Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me series #1)
For the record, I read the entire series (books + novellas) in roughly three days earlier this spring. I COULDN’T PUT THEM DOWN. And then I might have cried when I realized that Restore Me hadn’t come out yet. So I had to wait with baited breath because OH MY GOODNESS this was one intense and amazing ride, and I NEEDED more.
Even before you crack the cover – check out that beautiful cover art. At a quick glance, it’s just an eye, BUT…! The level of detail around it is so subtle yet detailed (as it is on every cover in the Shatter Me series). I found this a really refreshing and creative cover design. Love it.
Summary: Juliette Ferrars doesn’t have a touch of gold. No, she has a touch of death. Just one touch and she can completely incapacitate… or kill. She has no idea why she has this power. No one else knows either, so after extensive, inconclusive testing Juliette gets locked up. Alone. For 264 days. While the rest of the world falls into chaos.
Shatter Me opens on the day Juliette finally receives a roommate – the one person from her past who ever cared about her. Now, with The Reestablishment wishing to use her as a weapon, Juliette must find her inner strength and explore a strength she never knew she had.
My reaction: FDkJGN;GKuN;VZsKIUfV;A. Okay, great. That’s out of the way. Like I said, I binge-read all the books and novellas in a few short days. I’m normally a fast reader, but even this pace was insane by my standards. There was something so captivating about the characters, their world, the writing (yeah, yeah pretty much everything) that I couldn’t stop. And truthfully, I almost didn’t pick these books up. I found a few pretty negative reviews about the characters and writing style, and they made me hesitant to start. But I’ve seen these books hyped in SO many places, that I just had to read them. And I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED.
Juliette was a very well-written character. The chaotic jumble of thoughts, random attention to detail, and repetition of words and phrases admittedly took a while to get used to, but you have to remember: she’s basically been in solitary confinement for nearly a year. So, yes, she is a mess before you even factor in the three years before her lock-up where her parents, doctors, and other people made her feel like an abomination and a monster. Juliette is shattered. She hates herself. She hates The Reestablishment. She hates Warner. She’s confused by the world. She knows Adam is the only good thing in her world. And the way Juliette is written captures this so dang well. By writing the main books from Juliette’s perspective, readers are submerged in Juliette’s mind where her thoughts are a mess as she’s suddenly thrown back into the company of others.
Shatter Me (and the rest of the series because at this point I'm all caught up and waiting for Defy Me) is an amazing book. The prose is inventive and captivating, the characters are creative and deepen over the next few books, and the plot is one you won’t soon forget.