Review: Shatter Me

 Shatter MeTitle: Shatter Me

 Author: Tahereh Mafi

 Release Date: November 15th, 2011

 Publisher: Harper

 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.

my thoughts

A Touch Of Death Power

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.
Design A

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).

 “All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.”  

Design A

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. 

Design A

Paramount Resistance

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.


“I spent my life folded between the pages of books. In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.” 

Design A

my rating


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22 thoughts on “Review: Shatter Me

  1. I guess I fall in the small category that enjoyed the strike through sentences. Although I will admit I was a little annoyed with some things Juliette thought at times, but I can understand why. She’s lived a hard life without ever feeling any love from any person and not even her parents. How harsh is that? Ouch.

    • Haha, no actually, those strikethroughs were pretty cool in moderation XD it was just the excessive use at the beginning that bothered me D: And YES me too. It was hard for me to judge Juliette too much, since she practically bit the dust every day of her life. And even her parents shunned her! Damn I was happy for every single good thing that happened to her in this book! And thanks for stopping by Veronica!

  2. You missed one heart there! Lol, glad to see you liked it though. 🙂 Am I really the only one who loved Warner from the very first book? I loved Adam too but even during Shatter Me, I was already secretly wishing Juliette would end up with Warner.

    • Haha, I think you liked it more than I did. I am so hoping to give Unravel Me that extra heart though XD OKAY confession bear: when I heard Warner was a bad boy with light colored hair and green eyes, Hunter Parish’s face got embedded in my head. HAHAHA. I didn’t dislike Warner, though I never wished he’d be with Juliette, because I really like how things are going between her and Adam. HAHA! But boy do I wanna read Destroy Me!! Have you read that, though?

  3. Great review. I’m glad you liked this book, despite your few negative points:) I really loved the strike-through texts, but I guess you either love or hate that writing method. You should really read Destroy Me, you will definitely like Warner more after that! Kenji was indeed my favourite character, he’s even better in Unravel Me:)

    Eveline’s Books

    • Thank you Eveline! And yeah, the strikethroughs were used sparingly by the middle, and that’s when they started making sense XD Haha hmm… we’ll see if I can get my hands on Destroy Me 🙂 Or will that make me confused as to which team I should root for? HAHA! I love Kenji so much though, it hurts D:

  4. I’m so glad you liked thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis! The only thing I couldn’t stand was Juliette constantly melting around Adam, but I also kind of understood her – he was dreamy.

    Kenji was my favorite, too! ❤ He's even more hilarious and amazing in Unravel Me 😀 If the number of metaphors in Shatter Me bothered you, don't worry – the ones in Unravel Me are considerably less and put in all the right places.

    And while I adore Adam (it's obvious why), I'm not much of a Warner fan… I mean, he grew on me a little, but as a love-interest? Nope. Anyway. I hope you'll like Unravel Me, too, when you read it!

    • HAHA! Yeah, I’m glad I liked this too. I WAS annoyed by Juliette acting all skittish around Adam, but putting myself in her place– I probably would’ve done much worse XD HAHA gosh, Kenji makes me look forward to Unravel Me. The first time he called Adam a “lazy ass” I started totally loving him. He’s so witty! He’s kind of like a male Eve (think of yourself during Bookish Ramblings. Sheer entertainment). I think Warner is cool when he tries to be, though I wouldn’t prefer him for Juliette. He’s probably smoking hot, but that’s no excuse. But we’ll see– Ignite Me seems promising!

  5. You’re so well-worded in your reviews. I feel like a gorilla typed mine out haha. I agree with you on Shatter Me. I found some of the prose to be distracting but beautiful at the same time. I didn’t feel the same way as you when it came to Juliette’s character. I found her constant questioning and helplessness extremely annoying, so much so that I don’t know if I’m going to continue with the series (becasue I’ve heard it gets worse).

    • Haha aww thanks! And no, I’ve read a few of yours, and I happen to find them amazing 😀 I thought the prose was distracting at first and beautiful later, actually 🙂 And AWW D: I like this series quite a bit though. I haven’t heard the bit about it getting worse, but maybe until I’ve seen for myself, I won’t have it in me to pass judgment XD Hope you find something more to your liking though!

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