and I really don’t think he is a bad person. Perhaps it is the way he gets nervous when talking about his parents or his absolute lack of faith in those that are meant to care for him that just screams a dark upbringing but, it all alludes to some sort of dark secret. And, whatever it is, I want to find out.

And finally, James, a really adorable kid thrown unfairly into a world of chaos and destruction. I feel like it is a necessity for all YA dystopian books to have at least one heartbreakingly innocent young person whose smile is bright and whose eyes shine from all the beauty they see in the world. James is just an 11-in-a-year year old boy who loves his brother wholeheartedly, doesn’t see fault in anyone and whose heart is completely without hatred. I just want to wrap him up in a blanket and take him to a paradise away from the horrors that prevail in his world.

The world building in this novel isn’t great, we aren’t really told all that much about what actually happened or what is going on in society but, being a rather standard dystopian world, this was easy to overlook. The world follows the typical structure; mankind destroyed the earth and are dying so the rich population take everything while the poor are left to die of starvation and illness.

The language in the novel however... I can honestly say, if it wasn’t as weird and awkward I would have liked this book so much more. Not only was the wording not all that developed, but it was filled with odd sentences like this;

His lips are two pieces of frustration forged together.
He smiles with teeth so white it looks like snow falling on the chocolate valleys of his face.
My stomach drops into my knees. 

I’m sorry, WHAT?



If there is one thing to complain about in this book it would really have to be sentences like this which were just littered throughout. I feel like these metaphors where meant to be deep and insightful but, in the end, they just sound really, REALLY weird. Fortunately the plot won out.

Shatter Me can be pretty standard and predictable as a dystopian novel at times and the world hasn't been constructed well but I find that I can’t bring myself to hate this book. Like so many others who can’t really explain why they like this book, I cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of the series.

Rating: 3/5

If you want to grab this book, check it out on Amazon and Book Depository for some great online deals.

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