Title: Shatter Me (Book 1)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publication Date: November 15, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher for Review
Official TUBL Rating: A+
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.Poignant, real, and beautifully descriptive, Shatter Me pulls hard on every single heart-string and oozes depth and unparalleled adventure. The world of Shatter Me is part dystopian and part paranormal; but nonetheless brutal and gritty. Mafi contrives a harsh, atmospheric beauty when describing Juliette's world. Readers will be lulled into an intricate road of deception and unpredictability with Mafi's powerful, magnetic prose. Shatter Me is beautiful as it is painfully evocative.
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.
From the very first chapter, Juliette's true essence of imprisonment and longing is infused with the tone of the novel. The jagged descriptions and the strike-throughs make Juliette seem all the more real. Every word carries a heavy weight and holds a larger impact. Juliette's perspective of the ruthless environment that cages her heart is so genuine and real. The strike-throughs lessen as the book goes on; adding a callous and raw factor to her character.
The passion in Shatter Me is truly tangible. The tensions and attraction between Juliette and Adam is electrifying from the very beginning. Because the novel is set against a seemingly hopeless backdrop, the romance between Juliette and Adam is the light in the cruel reality they live in. Even though the romance is a large part of Shatter Me, it doesn't dominate the plot.
Mafi's prose in Shatter Me is completely unrivaled. The distorting reality that she manages to make hopeful and the beautiful imagery she manages to make raw and disturbing. The metaphors used in Mafi's novel only amplifies the beauty of her writing. The element of unpredictability always harbors in the book. And as Juliette and Adam teeter on the edge of survival, so does the reader.