Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Synopsis 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.

My review:

“I spent my life folded between the pages of books. In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”

I was skeptical of this book. Initially, I heard very mixed things about it. Some people were in love with everything about it, and others seemed to despise every aspect of it. I assumed I might be somewhere in-between, but I find that I’m leaning more towards the loving side.

Yes, the writing was a little tedious at times. The first few chapters were almost difficult for me to read because of the repetition repetition repetition of words or phrases (just like that), and more often than not, the strikeouts were annoying really distracted me. But I moved on, because the premise was very interesting and I can’t deny that I was hoping for a forbidden romance to ensue. Needless to say, I’m glad I kept reading. Despite the excessive purple prose, the plot carried on very well. And actually, I find that the writing improved with every page, both grammatically and stylistically.

Besides the slightly annoying writing style, I really liked the plot and characters. I have to admit, Juliette is definitely a Mary Sue and some things in the story are very cliché, but I’m willing to overlook that because I still loved reading it all. I don’t dislike any of the characters (psychotic ones included).

The last thing I want to say is that if you’re considering reading this book (but feel uncertain because of the mixed reviews), do it! Just read it. Or at least try to read the first one. This may be one of those reads that really depends on the type of reader you are, and what you are willing to overlook or enjoy (if that makes any sense).

★★★★ (4 stars) for helping me out of a reading slump! I’m going to devour the rest of the series today.

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