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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick, compelling read,
This review is from: Shatter Me (Paperback)Pros: brilliant writing, sympathetic protagonist, open to sequels, very fast read, hard to put down
Cons: some plot twists depended on remarkably good luck/coincidence, ending implies Juliette made a choice she didn't actually make (yet)
For Parents: some sexual content (kissing +, but no actual sex), some language, some violence
Seventeen year old Juliette can't touch people without causing them pain and ultimately killing them. Three years ago she forgot this truth and had an accident that still haunts her and sent her to solitary confinement at an insane asylum.
Her hellish life changes when she's given a cellmate, a boy named Adam who looks familiar.
This is a book about power, control and sanity. Juliette is surprisingly strong for a woman who's close to losing her sanity due to this power she cannot control. When she comes under the power of the clearly insane Warner, who wants to use her ability to torture and kill those who defy the Reestablishment, the new global world order, she has to make some tough decisions.
Mafi's dystopic world is horrific, one in which people have given up what freedoms remained to them after the plants and animals became so polluted that eating them meant poisoning themselves. The Reestablishment promised hope, but delivered a totalitarian regime in which a few live in luxury while the rest suffer.
The writing is brilliant. Like with Patrick Ness's The Knife of Never Letting Go, Mafi knows the rules of writing and breaks them in delightful ways. Each word is chosen with care, as the protagonist makes the most unusual - but intelligent - metaphors.
Juliette is an intriguing character who is immediately sympathetic. She's never had physical comfort, no hugs, kisses, pats on the back. Seeing through her eyes, it's hard to understand how she survived so long in a hostile world. And she's constantly self-censoring her thoughts, crossing out what she's actually thinking and feeling and replacing those thoughts with ones she thinks others will find more acceptable, because she's spent her life trying to be better and do better so that people will love her.
There's a pretty intense love story woven through the book, made challenging because Juliette doesn't believe she's worthy of love, despite her yearning for it. So the revelation that her suitor can touch her is quite profound, giving her the sensations she's always craved. While there's a lot of touching and kissing and yearning, there's no actual sex.
This is a quick read as the book is very compelling and hard to put down. There are some negative points, but you almost pass over them because you want to know what's going to happen next so badly. A few plot points are accomplished by means of supreme luck with regards to the protagonists. Some of their escapes happen too easily given the world and their circumstances. And the ending implied Juliette made a decision that she never actually made (though the implication is that she would make the choice that the book states she already made).
It's an open ended conclusion that begs for sequels.
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done,
This review is from: Shatter Me (Kindle Edition)An excellent read. Fast paced with numerous plot twists that keep the reader turning the page. Will definitely be looking forward to the next instalment
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good,
This review is from: Shatter Me (Paperback)Okay, wow, this cover is absolutely gorgeous! I'm soooo glad that I have a hardcopy of this book and not an eBook. Now that that's out of my system...
Shatter Me was a very good read. I was instantly into the story and kept turning those pages. The story was very interesting and kept me guessing, while always keeping me on my toes and intrigued. I have heard many, many, many great things about this book, so my expectations were definitely high. I felt that Shatter Me (mostly) lived up to my expectations.
The characters were good and well-developed. I really liked Juliette (the narrator and main character). She felt so real to me. I felt like I knew exactly where she was coming from at every moment. A very well developed character, for sure. Though we don't know too much from her recent past, we discover hidden truths from her childhood and are able to really grasp who she is as a person. And who she is is a teenage girl who is afraid of her own touch. She can kill people with her touch. She has killed with a mere touch. She starts out as this afraid girl who has been locked up all by herself in this very strange-sounding place. But, she is able to get past her fears and grow throughout the novel.
Adam, the love interest is not as well developed. But, I feel like we get a decent sense of who he is. He is strong, yet sensitive, and really seems to care about Juliette. Though, at times I found myself questioning his motives. Whether this was intentional...I won't say anything else because of possible spoilers. I did like his character though, but I wish he would have been slightly more developed.
The writing is unique and different. It was refreshing. There is a lot of strikethroughs and a lot of repetition. The writing style really captures the urgency that Juliette is feeling -- the repetition and lack of punctuation at times makes it seem more panicky. And the lack of punctuation the odd time actually didn't bother me!!! It fit really well with the story. Very well done!
