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Shatter Me (Shatter Me (Quality)) by Tahereh…

Shatter Me (Shatter Me (Quality)) (edition 2012)

by Tahereh Mafi

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1,3842245,500 (3.9)36
Title:Shatter Me (Shatter Me (Quality))
Authors:Tahereh Mafi
Info:HarperCollins (2012), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:YA, dystopian

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Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi


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Showing 1-5 of 221 (next | show all)
Delectable, delicious narration; Tahereh Mafi's impeccable wielding of words propelled me through the book as Juliette goes from a fragile snowflake to fierce steel. While I want more shades of character, setting, and story, this is undoubtedly one of the best books I've read this year. ( )
  LaPhenix | Nov 22, 2015 |
I almost didn't stick with this story, as the beginning was a little off-putting, but then the character emerges from her near insanity and the plot gets interesting. Many aspects are reminiscent of other stories about humans with "abnormal" abilities (most notably X-Men but also the TV shows Sanctuary and Alphas as well as many other sci-fi stories). But the characters and their situations are unique enough for the story to not feel entirely derivative. I thought the emerging love story was sweet in the first book, but it became distracting by the second book. ( )
  PerpetualRevision | Oct 25, 2015 |
This is a book where I think the audio version half-ruined the story for me. But then again, perhaps I wouldn't have liked Juliette even in paperback form. I'm not sure. I actually only didn't like her for the first half of the book. The second half was much better, redeemed the series for me and makes me think I might want to read the second book after all. I really didn't like all the metaphors in this book either. Too poetic, except that it didn't come across as poetic to me. I prefer a more direct way of words. Despite all this, I probably will read the next book because the second half of the book did pick up into something interesting. I can't tell if this is a book about superheros or not yet, but I'm interested in finding out. ( )
  Kassilem | Oct 17, 2015 |
I got multiple anonymous messages on tumblr telling me to read this book because of a certain amoral love (?) interest. But I kept putting it off because, you know, YA dystopia. And, well, I read it very quickly and I'm... conflicted.
I liveblogged it on my blog and I spent a lot of time being baffled by the prose. Ok, here's the thing. Purple prose and flowery prose is great when it's done well (think Cat Valente's Deathless or Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone) but it takes a long time for a writer's prose to get to a point where it doesn't just sound ridiculous and pretentious (Cat Valente's early work is messy messy messy). So, this was... a prosaic mess. She used the word Shatter 7 times (I kept count because, you know, if it's in the title it's going to be noticed), she kept likening the protagonist to butter (I... I'm still confused), all the make out scenes the protagonist was on fire (it was always fire. every time. fire.) she used hyperbole to the extreme (like i was genuinely concerned for Juliette's well being because her jaw kept falling off and her organs were always rearranging themselves). My favourite moment was here:

"Every butterfly in the world has migrated to my stomach."

There was a lot of that. It was, frankly, incredibly distracting. (Also unintentionally hilarious. I understand that most people find this book to be beautifully written, but I just found it really really funny.)
I'm not saying Tahareh Mafi is a bad writer. Not at all. In fact, I think she's going to be amazing. Once she gets ahold of what she's trying to do with prose and maybe branch out with her metaphors (they were always the same. She had a set group she just cycled through within the story).
I do think there were some major issues with the editing. Like, I understood the intentional cross outs and paragraph breaks but there were... multiple formatting errors that just... should have been caught early on in the process (dialogue running into itself instead of breaking at a paragraph, things like that). I also think a different font would have fixed a lot. Like, is this being written by Juliette? Because first person POV ≠ a written account and it felt like Mafi had no idea which she was doing. Because the font implied first person, but the paragraph breaks, lack of punctuation (that was MADDENING. I HATED the lack of necessary commas), and cross outs implied hand written. I just wish she could have stuck to a method because all the little things that bothered me wouldn't have bothered me if it had been obvious this was a written account.
I did have a huge issue with the fact that Juliette was the only girl in the book. Every time a new character was introduced wow surprise another dude. Like. Really. I thought we were past that in YA, but I guess not...
Another slight issue was the fact that Juliette doesn't... do.... much.... Like, she has this power that kills people with her touch (X-Men. Which was it? Rogue right? Yeah just think Rogue it's pretty similar.) and apparently she's super strong when she's mad? Mostly she just got towed around by the two male characters and that frustrated me. I understand that she'd been locked away for three years so she does need time to adjust but... I dunno... I felt like she never did anything herself.
I admit, ok, whatever, I'm weak garbage and I loved Warner. Whatever give me the young, bored, power hungry amoral character and I am yours. His scenes were my favourite (also written better? Like the writing improved when he was around?)
Of course, other love interest, Adam, was stock protective boyfriend because everything is the same always. I liked Adam! Quite a bit actually! But... I felt like I had to suspend a lot of disbelief for the sudden relationship with Juliette and Adam to make sense. Like, yes, they went to school together but they literally never spoke but apparently they were actually always in love together and??? /?????
Insta-love doesn't do it for me. It didn't help that Warner was a more interesting character (but emily you're biased. Yeah.)
The dystopia background literally felt like it didn't matter. I don't understand the stakes at all. All the focus was on the romance (and that's fine!) I just wish some time was spent explaining things instead of leaving us entirely in the dark. I keep forgetting that's what dystopia always seems to do in the first book.
I'll probably finish the trilogy. It only took me a few hours to read this (and it was slow going because I was constantly making tumblr posts about it oops) and tbh I want to know the endgame and what she's doing with the superpowers thing.
So, yeah 2.5 stars. It wasn't terrible but there were SO MANY weird issues that were distracting. ( )
2 vote glitzandshadows | Oct 12, 2015 |
Shatter Me is the story of Juliette. A girl who's been locked up for years because of the terrifying ability to kill people with her touch. However, her life changes in an instant when she's taken out of her locked room by a man who is looking to use her ability to as a weapon to fuel his power.

