Release Date: November 2011
Publisher: Harper Teen
Add it: Goodreads
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.
In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.
Juliette has been locked away for 264 days. Her sole possession: a notebook. Her sole companion: herself. Her crime is her touch. So deadly and powerful. At age 14 she was locked away in the asylum and since then the outside world has died more and more everyday and The Reestablishment has taken control over society. But while the outside has been in a constant state of change, no matter how harsh, Juliette's been alone, stagnent in this small cell with only her thoughts for company. Until there's someone new in her cell. Someone who notices how often she stares outside, who wants to know her name and what she writes. Someone who cares. A boy who completely shatters the mad and lonely existence she's lived for not only those 264 days, but her entire life.
The best part about this book is Tahereh's amazing ability with words. Her style is so unique and original, I've never read anything like it. Every single word is so carefully structured, full of passion and love and tenderness. It's hard to imagine her hunched over the laptop in her PJ's, with bloodshot eyes and a frenzied look of madness upon her face, because that really contradicts the beauty she's typing. The story itself is engaging, but the words that shape it are what make it such a stunning piece of art.
Juliette is a fantastic protagonist. There is that running thread of hope and strength throughout the novel - can she find hope in the world? In others? Most importantly, in herself? Can she harness that strength that pulses within her very core? It's there, but it's her choice to see it there, to feel it, to embrace it. Her growth is so well portrayed. We see her introduced as this scattered, broken soul daring to hope for the one thing she has craved her entire life: love. To be touched and accepted and embraced. But she hasn't had that. Her life has been one emotional blow after another, yet all the while she remains this inherently good person. She doesn't want to be seen as a monster. She wants to believe there is good inside her and maybe someday someone will see that about her.
And do they ever. Adam Kent. SWOON! Oh he is a heart-warming puddle of sweet, strong and sssexy. His is so genuine and caring and such a beautiful boy. He is that light in Juliette's life that has forced her to step out of the darkness, to have faith in herself and another human being. The moment when she 'first' started paying attention to Adam Kent? I believe that signalled the sound of my heart cracking, then hastily sewing itself back together, then popping its stitches while it reaches out to grab hold of that sweet, tormented young man. Sigh. The romance that builds and simmers between Juliette and Adam literally heats the page. You can taste the desire, the sexual tension, the nerves. A touch or almost-touch, a whisper, a word, a look is so palpable, so vivid and rich because of Tahereh's beautiful way with words.
Warner is... messed up. Seriously messed up in the head. You can see there is more to him, you can sense that vulnerability lurking beneath and sort of understand why he does what he does. But my god. The lengths he goes to in order to achieve his goals is so so so sick. One scene in particular, something he makes Juliette do had me wishing, oh so wishing she would crush him for all he's worth. It was horrible, it was disgusting and I so felt for Juliette in that moment. She couldn't escape it. There was nothing she could do but play right into his hands. He was a well crafted character because you want to hate hate hate him, but Tahereh has to go and make him human! Authors these days... I think they enjoy making us readers so conflicted.
The secondary characters are all brilliant; whether you love them, hate them or just plain growl in anger and frown in confusion because hey, Warner has a freaking heart. But THEN WHY MUST HE BE SO DAMN EVIL?! I adored two particular secondary characters, one whose name I won't even mention because I don't want to ruin anything.
The ending was a bit of a surprise. It takes quite a different turn from the rest of the novel and sets itself up for an exciting sequel. I really like what Tahereh has introduced there, it has a lot of potential and the kind of potential that has me itching in wait to see what it will offer us. The problem is, I was totally feeling the vibe of this new element! But then.... I had nothing more to read. And I don't want it to be over. I want to play with my new shiny toy some more because it has so many cool levers and components, I want to see what else it can do! Patience? Not my strong point.