SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi

I’m packing in the books I’m reading by the dozens. As in, I’m now reading about Shatter-me-new-eye-co1A459.jpgthree books a week. If I keep this up, I’ll finish my 2017 list in four months!

Shatter Me was one of those books. It’s a book probably most of you have heard of or at least seen the cover of. It’s a beautiful cover, isn’t it?

I don’t even know if it was ever on my to-read list. I’d never heard one bad review on it (then again, I never dug real deep to read them either) but when I saw it at the bookstore, I figured, You know, I’ve wanted to read this for a while and never did so why not start it now?

I made the mistake of allowing the cover and the uniqueness of the whole “scratch-through text” thing convince me that this was going to be an epic book.

Silly me.


Shatter Me is the story of Juliette _____ (I don’t even know if they gave her last name). She is a seventeen-year-old girl with a crazy ability that no one fully comprehends, living in a world that has fallen to ruin. The Reestablishment has taken over to help cleanse the world and create a better one for the citizens, trying to help with this natural (seemingly) catastrophe.

Juliette is imprisoned in an Asylum for almost a year. Then something changes. A boy is sent in to be her new roommate–Adam Kent. And then all of Hell breaks loose.

Juliette is taken by the Reestablishment to be their weapon. The man that wants her more than anything? Mysterious Warner, a leader within the Reestablishment. His father has some incredible power, though I don’t think it was ever explained what position his father held.

Juliette must decide if she is the monster Warner wants her to be, and if she wants vengeance badly enough to kill for it. Or is she the girl with so much goodness it was hard for Adam to forget her?


Okay. So there’s my synopsis, devoid of any opinion. Now you get the opinion.

Shatter Me drove me crazy. It had me laughing in places that I know the author intended to be a sweet, genuine moment, maybe even supposed to bring tears to the eyes, but it had me FREAKING LAUGHING at the corniness or lack of reason.

PLEASE BEWARE, there are minor spoilers from this point onward.

When Adam is sent into Juliette’s cell to be her roommate, he acts like he knows nothing about her, and she gets the slight (mind you, slight) feeling that she knows him from somewhere. Then she remembers. She went to school with the guy only three years ago! I get how, if he’s eighteen, he’d look completely different than when he was fifteen so it’d be hard for her to recognize, but what I’m mad about is the inconsistency. As soon as she figures out who he is, she remembers all these details about him, and how (are you ready for this?) SHE’S ALWAYS BEEN IN LOVE WITH HIM! Since they were in school together!

Okay, Juliette, so how do you not recognize a guy you were in love with? I get that he was fifteen the last time you saw each other, but I look at younger pictures of guys I know and am like, “Whoa, I’d totally be able to tell that was you.” So why didn’t Juliette recognize this older version of him?

And then suddenly, later in the story, Adam admits that he’s always been in love with her! Despite the entire school thinking she was a freak!Kevin-Hart-Really-GIF

I couldn’t have said it better, myself, Kevin.

Adam suddenly admits that he’s been insanely in love with her for years. Generally, I don’t have too much of a problem with that, but there were several reasons why this love story grated on my nerves.

  1. Adam pretends to hate Juliette in the beginning. This can be explained away by saying that there were cameras in the cell she was locked in, which is understandable, but was never stated.
  2. Juliette was not so incredible that warranted Adam being so in love with her. She was the most passive character in the book, by far, and all of her feeble resistances only annoyed me because I knew she wouldn’t do anything to free herself. What’s the point of having a super power that kills when you touch if you can’t use it to escape? Self defense, people.
  3. The entire love story’s beginning happened before the start of the book. This doesn’t always bother me, mind you. Article 5 managed to beautifully construct a love story that did well and began before the story’s “fade-in” (script term) so to speak. So did The Illuminae Files. But in both of those successes, when the characters see each other again in the book, there is a conflict. In Shatter Me, it was just like, “Oh we’ve found each other! Now let’s sleep together!” (Literally, I think like the third time they kissed, Juliette said something to that effect).
  4. The romance was insta-love without technically being insta-love.

Then there’s the writing style.

At first I thought I loved it. I thought to myself, Yes, an author that thinks outside the box and doesn’t use commas for everything! Writes differently! Repeats things…three times? Okay, whatever, still pretty cool.

No. By page 50, it just gets plain annoying. She’s always like:

The bathroom where there are no cameras.

The bathroom where there are no cameras.

The bathroom where there are no cameras.

And she’s always drowning drowning drowning in despair or falling falling falling in her nightmare. I’d say these unholy trinities could be found at least once per chapter. It got very annoying.

And there were just so many things that came from out of nowhere with no warning. Not the good kinds of things, like plot twists, but things like, “Oh, btw, Juliette, you can also punch through concrete walls. What does that have to do with your ability? No idea. But hey, it looks cool and suddenly you’re way tougher than you deserve to be.”

I just COULD NOT get into the story. Everyone was after Juliette, everyone wanted her for both her power and because DANG SHE’S HOT apparently. There wasn’t one big male character that didn’t make a pass at her apart from Adam’s ten-year-old brother who, for the most part, acted like an eight-year-old brother. Now, I don’t presume to know exactly how a ten-year-old would act in an apocalyptic society, but I’m pretty sure he’d be mature for his age, not the opposite. Especially an orphan.

Adam annoyed me. Maybe if I read things from his point of view I’d get it, but he just straight up annoyed me. It was like the author just figured stuff out as she went along, threw in new little details here and forgot that she’d contradicted herself in the beginning.

The only character I really liked (not completely, because he, too, was romantically obsessed with Juliette, though for a different reason) was Warner. I thought he was an excellent villain, or even antihero because he was just that good of a character. Everything he did made sense because of his personality. And I sort of get why, in his warped mind, he loved Juliette. She could kill with a flick of her wrist! He ENVIED that!

I never liked Juliette. I never jumped on her train. I thought she wasn’t believable and was a completely passive heroine. It wasn’t that she was weak–weakness I can get over FOR SURE, there are some great weak heroines who turn BA because of it–but she was just…passive. She was just…there. I couldn’t stand it.

HOWEVER, there were some majorly cool plot twists in the book. The plot twist at the end wasn’t really explained as well as I would have liked for it to be, but I thought the author did well with it.

I won’t be reading the other books because it’s hard to like a series if you hate the main character, think the love interest is ridiculous, and that his little brother is totally immature, but I’m curious to see how it all goes down!

Let me know your thoughts on Shatter Me! And have any of you progressed to the other novels and liked them a ton?

Later, babes!

What’s on your bookshelf?

2 Comments

  1. I really hope you continue the last two books! A lot changes! Yeah the writing style did get on my nerves and so did Juliette because her character was pretty weak but personally i thought she changes A LOT!!! The first book is my least favorite and the last one one of my favorites 😛
    Kariny @ Kariny’s Boox Frenzy</a

    Like

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