REVIEW: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi a.k.a. a “WAIT. WHAT?” novel

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  TITLE: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)
  AUTHOR: Tahereh Mafi
  PUBLICATION: Published October 2nd 2012 by HarperCollins
  GENRE: YA > ROMANCE | Scifi | Dystopia
  PAGES: 340pages (Paperback)
  SOURCE: Own
  RATING: 2★★1/2 

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

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:

First of all, I want to apologize for my bookish friends who adored this book, I tried. REALLY TRIED. But I’ve never been so wrong about a book before and the struggle is just so real..

Before continuing though, I want to say this: Shatter me is a terrible first book in a series that may be really good. I wouldn’t even say that I don’t understand why people loved this because I DO (i think). But I do think that it’s not for everybody. This is me the first half:

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Then when I’m closer to the end:

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In between:
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There. That’s my meme representation of myself.. And here is why it came to that.

Plot. It doesn’t have any. Let’s move on. ….kidding! There is, of course. It’s poorly executed though. I personally think that this book would be better if they’re in a YA contemporary romance genre. And I just noticed something, this is from my experience and I don’t know if you’ve had a similar experience but most of the time when I ask some people who loved Shatter Me what the book is about, I get more raves about the love triangle. Maybe I should have taken that as a hint already. And  I can’t even believe that some mentioned that if you love Hunger Games, this should be your next read.

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Don’t even compare it. Although this novel has a dystopian setting and has been marketed as such, the world- building of the novel isn’t fully thought out. There are a couple of paragraphs mentioning the problems of the world and the government that now controls it, but they feel hasty, like they were added at the suggestion of the editor at the last minute. I would definitely call this a romance novel that happens to be set in a future society.

Characters and Romance aspect. Let’s start with Juliette, our heroine and the narrator of the story. Well, to be completely honest, I wanted to smash Juliette’s head in with a baseball bat. See? See what Juliette is doing to me?! 

She’s always surprised, startled, gasping, choking and aching. Aching in her joints, stomach, skin, eyes, eyelashes and there’s always something in her throat like a reptile or cottonballs and her jaw is always dropping on the floor. Sometimes, it’s even dangling in her shoelace. Oh and she says things like this:

“They locked me up with a boy. A boy. Dear god. They’re trying to kill me.”

OMG NO

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Stuff like this too: 

“He was wrong. He was SO wrong. He was more wrong than an upside-down rainbow.”

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“Every organ in my body falls to the ground.”

“My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps.”

“Every night there are sounds I don’t hear.”

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“I’m blushing through my bones.”

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“Warner thinks Adam is a cardboard cutout of vanilla regurgitations.” 

“I’ve acquired a full time job choking on the weakness of my limp body.”

I swear, Juliette is making me a violent person. And probably my favorite:

“Hate looks just like everybody else until it smiles. Until it spins around and lies with lips and teeth carved into the semblance of something too passive to punch.”

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I tried to symphatise, to even put myself in her shoes, I even considered the possibility that maybe she is crazy. You know, legit crazy. But no.. she still think properly at some point in the book. As a character on the brink of being driven insane by loneliness and starvation for human touch, she had a lot of potential . Again, not executed very well. I understand her actions at the first few chapters, but when she came out of that cell she’s been holed up into, I was expecting some character development. Like, c’mon Mafi! Just some, leave your metaphors for a while and focus on Juliette. But in the end, I still haven’t got any. And if you’re talking about this being a character development, I’d say NO.

“I grab the gun from Warner’s limp hand and slam the butt of it into his face. I’m stunned by my own reflexes. I’ve never held a gun before but I guess there’s a first time for everything.

I point it at Warner’s eyes. “Don’t underestimate me.””

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WOW JULIETTE, Y SO SCARY. Also, this girl always makes things hard for herself.

“My jaw falls off”

“A steam engine hits me in the face”

“My head is a piece of pavement and I’m being trampled to death”

“My ears snap off”; “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps”

“My jaw is dangling from my shoelace”

— all of which, I believe, translate to “I’m shocked.”

“I fall off a ladder holding a paintbrush dipped in red”

“I melt into Pink Play Doh,”

— I’m pretty sure she’s just embarrassed. But that’s Juliette for you. Making every single emotion she feels overly dramatic. Oh and nice to know that Play Doh still exist.

“I always wonder about raindrops.

I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.

I am a raindrop.

My parents emptied their pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a concrete slab.

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In short, It’s just raining guys. It’s just raining.

Juliette is supposed to be this tough chick, but I’m greeted with a weak and whiny heroine. For someone with a lethal touch, that’s kind of pathetic. I don’t think I would’ve minded that too much in the beginning if there’d been any character development throughout the book, but by the end she hadn’t changed much at all. Adam is no different. He’s too purrfect for my taste and a total bore. He’s the kind of character who just exist because of the main character. He got me at the first few chapters, he got me swooning and all but Juliette ruined him for me, the way she describes Adam is plain disgusting and smutty and it turned me off. I won’t say anything more, I’m just done. Oh and this how Juliette and Adam’s conversation most of the time

“Why do you love me?”
“I’ve always loved you!”
“But why? I’m a MONSTER.”
“Because you’re good and perfect and lovely !”
“What? No! I’ve KILLED people!”
“I loved you the first time I saw you!”
“But whyyyyyyy…?”

