Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Published: November 2011 by Harper Collins
My Rating: 5 stars
Tags: YA | Romance | Paranormal | Dystopia
Includes: Sexuality, Violence, Profanity
First Lines: I've been locked up for 264 days. I have nothing but a small notebook and a broken pen and the numbers in my head to keep me company. 1 window. 4 walls. 144 square feet of space. 26 letters in an alphabet I haven't spoken in 264 days of isolation.
Juliette's touch is fatal. There's no explanation as to why but one thing's for sure: if she touches someone, the agonizing pain can quickly lead to their death. As society crumbles apart and civilization begins dying out, the Reestablishment takes charge. They lock up Juliette in a terrifying asylum, preventing her from human contact for 264 days. While diseases kill the population, crops cease to grow, animals are dying, and water is hard to find, all Juliette wants is a chance. To be touched. To be loved. But the Reestablishment seems to have made plans for her, to use her abnormal ability to their advantage in war. Juliette must choose to be their monstrous weapon or to fight back.
Wow, this was truly unlike any book I've ever read! I fell in love with Juliette right away, instantly connecting to her personality and emotions. For a few chapters into the novel, not that much is explained. I liked that thrilling sense of mystery, and how the reader must figure out on their own for awhile what's going on. The horrifying, dystopian world that the author created was scary because it felt real and believable. In contrast to the crumbling world and its dying, weak inhabitants, Juliette was just the opposite. She was bold, brave, fierce. I greatly admired her and liked that she wasn't totally predictable - I never really knew what actions she'd do next. As for her special ability of having a fatal touch, it made the story so interesting and unique. It was definitely a brand new superhuman power that I've never come across before!
The story progressed quickly and there was almost always nonstop action. The author lingered on scenes and settings just long enough to hold the attention of the reader and let them become accustomed to it, before introducing an entirely new setting. I never knew what to predict next. The novel kept me on my toes, absorbing all my time and attention. The character development was amazingly well-done for the main characters and not to mention all of the many secondary characters. The romance between Juliette and Adam was very believable and they had so much chemistry together. They were perfect for each other and the poetic prose during scenes with them just melted my heart. I can't wait to read the next book in the series and see how their strong relationship grows even more. This was an incredible, action-filled, and thrilling debut from an author to watch!
From page 57
The air is crisp and cool. A refreshing bath of tangible nothing that stings my eyes and snaps at my skin. The sun is high today, blinding as it reflects the small patches of snow keeping the earth frozen. My eyes are pressed down by the weight of the bright light and I can't see through more than two slits, but the warm rays wash over my body like a jacket fitted to my form, like the hug of something greater than a human. I could stand still in this moment forever. For one infinite second I feel free.
Cover Thoughts: It's definitely eye-catching and pretty to look at. It also fits the trend that many new paranormal books have these days: gorgeous models in over-the-top dresses. However, it really doesn't have anything to do with the story; there's not even a scene in the book where Juliette wears a flouncy, white dress.