Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi – Book Review

Hello humans! Today’s book review is a title I’d seen floating around the blogosphere for a while, understandably as it’s a title that’s been on shelves since 2011, still I’d never heard anyone raving about the Shatter Me series so I thought I’d try out the first book and see how it went.

Goodreads Summary:

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.

Find Shatter Me on Goodreads

As is often the case I liked a lot of the elements of this book. I thought that the way that Juliet’s ‘voice’ changed throughout the book to reflect the changes in her sanity was clever and I enjoyed the way that nothing was ever absolutely clear as to who you should trust or not. There are some very lovely pieces of writing in there as well, especially if you are into writing that has a lot of imagery and metaphor in it.

I think my main issue with this book was that, as a result of the fact that our protagonist starts the book having been secluded from the world, there isn’t a huge amount of world building. That’s what made it difficult for me to connect with this story, I didn’t know enough about the political issues at hand to really decide who was in the right/wrong/morally grey area. That’s not always a problem and can be used to the advantage of a story, but in this case, it didn’t grip me and instead left me with a lot of questions.

I also would have liked Juliette’s powers to have been more clear from the start, while she does possess this killer touch and the times she is forced to use it are quite horrifying, I don’t think it was as well done as The Sineater’s Daughter to which I couldn’t help but compare it.

This book is also quite predictable. I’m remembering a twitter thread I read where someone said we shouldn’t use that as a negative point. If you like a predictable storyline then this feels to me like something you will enjoy. Personally, I like a little more of a twist, which this book didn’t quite provide.

I’m making this review seem awfully negative, that’s not entirely the case. I do think this is a strong story and it deserves its place on the YA dystopia shelves, for me it didn’t do enough to excite me and get me to love it.

My rating: 3/5 stars

By the way, I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What say you? Is this one of your favourites or has it also passed you by? Let me know in the comments below!

J

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