Overall, I enjoyed this novel. I did feel as though something was missing...something. I can't explain it and I don't know what, but something was just off or missing or...something. So, unfortunately, it's not going to get a perfect 5/5 rating. I wish I could put this into words, but I really can't...it's one of those times when I just can't fully explain my feelings on a book...
5.0 out of 5 stars An instant favourite!,
This review is from: Shatter Me (Paperback)Shatter Me is one of the best books I’ve read so far this year and I hate that it took me so long to notice it. Once I started, there was no stopping and I consumed both Shatter Me and its follow up Unravel Me, along with the novella Destroy Me, in one week.
I loved Juliette, the heroine of this tale. Her voice was like no other and the prose of this novel was beautiful. The way that Juliette was represented throughout was unlike anything else I’ve ever read. The constant repetitiveness of her storytelling and the crossed out text gave me, as the reader, a true understanding of just how unstable she really was. I’ve read different reviews where the prose was what kept a reader from enjoying the book, but for me it was truly a highlight.
Now, I must admit that I got to this party fashionably late. When I started reading Shatter Me it was only a few days prior to the release of Unravel Me and Twitter was alight with excitement and anticipation. There were rumblings from those lucky enough to have received ARCs of Unravel Me that whispered the name Warner accompanied by a whole lot of swooning! So, to say I went into Shatter Me without a little inclination that by book two I might be calling into question my dislike of one of the cruelest characters I’d come across lately, would be a lie. I went in knowing that I didn’t want to dislike Warner no matter how evil he seemed; and I don’t regret that decision whatsoever.
To say that I wasn’t swept under the spell of Adam Kent, Juliette’s love interest in this book, would also be a lie. I enjoyed Adam, I loved getting to know him and I loved the sacrifices he made for Juliette but I was sure to reserve a little spot in my heart for Warner. Although Warner was ruthless and lethal he was also frightfully passionate. That boy had his eye on the prize and he was convinced he would win, regardless of what it took and that, in turn, was what ultimately kept me from hating him (okay that and he’s a total panty dropper AND refers to Juliette as ‘love’– it gets me every time).
The story Tahereh Mafi weaves is fantastic and captivating and everything I didn’t know I was looking for. Shatter Me won me over in so many ways I didn’t think possible and I can’t wait to reread this entire series in heady anticipation of the third book. I’ve already begun singing its praises to anyone who will listen and will continue to do so until every last person I know has read this book! I’m not even exaggerating… okay, maybe I am– but only a little bit, I swear!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!!!,
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This review is from: Shatter Me (Paperback)I had very high hopes for this book after reading all of the great reviews, and WOW, I was NOT disappointed! I am desperately in love with this book. The writing absolutely blew me away. I have been reading passages aloud to friends, family, and anyone that will listen because i just can't get enough of it. Tahereh Mafi has this wonderful way of describing people perfectly. I felt like i was there, literally there watching Adam run his hands through his hair then forehead.... ohhhhhh!!!! Her descriptions were bang on and her many run on sentences.. they were my favourite parts! The book was a short read, and I found that she sometimes gave the reader what they wanted just a tad too quickly, but it didnt even matter because the writing.. ohhhhhh! I only wish that the book had been longer. Do i really have to wait for the next book????? BOOOOO
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read!!,
This review is from: Shatter Me (Hardcover)Juiliette has the power to drain people's lives with one single touch. (Think Rogue in the first X-Men movie.) She's not one to be submissive when the handsome blonde-haired, green-eyed Warner captures her and tries to use her as an experiment. He's the evil, oh-so sexy Captain that Juliette detests, and yet is attracted to, at the same time. As you keep reading, there are little hints he may not be all that he seems. *swoons*
Then you have the good boy Adam Ghent, Juliette's childhood best friend. His love is legit, and real and you can tell the moment they fall in love. I love, love, love the snippets of the past. It just gave the book credibility because the character development was on point. Their relationship was incredibly heart warming andthat you can't help but to say "awwww[...]"
It was no surprise Juliette was Loving how she is attracted to both the bad boy and good guy. (What warm-blooded female human wouldn't be?) You can just feel the characters' passion leap right off the page. Teenage hormones or not, it was definitely captivating and not to mention romantic as heckthe romance factor scored off the charts!
