Thursday, December 13, 2012

Review: Shatter Me By Tahereh Mafi

Title: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian Fantasy

Goodreads rating: 4.03 out of 5.00 (22, 000+ ratings)
Goodreads link
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.

Review by Chantelle

Read this book. Right now! Reread it if you must. 

Seeing as my enjoyment of YA novels usually rests rather solely on the quality of the romance, I put off reading Shatter Me as I could not fathom a great romance whereby the heroine could not even touch another without inflicting great pain and even death as suggested by the blurb. I was so wrong. 

Not only did Shatter Me feature a kick ass heroine and love interest, it was also the first YA series whereby I was legitimately (and not even annoyingly) equally torn between the two male protagonists. Not even in the Twilight Or The Infernal Devices series did I get truly emotionally invested in the proposed love triangles (no matter how hard Cassandra Clare tried) until Adam and Warner came along. 

Adam is the completely swoony, sweet, strong soldier. 
Warner is the villain with twisted intentions and controversial methods of persuasion. 
I will not comment any further as to why or even how this constitutes a love triangle that has caused much anguish, please just trust me, and read this book!

I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane.

For 264 days, 17 year old Juliette has been imprisoned in isolation for murder. Murder because she touched another, and her touch literally killed them. Set in a civilisation devastated by disease and controlled by The Reestablishment, Tahereh Mafi explores a dystopian world where Juliette must decide how she will utilise her abilities - as a weapon or warrior. 

The farther you venture into this novel, the greater the appreciation you will gain for this premise. When we are introduced to our heroine Juliette, she is on the brink of madness due to her isolation and festering guilt. She is left only with her mental capacity to write, observe and count; expressed through the factual and numerate thoughts that make the first person narrative aberrantly fascinating. 
1 word, 2 lips, 3 4 5 fingers form 1 fist. 
1 corner, 2 parents, 3 4 5 reasons to hide. 
1 child, 2 eyes, 3 4 17 years of fear.
Mafi's exploration of the consequence of an existence devoid of primary intimacies such as touch and coexistence is a very interesting and worthwhile read. In Juliette's isolation, only her mental capacity to write, observe and count remain. Her notion of the omnipresence of human conscience to fuel the enduring human spirit, exhibited in Juliette's unique predicament as she uses it in order to fight to remain in control of her independence - Mafi's promise that gifts and ability will unfailingly allow her heroine to transcend her situation - is uplifting and optimistic, a quality not often flaunted in dystopian novels. 

But really, Shatter Me is just a tremendously enjoyable read, and definitely a panacea candidate. 

Please also read Tahereh Mafi's short follow-up novella Destroy Me which is written in Warner's point of view, and mark in your calenders 5th February 2013 - the expected publication of the much awaited sequel Unravel Me.

Overall: 10/10
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 4/5