Shatter Me (Tahereh Mafi) | Book Review


shatter-meTitle: Shatter Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Genre: Young adult, science fiction

Series: Shatter Me series

Preceded by: -NONE-

Followed by: Unravel Me

Goodreads Synopsis

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

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.


There were some things in the book that annoyed me, I will say. The plot was pretty good, and the writing was unique, but the romance was a bit overdone. I think that the love scenes threw me off of some of the action. But on the other hand, the love did spur the action that was supposed to happen. The book overall was past paced and extraordinarily done, the scene set at exactly the right moments and action happening when it was supposed to. The main character was developed, but the others were not. (Especially Adam. Juliette’s apparent love interest. He annoyed me.)

What was done right:

The book’s format was unique. Mafi spices up the book by adding crossed out lines (though it wasn’t that necessary for some lines) by Juliette herself. The book talks about how she writes in a notebook during her time in the asylum, so it is inferred that she is writing this.

The action was fast-pacedAs said before, Juliette’s love for Adam and vice versa helped explain many of the things they did for each other. The book was kept at the same pace at all times, not slowed down at some points and super fast at others.

You could feel the passion. Juliette, as a developed character (ahem, Adam) could be seen as one who was passionate about kindness. She was one of the only ones there who actually cared, which made her unique character. As the plot went on, you could tell just how much Juliette cared for those around her.

Then again, you could also tell how much Juliette hated Warner, and how much Warner loved (read: madly obsessed about) Juliette. Warner was willing to risk many things for her (a.k.a. his sanity), while Juliette would barely speak to him.

What was not done right:

Adam was a very underdeveloped character. Towards the end of the book, he might have gotten more substance, but until then, I knew very little of what he was like. Maybe it was supposed to be that way, but if so, it should have been a lot more clear to me that we weren’t supposed to know about Adam. (IMO, I think that he was left mysterious to try and make people who fall for mysterious boys fall for him.)

Some metaphors and similes could not be understood, the crossing-outs were overdone, and the repetition was annoying.

This is an excerpt from a review by a user on Goodreads. She gave it one star.

“Hate looks like everybody else until it smiles. Until it spins around and lies with lips and teeth carved into semblance of something too passive to punch.”

I just… WHAT??? This is one example floating around in there, but every second sentence is like this! That’s not even mentioning the annoying strike-outs. Trust me, no really, trust me, I thought people were being overly picky when they said the crossed out sentences were annoying. I actually thought it sounded interesting, unusual, especially because the whole thing is meant to be written in a notebook and I cross stuff out in mine all the time. But you have no idea how bloody annoying this is to read. All the effin’ time. People didn’t exaggerate: it will most likely drive you crazy.

However, there was one thing that for me was even more annoying than the descriptions, the similes, the strikes, and that was the stupid repetition thing: “and then and then and then…” Again, if it had been used once, or sparingly even, then it wouldn’t be so bad. I may have thought it was an interesting literary technique. But Shatter Me had way way way too much of everything (see what I did there?).

@ Emily May

I agree.

The love scenes were overdone. This is mainly the reason (and the reason above) I am taking off one whole star. It was very overdone. It could’ve been an excellent romance, but as filed under dystopian thriller and sci-fi, I don’t think it should have focused on the love too much.

And also the LOVE TRIANGLE between Warner, Juliette, and Adam. I DID NOT LIKE IT AT ALL. Love triangles, IMO, can be really great if done right, or they can be spectacular failures.

There were a lot of things unexplained by the end of the first book. Sure, there are another two books, but we still don’t know why Juliette’s power is like this and Adam’s past is still very mysterious, for example. But I’m waiting to get the next one!

UnknownScreen Shot 2016-06-17 at 2.59.46 PM

But things happen when people touch me.

Strange things.

Bad things.

Dead things.

There was quite a bit of hate going on for this book, and I will say that it annoyed me to some extent, but it was interesting and I think it deserves some credit. Take the risk–you will either love it or hate it!



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