Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: November 15, 2011
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.
*Spoiler Alert... it's mostly just stuff you get in the beginning so unless you really don't care as to whether or not some aspects of the story are revealed to you before you can read it...stop now and come back later...you've been warned ;)...if you have read the book please continue :)
I couldn't put this book down after the first page. It's addicting and intense. And it's not just because of the story line (though that was truly amazing). What made it a million times more amazing was the writing style. It portrayed the main characters thoughts in a way that was like nothing I've ever read. The use of imagery and metaphors and similes was, in a word, beautiful. The way it was written made it obvious that the character (and the author) see the world with different eyes then most. I really loved where she explained the sun set and how the sky "falls down every day." She was able to reach into the characters head and take lay every thought down on the paper. Tahereh Mafi is the kind of author whose style and mind could never be replicated.
Continuing on...This book has the whole dystopian society going on. Basically the world has nearly fallen apart and this group who call themselves the Reestablishment has taken over. Like most governments in dystopian books, they say they are doing good for the people when it's actually the opposite. They aren't the only thing that's wrong in the world. The clouds are the wrong color, food is scarce, and animals that people once hunted for food are poison. While everyone starves, the people who run the Reestablishment eat and live like nothing is wrong... Yeah, they do a lot to help...
Juliette has a gift, but at points, it might as well be a curse. She can't touch anyone for fear that she would kill them. (Imagine Rouge from X-men and her power but with more screaming.) Because of this she draws into herself and stays there for days at a time and even then she's nice to people who wouldn't hesitate to throw rocks at her or lock her up for 264 days. Throughout this book, her character has grown, becoming stronger and begining to take action. I noticed that Juliet's writing became less unsure and not as many things were being crossed out. It was a good way to show her growth as a character and how much things changed her. I don't want to go into too much detail about how her character had grown, so I'll stop by saying that she has easily become one of my favorite heroines.
Adam was locked up with Juliette in the beginning but not because he is insane or dangerous. He was sent in to watch her and see if she was or wasn't insane. Nice, right? The sad part is that Juliette knows him from several years ago and he didn't seem to even remember her...even after years of going to school together. To me, Adam is the kind of person who has had life throw everything back at him then laugh at his face. Not that he let it keep him down...he's grown from his struggles, everything has made him stronger and determined to keep others, especially a certain person, safe.
Warner is the son of the leader of the Reestablishment. He is malicious and has knack for getting what he wants. In this case, he wants Juliette. Nearly everyone, even her own parents, see her as a monster, Warner sees a weapon. He's convinced himself into thinking that Juliette is just like him, but that's a far cry from the truth. He's the kind of person that doesn't take care much about human lives, save him own. The sad part is that he had tricked himself into thinking he could love Juliette, or maybe he's just in love with the idea of her loving him...That's something to think about.
There are a few more really cool characters but I'll hold off before I start saying anything about them, mostly because they introduced later in the book. You guys deserve to build you're own opinions too, you know ;)
Anyway. I really like the ending of this book. It melts pretty well with the rest of the plot line even if it was a little surprising. You get a strong sense of safety and temporary closure for the characters which come sometimes be lacking in books with multiple installments. And like I said before, this story had me hooked by the first sentence and now I can hardly stand to wait for the rest of the trilogy. So, my rating for this book is a well deserved A for the amazing story line and captivating writing style. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes dystopian books, superpowers, something-different-from-the-usual, YA fantasy books and/or anything X-men.