Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me, book 1
Genre: Dystopian YA
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: November 15, 2011
Summary: 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.
In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.
SHATTER ME was one of the most coveted titles at BEA this year, and because my friends are awesome, they snagged me a copy. I am so grateful to them, because SHATTER ME is a gripping, fast-paced, intense, passionate book that had me caught in its spell from the get-go. This is a great introduction to a new series!
One of my favorite things about this story is the relationships. Juliette begins the story in prison, where her only personal contact is with an unnamed man, and their relationship–at least in the beginning–is strained at best. As time passes, though, she recognizes this man and comes to realize that he is the same person she remembers from her youth. And thus begins her story with Adam, a swoon-worthy but conflicted young man who melts Juliette’s heart (and other things…). Their relationship is intense from the beginning and as it becomes less a relationship of mutual survival (although this is ALWAYS a concern of theirs) and more of love and admiration, it becomes almost impossible for the reader to NOT root for them, individually and together. I loved them. And their relationship is hot, too.
Another relationship, though, that had me just as fascinated was Juliette’s connection with Warner, the bad guy (or IS he????? MUAHAHAHAHAH!). Wow. Their interactions are intense and meaningful in a different way from Juliette and Adam’s. There is an element of danger and power to Warner and Juliette that isn’t as heightened in her moments with Adam. And they are hot too. But more than that, they are important to Juliette and her growing understanding of her ability or curse, as she sees it, of killing people with a single touch. This “gift” casts the whole story in a haze of Juliette’s constant worry that she’ll touch someone and have to carry that guilt and regret. But one of the things I love about Juliette is that she is attuned to her and Adam’s survival, and would use her power if it meant saving their lives. She’s both brave and vulnerable. But we were talking about Warner. He’s crazy. Violent. His motivations are deeply ingrained and troubling. But, oh my goodness, when he shows little moments of vulnerability…*tingles*. It’s so good. When I run out to grab a copy of book 2 in this series (seriously, watch yourselves), it will be largely because of Juliette and Adam. And Juliette and Warner.
For all that the relationships are the main thing for me in this book, the whole story is great. The Reestablishment is a dangerous and dominant evil force. The secondary characters are as endearing and fleshed out as the main three. The writing is fabulous, although the strikethroughs, while handled well, sometimes tripped up my reading. But the language is wonderful. And the ending…awesomesauce. Seriously. Book 2 cannot some soon enough for me. SHATTER ME was fantastic.