Shatter Me by Tahareh Mafi
Date read: 6th February 2018 – 7th February 2018
Page count: 338
Genre: Young Adult dystopia
Format: Kindle Edition (arc from NetGalley)
This is yet another example of ‘Ellie reads a hyped book that really doesn’t live up to said hype’. At the end of the day, Shatter Me is a rehash of the Divergent trilogy, with a few more awkward, cringy relationships thrown in for good measure.
Shatter Me follows the story of Juliette, a girl who cannot touch other people. Because they die when she touches them. The world she lives in is torn apart in the midst of a dystopian world where totalitarian regimes rule and people are bullied and tortured into working for the state. An interesting world, and what is set up to be an interesting story.
However, most of the story revolves around Juliette’s relationship with a boy she met in her jail cell, right as the story begins. The relationship between them is corny, at best, and creepy at worst. It’s definitely a case of Stockholm Syndrome if I ever saw one. Not really that cute, which I think was what Tahareh Mafi originally wanted.
Parts I did enjoy:
- The writing – something I think was many people’s main problem with the story overall. I really enjoy a stream of consciousness type narrative, as it’s also kind of how I write (in a very loose way), and it’s something I don’t find too hard to understand. It definitely added to the story, too.
- Juliette – if she hadn’t been placed with a boy from the very beginning, this book would have been a lot better. She was really enjoyable to read from, just the right amount of angst that you expect from a dystopian YA novel main character who can’t touch people. I also feel like Mafi modelled her off Rogue from X-Men, and I love Rogue from X-Men.
- The world – repetitive, not massively groundbreaking, but still enjoyable to read about. But not enough was said about it for my liking—yes, this is the first book in a trilogy, but a little more worldbuilding does not go amiss.
So, overall, I gave this book 2 out of 5 stars, because I really didn’t enjoy this in the end. This is definitely for different reasons than most other people give for disliking Shatter Me, so let me know if the next two books improve! I wouldn’t be adverse to reading them at all, but this book just left a sour taste in my mouth.