Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Paranormal, YA, romance
Series? Yes, Shatter Me #1
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: November 15, 2011
Synopsis from Goodreads: No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever.
I was really skeptical when I walked into this one, because I’d heard a lot of negative reviews, and a lot of complaints about the weird metaphors. While I can see why it bothered some people, I found that I actually wasn’t deterred at all. In fact, I really enjoyed this book! There are a few bits that bugged me, but this is one of those books that I just don’t care, because I loved the story!
Well there are four that I’ll talk about here: Juliette, Adam, Kenji, and Warner. I was talking with a friend and she said that she’s never met another Kenji lover – what the heck is with you people??? I LOVED Kenji, and I’ll explain why below 😉
Juliette: This is the only time I’ll accept a slightly whiny protagonist. I mean, I think the girl’s earned a break after being locked up, never touched, and shunned her entire life. Not to mention being afraid of yourself. It’s a heavy load for someone to bear, so when she has her self pity moments my heart really went out to her rather than feeling like rolling my eyes. And she definitely grew as a person as well – towards the end of the book, she started to accept herself, and seemed a lot more confident. Hopefully she’ll keep that streak in the next book.
Adam: I liked Adam well enough, but as a partner for Juliette. I think I was meant to fall in love with him, but it just didn’t happen for me. I totally ship him and Juliette though – perfect for each other! Adam is the guy that I’d like to have as a friend: he’s intensely passionate, skilled, and driven, not to mention incredibly loyal and protective towards the people he loves. That’s always a trait that really gets to me – family loyalty. I’m really glad it was highlighted through his younger brother, because romantic love is usually the only kind shown off in YA books.
Kenji: Ughhhdafkldsfldjaklfdj. That’s all I have to say. I believe my words to Sierra were: Oh hot damn. Seriously. I’m actually speechless while I try to write this. I just loved how his cocky and arrogant exterior hid an intelligent and competent man underneath. And his sass. God I loved his sass. He really reminds me of Stormhund, and we all know how much I love my privateer 😉
Warner: I don’t really have much to say about Warner, but everyone says that he’s really important in the next book so I’ll just say this: I hate this man. Hate hate hate I want to see him squished and totally taken down by Kenji. That is my desire. That’s all.
Concept: Yay for super hero type powers! Shatter Me is reminiscent of the X-Men for me, what with Juliette being similar to Rogue, and Omega Point being like Professor X and his institution. BUT – I loved it. I’m a huge sucker for power-based novels and this fit my needs to a tee.
Plot: Fast-paced and completely engaging. I wanted to see what happened next with every flip of the page – I should have gone to bed, but finished this book and lost sleep because I wanted to finish it. I just loved it! And even though there was a bit of insta-love… at least it was explained well enough. But even then, I went for it. This is one case (and perhaps the only one ever) where I endorsed the insta-love. Now my only hope is that it doesn’t unravel into the angst portion that usually accompanies insta-love.
Okay, yes, the metaphors were weird. Like really, really strange. But they’re also oddly beautiful – the imagery is intensely vivid and almost fairy-tale like, and I think it fit Juliette’s state of mind very well. The writing became less fractured as it moved forward, very much like Juliette’s psyche molding itself into a cohesive state. So, despite the strangeness, I think it worked very well in this story, with this set of characters. I’m not so sure about if it were in another novel, though.
Andi sent me a copy of Unravel Me, and I CANNOT wait to get my hands on it! This is really one of those books that I just loved, and I can’t really explain why. There are so many elements that I normally crack down on and sneer at, but somehow they just worked with this book. Maybe a guilty pleasure? The term doesn’t seem to fit, but whatever it is, I want more of it! And this is how I know I loved the book: I already feel like re-reading it!
My Final Rating:
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Food for Thought (sound off in the comments!)
If you’ve read the book:
- How did you feel about the metaphors? Do you think they showed Juliette’s state of mind or do you think Tahereh was just on LSD while she was writing?
- Are you a Kenji fan or an Adam fan?
If you haven’t:
- How weird do metaphors have to be before you’re put off?
- Do you ever find that you can forgive cliches and tropes because they just work in a book and you love it no matter what?