Thursday, 16 February 2012

Sha-tter Me. Easy as 1, 2, 3...

Book Review for Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

"You can't touch me," 
I whisper. 
I'm lying, 
is what I don't tell him. 
He can touch me, 
is what I'll never tell him. 
Please touch me,
is what I want to tell him.
But things happen when people touch me. 
Strange things.
Bad things.
Dead things.

Nathan Bransford first introduced Tahereh Mafi to my little word. He picked her up as a debut novelist and told the world of her glory. This amazing book. This supremely talented author. Even though Nathan moved on from agent-ing, Tahereh found another, and Shatter Me found the world.
I’ve heard about this book so many, many, many times. I’ve seen the cover and hated it wondered if I could read a book like that.
Honestly, I didn’t think I could get past the supermodel/runway-type cover that just screams LOOK AT ME; I’M A YOUNG ADULT IN A PRETTY DRESS. Blah. No thanks. But I did. 1, 2, 49 chapters and my mind
Good Lord.

At Face Value: I think I’ve said enough. This cover has nothing to do with anything and its lameness is only beaten by Vampire Academy. ALL SIX BOOKS. If Nathan Bransford hadn’t been all over this book, well, the cover would had been a MASSIVE deal breaker for me. (Blog pic is courtesy of Sweden FYI :P).

Immediate Reaction: I put the book down. The ending was final. I was okay. I could go on. That is not a good thing.

High Five: Gah! From the first page I was so sure I’d get my high five. That makes it even harder for me to do this. FOUR! Shatter Me only gets a FOUR, okay? Now stop judging so I can crawl back under that dystopian rock I’ve been clinging to.

Favourite Quote: So. Many. I know I say that a lot but Tahereh’s writing is. Just. Just. WOAH! So I’m giving you two.

“ Hope in this world bleeds out of the barrel of a gun. ”

She is a walking weapon in this society, is what the teachers said. We’ve never seen anything like it, is what the doctors said. She should be removed from your home, is what the police officers said.
No problem at all, is what my parents said. I was 14 years old when they finally got rid of me. When they stood back and watched as I was dragged away for a murder I didn’t know I could commit. ”

The first thing that anyone who opens Shatter Me would notice is the prose. Mafi has such a unique style it’s mind blowing. There is no way her writing could get mixed up with that of another YA author because I HAVE NEVER read anything like it, you guys. After the first chapter or so I was in love with Mafi’s writing. I cannot possibly convince you enough that she is one talented woman. I remember thinking at one point that the writing would exhaust me by the time the book finished, but it didn’t. It. Just. Didn’t.

From the very first page you can tell there is something seriously up in Juliette’s head. The way Shatter Me has been written makes it almost read like Juliette is writing everything that happens to her down. But it goes deeper than that. Juliette’s true thoughts and feelings are the things she strikes out. She lies to herself completely. She hides in her head. She is so crazy-afraid of herself that she won’t open up. Fear of herself drives her every emotion. YOU GUYS, Juliette is DEEP, okay? And then there’s her obsession with numbers which adds another layer to everything Juliette does. This character trait could have so easily been a gimmick but Mafi is better than that. Way, way, better. So talented so talented, this woman is just so talented.

And then along came Adam. Gorgeous, tough, and COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY SWOONWORTHLY! This is how to write a deep love interest for a young adult novel. So don’t say you haven’t been warned. Adam is tough, he kicks arse, and he brings out a strength and confidence in Juliette that really lights up the page. Add in Mafi’s AWESOME writing skillz and I was sold from the moment they were thrown in the cell together.

Other characters of note are James, Adam’s massively adorable little brother. WARNER, my new fav. psychopath! Seriously, this dude is even more messed in the head than Mara Dyer. And that’s saying something. Gah! Warner! I love him I love him I love him I hate him. And finally, there’s Kenji. This character literally leaps from the page and demands attention in his own right. Kenji is so amazingly well developed and I WANT HIM AS A PET!

To add to this stellar cast, the awesome writing, and fabulous main characters, are some scenes that ignited my blood. There was a whole heap of heavy petting, some intense convos on feelings and shiz, and a whole heap of screwed up situations that Juliette is forced into by my new love Warner.

SO WHY DIDN’T THIS BOOK GET A HIGH FIVE? ARE YOU REALLY THE CRAZY PSYCOPATH? I hear you guys ask. Umm… no. At least, not when I last checked…

The nitty gritty of the matter is that Shatter Me didn’t blow my mind. The writing did. Juliette’s mental state and vulnerability did. But the things that happened, the scenes that should have had me on the end of my seat didn’t. They kept my attention. They made me want more. But I didn’t feel that kind of desperate NEED to tear through the remaining pages because the end of the book was tame. It ended nicely. This book could stand-alone. Basically, the ending pattered off into the ambiguity of fairytale land.

THAT SAID, Unravel Me IS going to get a five. I can feel it in the air. The ending of this book may have been tame but to me, it kind of feels like the calm before the storm. Juliette has been given a reprieve before shit seriously goes flying. And my God, will I be there when it does. Release day. I literally

354 days remaining. 354 days until I get to experience Tahereh Mafi’s writing again. 


  1. I haven't seen that cover before, but I think it fit's the tone of the story better than the US cover. I'm so glad you liked this book! It's one of my new favourites and I'm super excited for the next book now, too. :)

    1. I know! It sucks that the release date was pushed back but I can't wait to see what all this extra stuff is!

  2. I don't think I'm going to say anything since I can't say anything nice :) You're review is wonderful though and I love the way you've broken it down.

    1. Ha Ha, your mother taught you well!

      Since I've read this book, I've actually found a fair few people that didn't like it. It's strange because before then I only read good things. But I loved it, and I'm glad I did :)

  3. I wholeheartedly agree with you – the story did not blow my mind, the writing did. There was such a complexity to the characters, their back stories, the world they’re forced to live in, and oh sweet numeracy goodness, THE NUMBERS. I can’t get over how brilliantly numbers are incorporated into this book. Whenever I think about Shatter Me, they’re the very first thing I think of. Oh, right, the second thing? WARNER. (QUIT MESSING WITH MY HEAD. I CAN’T DEAL WITH ALL THESE I LOVE HIM I LOVE HIM NOT FEELINGS.)

  4. Ha ha SO TRUE! I thought there was something seriously up with me. How the hell could I love such an evil character so darn much?! But Mafi just wrote him like a dream.

    I reall hope that the amazing writing continues into the next book. I just hope there is more feeling to the story as well...

  5. Also, the quote that keeps running through my head is "I count all my fingers to make sure they're still there."

    Not sure why, but I think that one quote tells us so much about Juliette...


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