Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shatter Me: The Shatter Me Series Book 1

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Published: November 2011 by Harper/ Harper Collins
Shatter Me Series: Book 1

A fresh idea in the dystopian genre, Shatter Me is part X-Men, part new world order. Author Tahereh Mafi brings to life a riveting story about self-realization, the reality of human evils, and the redeeming virtues present in us all.
17-year- old Juliette Ferras has lived 264 days in a dark hole, away from a family who did not love her, away from any type of human contact. The Reestablishment has deemed Juliette a murder and a freak, unable to determine why her touch is fatal; they chose to lock her away. When she has begun to accept herself for the monster they claim her to be, Juliette is offered a reprieve from her prison and taken to the outside. The world around has slowly begun to diminish, falling prey to the new world order set forth by the imperious government, The Reestablishment.  Taken to the Reestablishment’s military base, Juliette is faced with her would be rescuer, Sector Commander Warner. Juliette quickly realizes that the young and handsome Warner is as ambitious as he is cruel; Warner has “saved” Juliette to make her a weapon against the Reestablishments enemies. Distraught and unwilling, Juliette comes into contact with Adam, solider with a secret; a boy from her past, who remembers her kindness. It is in Juliette’s power to determine if she will remain a victim and do the Reestablishments dirty work or if she will free herself and accept her affliction for what it is, a gift and a weapon.
Juliette is one of those characters who do not realize her own strength. For the majority of the novel, she remained self-deprecating, at points even begging the soldiers to kill her and put an end to her own evil and suffering. Those parts were heartbreaking to read, knowing she had no control over her affliction/gift. Eventually, she has the opportunity to come into her own, realizing her true potential and worth as not only a human being, but as someone who could have a lasting impact. She is an agreeable character, someone who has your sympathy, but at times not your undivided attention. For me, however, the supporting characters, Adam and Warner, stole the show. Both are polar opposites, yet equally fascinating and alluring in their own right.
Adam, who is considerate and charming in a good boy way, earns Juliette’s trust and affection easily. Although it becomes apparent he has ulterior motives, he is every bit the stand up guy he appears to be. Warner is everything Adam is not. Temperamental and calculating, he does not hesitate to take down anything in his way. But, in contrast, he is fascinated to the point of obsession with Juliette, taking care of her and treating her as something of reverence. Warner is enthralling and grows on you in an unsuspecting way.
Tahereh Mafi builds a world were books and art are burned and resistors of the government are killed without prejudice. The Reestablishment is trying to build a new world out of one likeness and through the imagery of her writing you get to see that. While this is a dystopian novel, many of the conflicts are presented internally among the characters. On an informative note, the writing did present a different type of prose normally found in the YA genre. The writing is straight forward and sometimes bleak, giving away to the inner monologue of an isolated girl. There were several instances of stricken text that forces you, the reader, to read between the lines of what she is thinking verses what she is saying.
All in all, this was an excellent read; unique, thought-provoking, just like the characters and plot. I would recommend this to dystopian fans and those who favor the supernatural. I look forward to the next two installments, Destroy Me (1.5) from Warner’s POV & Unravel Me (2)!


  1. I just finished this and LOVED it! (It is the 10th book I have finished since last Friday.)

    Chickadee Jubilee

  2. Laurie,
    I absolutely loved this book as well! I know it's not the popular choice but I am crazy for Team Warner! I know he is so bad, but I really think there is more to his story. I can't wait till Destroy Me comes out!