Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Reviewer: Kinsey Manchester
Seventeen year old Juliette lives in a futuristic society ruled by a government known as the Reestablishment. Juliette’s parents gave her away to the government because Juliette has a deadly touch. That is, anyone who makes skin contact with her suffers and dies. She is put in an insane asylum, alone and is barely holding on. Juliette hates who she is and when she gets a new roommate in her cell, she struggles to face the fact that she cannot get close to him because she can never touch him. Despite Juliette’s efforts to shut out her roommate, Adam, they grow closer. Juliette in turn, suffers more and more because she cannot touch him (even though she wants to). Later on, Adam is revealed as a soldier in the government and his purpose of being Juliette’s roommate is to see if Juliette is really crazy. Juliette feels betrayed by Adam because she thought they were friends. Once she is deemed sane, the ruthless leader of the sector where they live, Warner, tells her that he wants to use her touch as a weapon in the war the government is fighting. The only catch to Warner’s plan is that Juliette will not cooperate because she refuses to use her touch against anyone. As Warner pushes Juliette to be the monster that she has been forever trying not to be, she finds the strength to remain true to herself through the one person who never gave up on her. With that strength and the help from her friend, Juliette tries to fight back against the Reestablishment.
Shatter Me is a dystopian novel that pulls you in from the first page. I like how the action starts right away. I was not bored or disinterested in the beginning of the book, as I sometimes am in other books. At first, the style of writing was not my favorite. For example, some lines are crossed out as a way of showing what Juliette is thinking but does not say, and I initially found that annoying. However, as the book went on, I found them useful in developing Juliette’s character and I decided that it is a unique approach to showing us how Juliette really feels. I really enjoyed the character of Adam, because he was the stereotypical good guy. Adam reminds me a lot of Peeta in the Hunger Games, because he loves Juliette from the beginning, and neither Juliette nor Katniss (in the Hunger Games) can figure out why he loved her. I liked how just when things are starting to simmer down, a twist comes and the action keeps rolling. I did not expect the end of the book to be as it was at all, and I find that a sign of a good book- when you do not know what is going to happen next. The only thing that I thought could be improved upon is the reader knowing more about Juliette’s history. I wanted to know more about her school days, but it makes sense why we do not know that. Juliette has blocked that part of her life out because it was not a good time for her. I also wanted to know more about Warner. I feel that his character could have been developed better. Other than that, I loved the book. I think that this is a book that could use a sequel, so I hope that there is one coming out! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes action, romance, and dystopian novels.