by Tahereh Mafi
Publication: November 15, 2011 by HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Rating: 5 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I loved it!
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in 264 days. The last time she did it was an accident it was murder. Now, The Reestablishment has plans for her. Does Juliette have the power to save her shattered world?
After a lifetime without freedom, Juliette is finally discovering a strength to fight back for the first time – and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever. The one boy who might be her only hope.
Juliette is fighting much more than a war. She’s fighting herself for the right to be human and fighting the world for the right to be free.
She’s fighting for love.
And she’s learning to love to fight back.
It took me forever to get my thoughts together enough to write this review. Honestly, if I had tried to write this immediately after reading Shatter Me, it would have just been incoherent babblings of love. Shatter Me is one of those books that comes along and completely changes your reading world and you love it for that. When I turned the last page of the book, I sighed, grinned and wanted to read it again – right away.
From the very first sentence of the book – “I’ve been locked up for 264 days.” – I was sucked into Juliette’s world and completely hooked. Since the story is told from Juliette’s point of view you are with her in her head the whole way, as her world flips upside down with the arrival of a cellmate – a boy cellmate, Adam. And oh, Adam and Juliette. There is so much hardship and heartbreak for them, and yet they are so good together. The world around them is crumbling and in ruins and all they can do is run until they can fight. Because Juliette is special, more than normal human, and she’s sought after for what her touch can do to another person. This world is so bleak and stark and seems hopeless, but it’s not without hope, not for Adam or for Juliette. And while Shatter Me is most definitely a story of mysterious powers, war and a post-apocalyptic Earth, Adam and Juliette are a love story and it just works together so well.
And through this all you’re in Juliette’s had and thoughts and you don’t even know if she’s still fully sane or not, but it doesn’t even matter. All the pieces start to fall together in a jigsaw of needed answers that will create this picture of why Juliette has the power she does and why a high-up in The Reestablishment wants to own that power so badly, and by the end all I wanted was the sequel. The story is intense in its action (and periods of less-action, even) and pacing, but what really makes Shatter Me a debut book to remember and adore is Tahereh Mafi’s writing style. Juliette’s voice shines through so clearly and the writing is almost lyrical – it flows and combines and forms setting and characterization that you can’t not see in your had clear as day. And the use of the strikethroughs is brilliant to help showcase Juliette’s questionable sanity.
Even with less world building that I usually want and like, I still can’t fault this book – it’s the writing, I swear. I cannot describe how much a lot of my love for this book stems from the writing; I find it beautiful. Shatter Me showcases love, hope and strength in a devastated world at war. It’s a story that touches on more emotions than I could believe would be in one book – from despair, horror, hurt and loneliness to hope, love, awe and joy. And this is just Juliette we experience. She has such strength in her, but doesn’t even realize it until she’s given something (someone) to fight for.
Shatter Me is a book not to miss out on – a definite must read and a favourite, if not the favourite, of the year.
ARC received from HarperCollins Canada in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!
To learn more about Shatter Me and Tahereh Mafi, visit the HarperCollins website.
Shatter Me is part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by The Story Siren.