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Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

February 23, 2012

MEH.  I think the best word to describe my feelings for Shatter Me would be: Disappointing.  I think this book could have been so much more. When I first started reading it I couldn’t put it down.  I was really excited about it for the first 50 pages… but, it went downhill from there.

It’s a dystopian novel, but the setting is so underdeveloped that half the time I forgot it was supposed to be dystopian and I wondered what was going on.  The elements of dystopia are so randomly inserted that they are distracting.  Like, right in the middle of an important conversation for instance: “Birds used to fly, you know.” Me: Ok, so apparently birds no longer fly… why? why is this important? what does this mean? oh, wait, we’re actually talking about something else right now. Maybe the bird thing will come up again later?  Oh, it doesn’t. 

The protagonist is 17 year old Juliette and I was definitely intrigued by her voice in the beginning of the book.  She thinks she’s insane.  She’s in an asylum. She knows that her touch can seriously damage and even kill people.  She lives in a prison of her own skin.  Intriguing, right?  Yeah, I thought so too.  Until, the only person she ever cared about comes rushing into her world to save the day and just happens to be madly in love with her.  Oh yeah, and he also happens to be the only person in the world immune to her touch.  Convenient, huh?  So, for the next 2/3rds of the book Juliette the girl-who’s-touch-can-kill basically spends every available second making out with her new boyfriend. Seriously, every time they’re alone for 2 seconds it gets steamy.  I mean, for a book about a girl who’s touch is death there is an awful lot of touching.  After a while I forgot she supposedly couldn’t touch anyone.

Tahereh Mafi’s writing style is definitely unique. She’s all about metaphor’s.  And slash outs.  The metaphors are good, but seriously overdone. And the contrast between the wordy, picturesque metaphors and the dialogue, which can only be described as “generic” was just confusing. The slash out’s are intriguing, but again, overdone.  I understand the concept of the slash outs and they really do help to give you an insight into Juliette’s mind. But after awhile it just got annoying.

Conclusion: 2 stars.  Maybe it should only be 1 star, but it did keep my attention. Will I read the sequel?  EH…  who knows.  It probably depends on what kind of mood I’m in.  Is it the next Hunger Games? DEFINITELY NOT.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2012 6:21 am

    I love dystopia but I’m very rarely impressed. George Orwell set some pretty high standards and the only satisfying dystopian novels that I’ve read post-1984 have been the Hunger Games.


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