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 Now Warner, is a completely different story. Not because I like him or I’m swooning over him, but because he’s a mean and crazy and he made me scared a little. I still don’t know if he’s a genius or a lunatic.. BUT I’M ROOTING FOR HIM. I hate that he’s inlove with Juliette who is a whiny, emotional wreck who just never seems to grow a pair and rise above.

The most frustrating and hated thing about the book is the writing. I adore Mafi, I really do. At first, I thought that the strike troughs are very unique and I was actually excited for it. But then it got annoying and I wasn’t enjoying anymore. Then I found myself asking.. WHAT IS THE ACTUAL PURPOSE OF DIZZZ. And I’m a big fan of prose and poetic writing but  metaphors are effective if they’re done well, and in the hands of a masterful writer they can be nothing short of glorious. That just isn’t the case here. They’re distracting, over-used, and, in many cases, downright nonsensical. They make the entire book feel melodramatic, like a creative writing class gone wrong. I know I’m a horrible person because of this but ever since I’ve read this book and I’m feeling down, I read some passage from the book and have a chuckle. It’s just too much, you know? To the point that it doesn’t make sense anymore.

“I saw enough to see what I couldn’t see in the darkness.”

“Sometimes it’s safer being cut by a butcher knife than being scratched by a random scrap of metal.”

“My heart is a stick of butter, melting recklessly on a hot summer day.”

“He drops kisses down my throat like ecstasy.”

“My stomach is a flimsy crepe, my heart a raging woodpecker, my blood a river of anxiety.”

“I can hear our heartbeats in the silence between us.”

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And I love you guys, but to those who are asking if I will continue the series, I’m having second thoughts about it. I’m glad you guys enjoyed this, really.

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THAT IS ALL.

11 thoughts on “REVIEW: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi a.k.a. a “WAIT. WHAT?” novel

  1. I actually love this series but I understand that it’s not for everyone 🙂 The writing takes awhile to get used to and for me that’s the state of Juliet’s mind at that time, chaotic. But I’ve read books that everyone loved and I just didn’t (I’m still trying to get through Throne of Glass -.-) so I know what you’re feeling! Whether you decide to continue this series or not, at least you still tries it out! Sorry it didn’t work for you though!

    1. Thanks Amir. I really feel sad (believe it or not haha) I wanted to like this so bad. Maybe I’ll continue reading the series when they make a movie! Haha.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I think I was too kind with my review‘s rating. I gave it a three, but overall, the series was just okay. I wanted to love it, but most of the things you mentioned in this review echoes what I felt about the book. Your review is freaking hilarious, loved it!

    1. Well at least you finished the series! Hahaha. I’ll really push myself some time to finish the series. I’m genuinely curious about everything. yes, even about Juliette =))

      Thanks, Dre!! <3

  3. You see? This is why I am so hesitant to touch this series. I heard about the purple and nonsensical prose of this one, where sometimes it goes off into an exposition train only to never come back because everything is just so fucking muddled. Thanks for the laugh, though. Now I will NEVER read it. EVER. Those quotes already made my blood boil (and my funny bone tingling!)

    1. I honestly don’t think you can tolerate any characters from this book, Faye. So, yes. I really recommend that you stay away. Though honestly, I think it would be fun for you to read and review it. Just to let see your updates. HAHAHA.

      Thank you, Fayeee! 🙂

  4. In my opinion, I think that sci-fi/dystopian/post-apocalyptic books really don’t need those magical prose. I mean, the world is bizarre and scary, things should be fast-paced and a little realistic that aims for survival – no time to be ///poetic///. But I do understand the hype of this series. It was written in a way that can entice some, but also irk some. I am more iffy to read this now. Lol. Especially that there’s a love triangle MEHHHH. Entertaining review, Paula! The lines you quoted really made me laughed! 😀 😀 😀

    1. Right?! That’s what I thought too! Though, there is nothing wrong with poetic writing, she just went overboard. Juliette really got on my nerves! Seriously! HAHA. I’m glad I made you laugh, Abby. Thank you for visiting my blog! 🙂

  5. Oh boy, I have this on my bookshelf but I haven’t gotten to it yet. BUT YOUR REVIEW IS JUST SO HILARIOUS AND I COULDN’T HELP MYSELF so I skimmed it! I’m definitely going to come back to this when I give it a try myself!

  6. Ahahahahaha. I really loved this series but I kind of feel like hiding under a rock with your review. The meme’s are hilarious, the gifs spot on and omg those quotes! I loved the writing style of this book, which I guess is what you hated. Yay! You’re on Team Warner (even if you hate him LOL). Great review, Paula. I still love this book, but now I get why so many people hate it.

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