Yes, there's a bit of a love triangle happening but it was balanced out with lots of action! So we have the love triangle going on, but what about the action? Oh indeed there's action. I can't reveal too much without spoiling the story, but seriously Vervegirls, this is a must-read. I loved it so much that I couldn't put it down! I read the whole thing in one sitting!
Tahereh Mafi writes with such lyrical prose that is incredibly original than most authors that I can't wait for the rest of the series.
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius!,
This review is from: Shatter Me (Hardcover)Taken away from her family 3 years ago ' and they were all too happy to get rid of her ' Juliette finds herself locked-up in a cell in an asylum, after accidentally killing someone. How was she suppose to know a simple touch of her bare hands could end a life? She hasn't breathe fresh-air (or what passes for it anyway), haven't seen the light, or spoken a word in 264 days, when a boy is shoved with her in her cell. Boys and girls aren't suppose to mingle. Have they finally decided to kill her and give her cell to this boy? Is he a test? A treat? An ally? Juliette isn't sure of anything, but she was right about one thing: The day this boy entered her life, is the day her life changed forever.
Tahereh Mafi is an amazing and stunning writer. Shatter Me is her debut novel and from the very first page I was engrossed in this broken world she created. We destroyed our planet: animals are sick, crops are dying and food is hard to come by, the vegetation is destroyed, the seasons are a mess and the sky isn't even blue anymore. A group stood-up and pretended they would save us all: The Reestablishment. Their plan is to destroy everything that could've caused our downfall. Art, languages, comfort, everything is destroyed and anyone standing in their way is killed. Nobody is safe and Juliette will be able to witness the damage firsthand when she's unexpectedly taken away from her prison.
Mafi didn't only create an addictive world, she also painted multi-faceted characters you have no choice but to have a strong opinion about. Juliette is a broken girl. She was always mistreated, cast out as a monster by other children and never got to enjoy a loving embrace ' not even from her own mother. She's been isolated for nearly a year, without a single human contact, and even though she is still very sane, Mafi's writing let's us privy to her insecurities. Here's an excerpt, I'm sure you'll understand what I mean.
"I want to be angry-angry-angry.
I want to be the bird that flies away.
"What are you writing' Cellmate speaks again.
These words are vomit.
This shaky pen is my esophagus.
This sheet of paper is my porcelain bowl.
"Why won't you answer me?' He's too close too close too close.
No one is ever close enough."
Adam, her cellmate is very mysterious. Mean an instant, sweet the moment after, following orders yet sometimes breaking them. Juliette just doesn't know what to do of his attitude and feels more lonely than ever when he turns his back on her. Along their journey, we also meet other amazing characters, cruel psychopath men and some goofy allies, providing us a wide and completely variety of personalities.
Original and surprising, Juliette's journey in this harsh world will keep you on your toes. I haven't foreseen any of the events and was delighted by the intensity of their quest. Shatter Me is full of twist and turns that will keep you hooked to its pages and when you finally reach the end, all you can do is pray for the second installment to release soon because even though the end isn't a cliffhanger, it promises the new beginning of an outstanding adventure.
The novel as a whole is a masterpiece if I may say. The story, the world, the characters are exquisite, but Tahereh Mafi's writing is what makes this adventure so special. I'd end this review with a couple of amazing quotes if you don't mind =) (quotes from ARC, may have changed in the final edition)
"I have no idea where I am.
I only know that I was transported here by someone in a white van who drove 6 hours and 37 minutes to get me here. I know I was handcuffed to my seat. I know I was strapped to my chair. I know my parents never bothered to say good-bye. I know I didn't,t cry as I was taken away.
I know the sky falls down everyday."
"Adam is pointing a gun at my chest.
Adam is pointing a gun at my chest.
Adam is pointing a gun at my chest.
His eyes are foreign to me, glassy and distant, far, far away.
I am nothing but novocaine. I am numb, a world of nothing, all feelings and emotions gone forever.
I am a whisper that never was."
