Author: Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: November 15th, 2011
Description: 338 pages, Young Adult Fiction
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.
A Touch Of
I’ll admit that for the longest time I’ve felt a lingering partiality to books like this one. Last week I picked it up, and am genuinely tentative in terms of my sentiments. Shatter Me could easily have been one of the most love it-hate it types of novels, because Mafi’s style of prose was unwonted in that it could have been spectacular to some and ludicrous to others. Disconcertingly enough, I sat simultaneously on both ends of the spectrum. At first, I had a tough time adjusting to the fact that she used a ridiculous amount of strikethroughs, although she seemed to have toned down through the end. I was also a little agitated by the fact that she seemed to have a peculiar aversion to commas, and tended to repeat the same words thrice in succession. And yet, this wasn’t even what bothered me the most– I found it laborious and annoying to try and figure out which statements were metaphors, and which ones were the real deal. There were shitloads in the book, especially when it came to describing anything even remotely related to Adam, which was romantic one second and cheesy the next. Aside from the prose, however, the book was enjoyable, and I found myself increasingly attached to Juliette, exponentially attracted to the male leads. The plot itself was deep and meaningful, and I completely understood the way Juliette behaved, though I could never, for the life of me, have survived even a fraction of what she had to go through. In that way, its safe to say that the book was still worth the time. And for that I am with no doubt beholden.
Kindled With Fire
Juliette Ferrars was out of the ordinary inasmuch as the rest of us are human. If not for the way Mafi mapped out her thoughts, I would have considered her the purest and most sublime character, a heroine beyond compare. Her whole life, she had been kicked into the dust and abandoned, bullied and laughed at, mocked, threatened, and fed the lie that she was a monster. Yet, despite all of the drudgery and destitution, she remained compassionate and hopeful. She never fought back, knowing people would accept her less that way. On the flip side, Juliette was a biting and irascible person in the face of her foes, and I admired her her strength, her sheer force of will, and the way she handled Warner’s disillusioned antics. I did, however, come to wish that she keep her mouth shut at times, because her spunky attitude helped her none, and sometimes seemed less brave than stupid. But despite what seemed like martyrdom on her part, she still felt inner turmoil and struggled to identify with people she couldn’t even come in contact with, and in that way, she was made real and conceivable. Her chemistry with Adam wasn’t too bad either– despite the “sugar and honey” that exploded in her mouth whenever she kissed him, or the fact that she “melted into butter” in his presence or found her “jaw dropping to the floor” whenever she eyed him half naked, I still found myself enjoying some of the romantic scenes between them, and felt the need they had for each other. I just wished they would’ve minimized the number of times they made out (believe me, it could easily have consumed half the pages).
A Soldier And A King
Adam Kent was drop dead gorgeous to me. Though it seemed awfully convenient that every single person Juliette seemed to meet was uncannily good looking, and looked herself like some sort of goddess in everything she wore, I didn’t mind that Adam himself was foxy. As a matter of fact, none of that mattered so much as the way he treated Juliette and the other people dear to his heart. Adam was brave, not rash, gentle, not passive. Though he seemed faultless in ways unrealistic, I found it hard to begrudge him any of that. Warner, on the other hand, was a control freak who was given everything, except, it seemed, a sense of love. I don’t remember feeling particularly annoyed at him outside of his constant persistence to get Juliette to join him, though it was difficult to feel disgusted by his behavior, as opposed to sorry for what led to such miserable demeanor. It was to my biggest surprise however, to realize that Kenji was probably my favorite character in this book. Apart from being the only person with any sense of humor in the midst of troubled times, he was also a quick witted and savvy crackerjack who made me laugh when I felt like crying– I loved the way his character seemed to make me smile every time his mouth fell open. Despite lackluster world-building and grotesque speech, Mafi’s characters were undeniably incredible.
Though Shatter Me was a book that could easily have been disproportionately saccharine and over-sentimental, I thought that the book was quite the exhilarant and electrifying read otherwise. I found myself completely engrossed with the tale Mafi so craftily told, and was impressed with the way she molded her characters. Though it was reminiscent of The Selection in that the book was far more enjoyable than technically unsullied, lacking somewhat in action, I was smoothly able to move past that and appreciate many of the gripping scenes unfolding before me. Though I could definitely have done with a little less imagery and a little more explication, I believe that this book did enough justice to the dystopian genre (likely temporarily, since I wasn’t too enthusiastic), despite the fact that the world transitioned into chaos too abruptly.
Henceforth, if you are looking for a romantic page-turner and don’t mind a little creativity in terms of text, I do heartily suggest you try this one out 🙂 Here’s to hoping Unravel Me exceeds expectations.
On a sidenote, please take the time to fill out my blog survey (see sidebar), upon which I will base future activity on Flip That Page. All for you guys, and know you it 😉