Synopsis from goodreads.com:
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 asThe 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.
My thoughts on the book:
Okay, for someone who claims they don't like dystopian (me), I certainly enjoyed this book! Maybe the genre's growing on me. I do like the revolutionary ideas behind the genre, that's for sure. Shatter Me is an empowering novel about one girl's fight to stay true to herself. Juliette doesn't want to be a monster, even though society (including her own parents) treat her like she is. Shatter Me has well-developed characters and an intriguing plot. The world-building is lacking a bit, though. I wanted to hear more about what has happened to the world. I don't know how it felt to live in such a destroyed society. I know how it felt to be locked up and treated like a monster because that's what Juliette was going through, but she didn't know much about the state of the world. I'm assuming the world was extremely oppressive from what little I did learn about it, but I hope that Mafi builds this world up a bit more in the sequel.
Juliette has to be one of the most unique main characters I've read about in a long time. Her narrative voice was extremely different from most female YA leading ladies. She was very much herself and unapologetic for that fact. That could be due to the fact that she'd been isolated her entire life, so she never cared what people thought. However, I really enjoyed seeing the world through her eyes. Things were a bit jumbled and eccentric, and she had a tendency to repeat words three times in a row. I thought that would have been annoying, but it wasn't. It was endearing. Mafi has almost a poetic quality to her writing, and Juliette's descriptions of things really captured that. Juliette was brave, strong, and caring. She didn't want to hurt people, and she felt awful when she was forced to or when she did accidentally. Juliette has a lot of potential to grow into an amazing character over these next few novels. She already grew quite a bit in Shatter Me. I can't wait to see what changes she goes through next.
Adam is also pretty perfect. Sure he's flawed and doesn't always know what to do, but he means well. He's a caring person and wants to do what's best for those he loves. You certainly can't fault the guy for that. Also, I have a weakness for guys who have black hair and blue eyes, so that also put him on my good side. I really liked his character, and I can't wait to learn more about him and his and Juliette's past in the next book.
Warren, on the other hand, is one of the most vile villains I've ever read. I seriously don't think the guy has a soul. I mean usually I love the tortured, misunderstood-seemingly-evil guy, but he is just too much. The things he does to Juliette are disgusting. He is a complete psychopath. I think the creepiest part about him is that there are people out there like him. Just look at the news. It's terrifying how realistic he is. I never wanted to get that close to someone like him. However, he does add a lot of suspense to this novel. I'm interested to see how he changes over the course of time and if he can redeem himself somehow.
The plot is captivating and kept me hooked throughout the entire novel. I wanted to learn more about the world that Juliette lives in. Mafi did get a bit "causey" at times. She seemed to use her characters as mouthpieces to preach about her causes. I could be mistaken, but that's how it seemed. I agreed with most of her causes, though, so it didn't really bother me. I know a lot of people don't believe that authors should use books and characters to state their own views, but to me you're supposed to be honest to yourself and what you believe. If that includes using a character to discuss your beliefs, then that's fine. Basically Mafi just spoke out about oppression, absolute power, and careless behavior that destroyed the world. It's nothing religious or that controversial. I think we all can agree that something needs to be done about how the world is right now. Anyway, other than that, which may or may not bother you, the plot was excellent. The pacing is spot on, and the ending wraps up most of the questions raised in this novel while leaving room for the sequel.
Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone, whether or not they are dystopian fans because it's so much more than just another dystopian novel. It's a story about finding yourself and standing up for what you believe is right. It's a story about not compromising your beliefs no matter what selfish benefits may come your way if you do. It's a story about love and loss and hope, and it will stick with you for a long time. Shatter Me is one of those unforgettable novels that burrows into your heart and refuses to let go. You do not want to miss this book.
Want to buy Shatter Me?