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ!,
This review is from: Shatter Me (Paperback)My most favourite book (series) has been my most favourite book series for five years now. FIVE YEARS. Equivalent to: Half a decade. A quarter of my life. 1825 days. 109500 hours. 6570000 minutes. And not once in that five years had I ever questioned my love for that favourite book. Not once in that five years did a book even come remotely close to my favourite book. That is, until this book came along and changed everything.
This book is hard to describe, the best word I can think of to describe it is breathtaking (and even that, I know, does not do it justice). From the first page of this book I was captivated- Juliette is unlike any character I have ever had the pleasure of reading about before, aside from being kick-butt, resilient, and unyielding, she was, best of all, real. From her erratic and jumpy thought processes to her feelings of despair and loneliness to her growth (and acceptance of her abilities) over the course of the book. She is by far the greatest female character I have ever come across in a book and I don't believe it possible to encounter another female character such as her again in my life (and why yes, that is a challenge to all other authors out there to write a female character as amazing as Juliette).
As for Adam? All I can say is Edward Cullen, Dimitri Belikov, Jace Wayland who? Unlike those other boys (and much like Juliette), Adam is so realistic and approachable (as well as being chivalrous, resolute, kindhearted, and utterly and completely swoon-worthy). What he did for Juliette? I cannot even begin to fathom it. There were many times while reading this book that he (and his actions) literally brought tears to my eyes- he was just so good.
I found it even difficult to dislike the 'bad guy' Warner, because he was so well-developed and so much more than the 'bad guy' (I want to know his story and the skeletons in his closest, because it is evident that there are quite a few of them, resulting in him being broken)- never before have I actually felt sympathy for one such as himself before (nor have I ever swooned over the 'bad guy' before).
Aside from the amazingly developed characters this book is also successful because of its engaging (and fast-paced) plot. This book is hands down the most unique dystopian I have ever read before (I find that most YA dystopians, ie, "Matched", "XVI", "Delirium", and the "Uglies" trilogy, follow the same storyline, the main character, a female, is quite comfortable in her life, a life completely controlled by the government, until the male main character is introduced and shows her that her 'perfect life' is anything but perfect)- it truly marches to the beat of its own drum (and for that I am eternally grateful). Furthermore, the prose of this book? Gorgeous. In my opinion Tahereh's continuous use of metaphors only enhanced the novel.
All in all, (as I am sure it becomes evident) I cannot say enough good things about this book. This book, unlike so many others, truly lives up to the hype. I think it safe to say that we have the next "Twilight" (but better in every possible way than "Twilight"), on our hands (AKA a book that is absolutely going to take the world by storm and create a cult following)!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars captivating story, beautiful writing, romance, and action!,
This review is from: Shatter Me (Paperback)I didn't know what to make of Shatter Me when I first heard about it. At the time I believe I was thinking A another dystopian! The cover also put me off, the model just didn't seem to match the summary for the book, but then again never judge by the cover, right? So many bloggers have given it high ratings and recommended it and since I know they're rarely wrong I decided to give it a try.
I am so happy, so ecstatic, that I did! Let me just tell you the cover doesn't give this book justice. It's action-packed, full of romance and the story just blew me away. I was captured by page one and the book never once made me feel irritated or even bored. The book is beautifully written and I'm not just saying that. Most YA books seem to have the same bland writing and I usually can overlook it if the story is good enough. But Mafi's writing is original and captivating. She managed to capture Juliette's voice perfectly.
The characters were all extremely well-done, I understood all of them. They all had personality in my opinion. The antagonist was also done extremely well, he didn't come off as cliche evil. The romance starts quite early on, though it never felt rushed nor did it make me roll my eyes as it was unbelievable like some YA.
The line - a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men, really caught my attention when I read the summary and as I read through the book I didn't understand how it had anything to do with it. But near the end I thought X-Men was a perfect description and it really just made me that much more exited for the next book! Some other reviewer mentioned this before and now when I think about it, Juliette really reminds of Rogue from X-Men (I love the shows and movies!!!).
So if you're wondering if you should pick this up then I strongly urge you to give it a try, this is one of my favorite books of the year and I can't wait until the next is out! With it's captivating story, beautiful writing, romance, and the action - this is a book I would highly recommend to any YA reader!
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Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (Paperback - Nov 7 2011)
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