Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1) by Tahereh Mafi

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.

Dystopian novels are an acquired taste...and they've started to climb to the top of my must read lists. Each new dystopian world I come in contact with I seem to love even more than the last. Tahereh Mafi proves this once again with Juliette and the rest of the characters found in the pages of Shatter Me. Her writing speaks to readers. Her way of voicing Juliette's character has you empathizing with her before the first chapter is even complete. That's not an easy task and one that I won't forget. While the story of the world suffering in one way or another in our eerily near future has been told before (most dystopian novels set a familiar fear within their plots) it wasn't the focus for me in this case. Here Mafi takes her scene and expands it to have readers paying more attention to what's happening with her main character, than what is going on in the world itself. At times I found myself forgetting this was a dystopian novel at all. I was so focused on Juliette's fate that it didn't matter to me what her surroundings were like.

I was engrossed with this story, there's really no other way to describe my feelings. Each page brought new heartache or tension that had my heart racing with anticipation and anxiety. It was a roller coaster of emotions and her characters refused to fall to the background. It's irresistible and honestly why would you want anything else from a book. You wouldn't, and sadly with work like this, it will be hard to accept just an average piece of writing in the future. Mafi sets the bar very high and I've no doubt that her work with the rest of the series will only continue to raise the stakes.

On a side note, Variety reported that Fox has bought the film rights for this book and is planning on making a movie adaptation out of Mafi's work. How great is that? I am always thrilled when a great piece of writing is turned into film, because it means we have that much more to look forward to, and that much longer of a time frame before we must say goodbye to these characters. At least until we decide to re-read the book again, right?

I gave Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1) 4 shamrocks!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I wasn't in love with this one. I did like the writing at certain times but at other times the writing got on my last nerve. The characters were pretty good but I was thrown by the ending of the book, it seemed to have come right from the pages of X-men comics.

    I will still read to find out what happens to the characters because I do like them but I'm not in love.

    Thanks for the great review.



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