Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Shatter Me

Shatter Me
By: Tahereh Mafi
Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

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. Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

I loved the premise of this one, and the writing was gorgeous.

Smart and Brave Heroine: CHECK
The thing I found most incredible about Juliette was that her curse gift made her value human life  more, rather than taking it for granted and yet it was believable. She wasn't bitter, not to say she wasn't angry, but she didn't let that make her cruel. However, she was very easily rattled (that probably came from 264 days in the dark lonely asylum and it would be impossible ridiculous to believe that she'd come out of that with all of her sanity intact). And the writing sounded more like poetry than prose in some places, which lent itself to the interesting way Juliette's thoughts traveled along after all of the traumatic events of her life. The tiniest things that Tahereh did with the styling of it made all the difference, like writing certain lists without commas or having some run-on sentences connected only by 'and's. It sounded like the sometimes incoherent workings of an actual brain.

Intelligent and Brave Hero: CHECK
I loved that Adam unlike so many YA boys had an actual and genuine reason for loving Juliette. He saw real good in her. He saw that she did so much for everyone around her and yet was paid back with nothing but hate and abuse. He saw her as someone worth loving despite everyone telling him that she was a monster. It wasn't insta-love because they had a real history despite them never having talked before they had always loved each other because of the goodness they saw.

Extraordinary Supporting Characters: CHECK
Warner: Well, Warner earns an A+ in the creepy and disgusting villain department. He might be the creepiest villain I have ever read. He was basically a stalker with the power of an army behind him. I'm really interested to meet his dad (whom we've heard very little about, but enough to pique my interest). His obsession with having and using power is thoroughly disturbing.
Kenji: So, I hated Kenji until they got to Omega Point, then he stopped being annoying and just made me laugh. I'm excited to get to read more about him and his awesome super power.
Winston: Don't ask me why because I don't know why, but I don't actually trust or like Winston. Although he's basically the Elastigirl (sp?) of this dystopian world.
Castle: Gahhh. I really love Castle. He seems like a great leader and like he actually has a plan to change things and make the world better. He is accepting because he is different too. I really want to learn what his super power is!
James: Adorable little brother is adorable.

Excellent Plot: NOPE
I appreciated the short chapters, they fit the pacing of the story and kept things moving. My problem, however, was how many times the storyline was interrupted for Juliette and Adam to have make-out moments. I understand that it's miraculous that she can touch him without killing him and whatever, but really? About every other page the story was interrupted for them to kiss. But other than that the plot was quick and flowed easily.

Plot Twists and Page Turners: CHECK
I thought the beginnings and the endings of every chapter were particularly well written. Most chapters ended with either a small cliff-hanger or a new piece of information that made you want to keep reading and the short chapters made it so that you didn't feel guilty saying, "just one more chapter". Also with this book I couldn't quite tell where it was heading until the end when things started coming together.


"I press my palm to the small pane of glass and feel the cold clasp my hand in a familiar embrace. We are both alone, both existing as the absence of something else."

"...but it's nearly impossible to beat gravity when no is willing to give you a hand."

"Pinks and reds filter into the room and I know it's the start of a new beginning. The start of the same end. Another day."

"I never wanted to hurt the only person who never wanted to hurt me."

"...my lips remain shut because there will never be words for this moment."

"To study people and places and possibilities. All I had to do was open my eyes. All I had to do was open a book -- to see the stories bleeding from page to page. To see the memories etched onto paper. I spent my life folded between the pages of books."

"In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction."

"I always wondered what it'd be like to see the world through such a beautiful lens. I wondered if your eye color meant you saw the world differently. If the world saw you differently as a result."

"Everyone says I talk a lot." He shrugged. "But what am I supposed to do when I have so much to say."

"...and I'm so desperate to say something that I say nothing..."

"We are fed lies because believing them makes us weak, vulnerable, malleable."

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