Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tori's Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #1
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance
Rating: ½
Pages: 338
Published by Harper on November 15, 2011
Date Finished: July 21, 2013
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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.

This gets a bit spoilery, but not too much. It really isn't anything you learn 1/5 through the book, so no worries. Nothing big.

I liked this book--a lot--but I just couldn't give it any more than three and a half stars. First, I'll address the aspects that I liked in this book, and then after I'll talk about the parts that I disliked.

For starters, I loved Mafi's writing. It was just so beautiful and majestic (yes, I said majestic), and I could just marry her writing. I loved how in the book, there were lines that were crossed out as if the book was actually Juliette's little notebook that she wrote in. I don't know why, but I just found that that little detail made Mafi's writing even more unique than the way she portrayed Juliette's thoughts, which I also loved.

Another thing I loved about Shatter Me was the world building. That was just spectacular. Mafi had a way of adding in the way this somewhat apocalyptic world came to be. It wasn't just like she tossed you into uncharted lands and forced you to learn the ropes on your own. She eased you into this new world along with the main character Juliette, and I loved that as well.

As for the characters, I loved Juliette. She was a bit cliché with Adam, but hey, he was the first dude that even thought to talk to her like a regular human being in three years. Of course she was going to like him...and his lips. Don't forget the fact that he could touch her. That just made it all the better, right? I mean, how convenient.

Okay, here's where I get into the parts that I didn't like as much. My biggest issue with this book and its plot was that it was so convenient. Like I mentioned above, Adam--the only guy that Juliette knows and the love interest (again, how convenient)--can touch her. And he loves her, and she loves him, and they're just perfect for each other. Nobody else can touch Juliette except Adam. Now don't try to tell me that that is just so convenient. I actually don't mind that much about this little fact. It was the way the plot worked, and it needed to be added to lead up to the ending. The fact that he could touch her didn't bother me, it's just the fact that it was never explained. I hope that it's explained in the next book, but as of right now, I have no idea why only Adam, her love, can touch her. That's what makes it so convenient to me.

There's one other example of this book being convenient that I just need to point out. Adam's tied to the ceiling with a piece of rope. Bummer. Oh wait! There's an illegal pocketknife in his pant pocket. How convenient.

I saw many other instances, but I can't point them out without giving away the ending, which I don't plan on doing so onto the next big issue I had with Shatter Me.

The plot in itself was just...scattered, to be honest. I mean, they escaped (oops, I can't tell if this is a spoiler or not. I much more happens after the escape. Plus, it's expected...right?) in the middle of the book. The middle. Come on. The middle. Really now? I couldn't tell if most of the second half of the book was necessary or not. I just feel like this book could've been so much longer than 300 pages, and that would've totally been okay. I just think that the beginning parts of the novel needed a bit more development. A bit more explaining.

And the end sort of dragged on. Maybe that was just me though, since this was a reread. I already knew what was going to happen in the end, and I wanted the end to come faster. So maybe that was partially my fault, but still. It took them forever to get to their destination, to be frank.

And by god the ending. One thing I have to say about that: X-Men. Total X-Men. Now, I heard Regan say that in her review of Shatter Me, and now I totally see it. And I agree with her completely. I also agree with the part where she says that it isn't a bad thing that it was like X-Men, and it's not. I just started laughing when I met all the X-Men-y characters at the end.

If I say anymore, I'm just going to end up giving the whole plot away, so I'll stop here.

Despite my rant on the parts that I didn't like about Shatter Me, it's still a book that I enjoyed and would probably read again. I'm definitely going to read the novella, Destroy me, and the second book, Unravel Me, so I guess that says something about the book as well.

This is the end of the review, and I still stand by my 3.5 rating of this book, so yeah.

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