Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Pages: 340
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.

Thoughts and Rambling

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! Character Bar

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 and Plot

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. Writing Style

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.
Last ThoughtsAndi 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:

Five Stars

Find the book at:

Amazon |  Barnes and NobleBook DepositoryGoodreads

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?

13 thoughts on “Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

  1. I’ve read this book and honestly didn’t love it as much as I did the novella and its sequel, but it was still pretty cool 🙂 The metaphors were a bit weird, although when she used them more sparingly, I started to really appreciate the artistry 😀 I thought Juliette always sold herself short, but I couldn’t blame her because of everything she had to go through. It just made me admire her even more that she FINALLY stood up for herself and found happiness, in Adam (whom I also loved). And then there was my all time favorite character, Kenji, who ALWAYS knew when to crack me up 🙂 I suggest though, that you read Destroy Me and Unravel Me (AND IGNITE ME OHYES CANNOT WAIT). As for your thoughts on Warner… well let me just say that I found him a complete abomination the first time around, but after the next two books… I. LOVE. HIM. That is all. I just wanna know what you think of him afterwards XD And this was such an in depth and comprehensive review by the way! Amazing ❤

    • Okay well you were the one who finally got me to read it with that excerpt from… Was it Warner? “I want this down” *does something with tank top “and this up”. Something like that haha. I was like hot damn I need to read this book. BUT IT DIDN’T HAPPEN IN SHATTER ME SO WHERE IS IT IN UNRAVEL ME??

      Okay but Warner? Seriously? I just CAN’T see me ever loving him but I’ll give him a chance… maybe 😉 I just got Unravel Me in the mail so I’ll read it soon I’m sure!

      • HAHAHA it could be Warner who said that, could be Adam, but who knows, really? 😀 I suggest you read Unravel Me and find out! SQUEEEEE so happy that you’re getting to it ❤ Oh, maybe you should read the Novella, Destroy Me, as well 🙂 I loved that one! HAHA I was thinking much the same things about Warner before Destroy Me and Unravel Me. Like 'OHMYGOD THROW HIM OFF THE EDGE OF A CLIFF PLEASE' or something. But I dunno, things change, and Tahereh is a sorceress. She has got to be. I look forward to what your opinions are! Tweet me or something when you do review it, because I'd love to see one *wide grin*

  2. I was scared to pick this one up too because a blogger told me that it wasn’t good.
    I also loved Kenji! I actually love all the guys in this series. And I totally had the same thought about Omega Point. When it came to that part, which was near the ending, my thoughts were “Well, that’s a lot like X-men…” Honestly, I was a little iffy about some parts of Shatter Me, but Tahereh Mafi won me over in Destroy Me and Unravel Me. I can’t wait to see what you think about those. 😀

  3. I’m glad that you were able to enjoy this book quite a bit, Kayla! I didn’t like the writing or felt much for the characters, but it’s great that they worked for you 😀 And now that you say the writing style is fairy tale-like, I look at it a bit differently… Not enough to like it, but differently. Great review!

    About Warner: YES! Hated that guy. I mean, he forced a girl to hurt a baby. That’s just low and sick. I’ve heard that he sort of becomes a love interest in the next books, which I really don’t like the idea of. I get that Warner is damaged, but seriously. HE HURT A BABY! NO NO NO!

    • Agh, THANK YOU! Everyone keeps telling me that I’ll fall in love with Warner after the novella and second book, but I can’t imagine that happening at all!

      And I think that if I hadn’t been warned about the flowery writing, I wouldn’t have accepted it nearly as easy. I walked in knowing I was going to read some weird stuff, so that made it so much better as far as preparing myself!

    • That’s probably true – it’s definitely a weird one for sure. But according to everyone I’ve talked to, the second book and the novella are so much better. So maybe you’d like Unravel Me more!

  4. I really liked the metaphors in Shatter Me. Just because they are atypical doesn’t mean that they aren’t as good. I think the metaphors and writing style are really a reflection of Juliette since she is a bit crazy after being locked up and neglected.

    After reading this book for the first time, I wasn’t very impressed. I loved the beginning, but the ending was weak in my opinion. But, then I read Unravel Me (love!) and now I am a huge fan of the series. I know you hate Warner, but for me, I really like him. Adam is just a bit too flat for my taste. Warner has done despicable things, but he is just as damaged as Juliette. We forgive some of the things Juliette’s done, so why couldn’t we do the same for Warner? Just thinking out loud here. 🙂

    • Agghhgaklfdjl. You guys have changed my mind I think. And I haven’t even read Destroy Me. I’ll give Warner a second chance. There – I said it. You seriously just presented the most well thought out argument for this man I’ve heard. I digress!

      Okay, off to buy Destroy Me.

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