It’s the Easter long weekend, so I know you have some spare time that could be reading time! I promised myself I wouldn’t let me love of YA fiction sneak out onto this blog, but this one cannot be helped. You know that feeling when you read a book, or in this case, three books, and they stick with you for days? Well this is that. I know I’m tardy to the party on this one, but Tahereh Mafi’s series, Shatter Me is THAT GOOD. I was actually going to read the first book sometime last year but I was put off by some of the reviews that suggested the writing was a little ridiculous. I’m so glad I forgot about that and just started reading it purely by accident because yes the writing style is unusual. Or to be more specific, its lyric, it poetic and it’s moving. Mafi uses a lot of poetic devices to reflect moods and emotions of the main character, Juliette, and in my opinion it strengthens the character…but I’m getting ahead of myself.
I know I said read the first one and I’ve tried to keep the review to just the first one…but I totally read em all!!!!
What is Shatter Me About?
This is a three part series, with 2 novellas in between. Book one, Shatter Me, is written from Juliette’s perspective in an asylum in a dystopian world where everything has fallen apart. Society failed to save the planet and now we are faced with a destructive dying world – the consequences of our combined actions. This was something that I found somewhat realistic, that society on the whole could screw up so epically that flowers no longer grew, the sky was no longer blue and our resources were scarce and limited to those who had power. And despite all this, Juliette is feared and caged like some kind of wild animal because her touch kills. She has been alone in a concrete cell for almost a year, her sanity slipping more and more, yet her humanity is still intact as she feels guilt and remorse for actions she couldn’t control. Even before her imprisonment, she was never touched, abhorred by her own family and feared by those around her. And its this insanity, this torture that Mafi captures so well within her writing, which for me is part of the brilliance of this series.
In the first book alone, we see this fragile girl who has been locked away, the world forgetting about her… or so it seems. There are two boys (men?) that haven’t forgotten about her at all. Both guys pursuing her for different reasons.
Let’s start with Adam. He’s is the closest thing to a friend Juliette has ever had, a part of her past life when she had a home and a family. When he is thrown in her cell, he is at first harsh but eventually shows her kindness to which Juliette begins to warm to. Then it seems as though Adam has betrayed her and as while she is hurt by this, I like that when confronted with guy 2, Warner, she doesn’t bend to his will. She stands up to him, fights him ever step of the way, while he tries to essentially weaponise her for his own end! And I want to say more but I won’t just in case you’ve only read book 1!
The best part for me was the way Juliette grew in each book. She becomes a stronger, more independent person. I saw a review that said basically they were disgusted that she was so weak in the first book, but come on! If you’d been imprisoned and hated, alone and despised with people afraid of you, I don’t think you’d be instantly all backbone and threats. It takes time to build the confidence needed to be alone, so I love that her trip back to sanity didn’t happen overnight. I want to tell you more, but I can’t without giving away the plot, so trust me when I say read this but don’t stop with book one.
And don’t skip the novellas, the first novella, Destroy Me, is written from Warner’s perspective, and the second, Fracture Me, is written from Adam’s perspective. Again, not normally a fan of novellas but dammit if Mafi doesn’t make them worth your while!
Where to get them?
I’m a Kindle gal myself, and also have the app on my phone and laptop for you know, reading emergencies. Get it now from Amazon here. It’s not an overly expensive ebook series, which is also a bonus!
Drop me a comment if you love the book slash this entire series as much as I do! I hear the movie rights have been purchased but we all know that means nothing.
Next station on fiction train is…Panic by Lauren Oliver