Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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.


At the time of Shatter Me’s release, I had everything about it from its purple prose which people hated/loved to the unique writing techniques which people loved/hated.

Needless to say, I waited a while until I got around to reading it. I let all the reviews I read leave my memory and I picked it up and I finished it in a few short hours. I wouldn’t call Shatter Me a master piece. But it had thought—I’m referring to the strike outs—and was an easy read that didn’t require any brain power.

Unlike some I didn’t find the strikeouts to be that annoying. I did find them a bit difficult to understand. Was this her mentally correcting herself or something else? I do know people had reservations about the purple prose. Usually I dislike purple prose, and to be honest I didn’t pay enough attention to Shatter Me to notice anything that was overdone. I frowned at a few things—repetition of the damn bird tattoo, for one—that got annoying.

Insta love. Oh, it’s becoming an overly used cliché in YA, isn’t it? Here’s the thing: having a very small history of stalking from afar as kids does not equal instant love as teenagers/adults. It just doesn’t. And by that age usually you’ve moved on or you just laugh about how silly it was. The thing with readers is that we don’t know this history; we haven’t experienced it from their eyes. We’re experiencing what’s on the pages of the book.

I think for this kind of romance to be done well, you have to know the characters well. I just didn’t connect and feel the love between them. Most of it was physical lust and will I do know that that can be powerful, it doesn’t mean it’s love.

Lust brings me to the other part of the review. The villain is pathetic, to be honest. Essentially he wants Juliette for her power, to hone it as a weapon and be forever by his side because he loves her. What I also don’t understand is that dystopians seem to forget that to be so high up like Warner is, you’re going to have a lot more skill in war than what a nineteen year old would. As an almost-eighteen year old, this is just too extreme and unrealistic no matter the world we’re in. I just couldn’t buy into.

Despite the negatives I’ve listed, this book gains its merit from being an easy read. I didn’t have to concentrate or really think which is just what I needed for that afternoon. I do recommend giving it a go because it’s the kind of book you’ll either be on the love/like it end or the hate it end. It’s not something you can really judge from someone’s review.

Rating: 3 stars
Date Read: Feb 2013
Date Published: November 15th 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: paperback
Source: gifted
Series: Shatter Me #1


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