Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me
Shatter Me #1
Tahereh Mafi
Genre: YA Dystopia
I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I'm more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

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.
Weird. Writing's weird.

I have a diary. I write in it every day. I have written in it for years. But you would be hard put to chronologically make sense of things despite the dates written on top of every entry, for I write in every available notebook that I have. What happens to be within my reach. I do occasionally switch tones and languages but I mainly write in English especially when I am feeling particularly like swearing. I don't do that a lot. It might give you an insight of who I am but I am not sure if you could make ends of the entries.

Which is what I felt about reading the first chapters of Shatter Me – I was slightly confused because the writing was new to me. Not as nosebleed-inducing as the first time I was reading Tolkien but just as blurring…? 

No, that’s not right. 

The first few chapters gave me an insight into what someone who was like Juliette –shunned, feared, imprisoned, frightened of herself, alone- was like. Every word was hyper-focused on her that I got this tunnel-like vision of what it was to be inside her head.

But I noticed. I noticed how, when she began again to interact ‘normally’ with others that the writing shifted to what could be considered as more comfortable for YA readers, reflecting the changes that were being wrought in her. How refreshing was it to be out of your own maelstrom of thoughts, counting everything so as to keep your head occupied? Who needed walls when your mind was your own personal Azkaban?

And boy did I notice the use of metaphors and hyperboles. How could you even contemplate to use “for a long time” when you could use “the sun was revolving around the moon when he answered”. I liked it.

I never thought I could like Shatter Me. I avoided it like the plague; partly because it was causing a mania among the blogging community and because I was like What the hell is this? But, apparently, I was wrong. I really liked it in spite of the weirdness in the first half, you know, the writing. I could probably say that there was something unique about this story. 

There was. However, I couldn’t help but thought about XMEN. If anybody asks, my powers would be telekinesis and teleportation.
Ayanami Faerudo

Sidenote
Warner is no Jackal. Jackal (and Sarren) was brilliantly crazy. Warner's sick.

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