I'm not even sure where to being, really. This book has a very interesting, albeit not exactly unique, premise. It has a vaguely interesting, although again not unique, dystopian world setup. However, it fails so spectacularly on everything else that it honestly doesn't matter. It doesn't help that the book doesn't seem to think those two things matter, either.

The writing is something you'll either love or hate. I personally hated it with every fiber of my being. There were sentences that waxed poetic about irrelevant things, like the fact someone was wearing clothing. There were multiple paragraphs filled with metaphors dedicated to Juliette's feelings which were then completely discarded by the next paragraph. There were sentences meant to be filled with passion and young love, only they sounded more like they came out of an early copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. I cringed and laughed my way through the ridiculousness of it. I could have forgave it if the book was meant to be full of beautiful imagery or psychological insight into a teenage girl who suffered terrible trauma. Sadly, none of these applied. The world was a generic dystopian stereotype, a psychosis of the main character which is implied but never really mentioned and the character didn't have any backstory or clue to why she would be speaking this way. It came off as pretentious and overtly obnoxious most of the time.

This book also suffers from a severe case of YA drama stereotypes. Which are including but not limited to, two main characters falling in "Insta-Love" despite not having any real interaction beforehand, the main character being inexplicably attractive to every male character that she crosses, sexual tension between the 'bad guy' and the main character despite multiple assault and one dubiously close-to-rape scene, the character having one flaw but is seemingly perfect at everything else, boring generic 'nice guy with no personality' love interest, male friend of love interest being flirty constantly with main character, main character seems to have lost her ability to actually think because the plot says so and, my personal favorite, lose all ambition to live (or in this case, survive) without the man you barely know.

The characters themselves fare no better. The main character, Juliette, is pretty self-insert written in the vein of Bella from Twilight. She has no real personality and she doesn't effect the plot so much as do things to move it forward. Her inner dialogue rarely goes outside of "I'm full of angst" and "I want to do the horizontal tango with this guy". She has nothing that makes her unique, sans the whole 'kill people with her touch' bit, yet men fall at her feet like she's the second coming. Speaking of, our male lead, the best way of describing him is 'generic'. He's a strong. He's nice. He's hot. And he will do anything to protect Juliette. Oh and he conveniently isn't effected by her 'kill people with touch' power. He really doesn't have that much personality outside of 'love interest'. Our main bad guy has a bit of personality and backstory but I fear it's just to make the reader feel less bad about the whole 'Juliette might also have the hots for him' bit. You can't make him TOO evil, otherwise you might take away all that sweet sexual tension that the writer seems to think the readers want.

There were a few more characters but they didn't appear until the end and only served as a way to further the plot, so I feel no need to mention them here.

Overall, I disliked this book for many reasons. The biggest being this COULD have been a decent book. If you removed the invasive and pointless romance and used that time to supply more character moments or backstory. If the writing didn't come off as pretentious and hard to read. If the events happened naturally and not because 'the plot says so'. The potential was there but it's so far out of reach that I can't even imagine this book series getting even remotely better in my eyes. Which, of course, is not helped by the conclusion of the book. Juliette putting on clothes followed by a couldn't-get-any-more-generic line, "I'm Ready."

Yes, Juliette. I'm ready as well.

Ready to stop reading your story. ( )
1 vote SleepyMonster | Sep 21, 2015 |
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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.
--Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken"
For my parents, and for my husband,
because when I said I wanted to touch the moon
you took my hand, held me close,
and taught me how to fly.
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I’ve been locked up for 264 days.
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Ostracized or incarcerated her whole life, seventeen-year-old Juliette is freed on the condition that she use her horrific abilities in support of The Reestablishment, a post-apocalyptic dictatorship, but Adam, the only person ever to show her affection, offers hope of a better future.… (more)

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