Sunday, January 6, 2013

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: November 11, 2011
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 338 pages

"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."


Characters: Juliette has always thought she was cray, ever since she discovered that she had the power to inflict pain with a single touch, and if she held on long enough could kill. She was eventually admitted into a psychological hospital and treated as less than human. She was alone for nearly a year when she received a roommate, and then, unexpectedly she is taken by the Reestablishment to serve as a torturous interrogator. Soon, she is forced to do things she doesn't want to and is faced with two choices, continue to be played or fight back. Juliette starts off timid and shy, even to the point where she'll slash out thoughts that she doesn't feel she should think, however as the book progresses, the slashes get less frequent.

Romance: This is the only real problem I had with the book. Just as a warning there is a spoiler in this part, mainlt cause it would be too hard to dance around, so please proceed with caution. Since Juliette cannot touch someone without hurting them, I thought it would make for an interesting romance since there would be no physical contact, however it turns out that Adam is immune to her touch. This disappointed me mainly because there seems to be no real reason for it. I got over it towards the end, but I was really hoping for something new. There is a love triangle of sorts, but instead of two parallel interests, it's a struggle between good and evil, which you don't see too often so I enjoyed that.

World-Building: In Shatter Me our world becomes tainted, resulting in animals dying and birds losin the ability to fly. There isn't too much said about the cause of this which will make for a good amount of world-building in future installments. We learn that the world needed to be Reestablished, hence the ruling power being the Reestablishment, however there are some who oppose them and have formed a small but passionate rebellion.

Predictability: Most of this book was pretty predictable, not to say that it detracted form the book in any way, it was still enjoyable to watch the twists unfold. The twists weren't too intense but still kept an edge of mystery and shock to them, especially when I didn't see them coming. I loved the few times when a twist fully caught me off guard which was actually for most of the larger twists.

Ending: I felt like the ending took forever, mainly because the "final confrontation" of the book was way before the "reveal and explanation" that happens at the ending leading to a much longer section of explanation which I liked. I'm much more of a exposition person than a dramatic action person. I loved what the end revealed and where it was leading the story.

Overall, I'm giving this book 4 out of 5 stars, it was a great read with only a couple minor disappointments. I'm actually excited for the next installment which comes out in less than a month. This was a great mix of Young Adult lit and superheroic tales.

P.S. I'm having a contest to win the entire Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, you don't need to be a fan of the series to win, if you don't know about this amazing series feel free to check out my review of the first installment, The Iron King before entering. If you liked this review please check out my Twitter and Facebook page to stay up to date on all the latest reviews and news.


  1. This is definitely on my top 10 list for 2012 of best reads. I loved Mafi's writing style for sure. I can't wait to read Unravel Me. I loved Destroy Me, even tho I can't stand Warner. Great review!

  2. Interesting. Have you read "Touch" by Jus Accardo? The male protagonist in the story has the same ability, and the main character is immune to it, and it becomes a love story of a similar kind. I'd be curious to compare the two books and who does the "killer touch" better?

  3. I'm honestly starting this book either tonight or tomorrow! I already picked it out and everything. Your review definitely makes me want to read it even more, but that's like....all the time! :)

  4. I've been wanting to read this--heard so many great things!