Word Spelunking

Shatter Me

Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi You can read my original and complete review (and many more) at Word SpelunkingI have to make a confession. I have a pretty big to-be-read pile and there are other books that I really need to read and review, so when Shatter Me arrived in the mail I placed it on my shelf with a sigh and made a big girl promise to myself that I would read the other books first…yeah, that didn’t happen. What can I say? The shiny cover just kept calling out to me. So after a few placating words to my TBR pile, and after prying the book away from my mom, I gave in and devoured read Shatter Me. And holy guacamole am I ever glad that I did! Tahereh Mafi’s novel is an electrifying and stunning debut that held me captive spellbound from beginning to end. SUMMARYSeventeen year old Juliette has a dangerous touch. A deadly touch. Abandoned by her parents, she’s been placed into an institution, cut off from anyone and everything. Until her new cellmate Adam arrives. At first she’s scared and wary of this stranger, but soon realizes that maybe he’s not a stranger or a threat at all. Outside the prison institution, the world is falling apart. Famine, disease, and greed are quickly destroying the world. The Reestablishment promises to make things better. Promise that their way is the ONLY way. When a Reestablishment leader takes Juliette away and hopes of turning her into his own weapon, she must make a pivotal choice- stand with the Reestablishment or take a stand against them. When secrets are uncovered, when love becomes a reality, and when danger stalks her, Juliette must learn to trust her power, her instincts, and her heart. THE STORYYA dystopian novels are very popular at the moment, meaning that they’re also very repetitive. True originality is getting harder to come by in this genre, which makes Mafi’s Shatter Me a true gem. Mafi has taken the now familiar dystopian landscape and set it aflame with an innovative spark, fueled by a bright imagination, thrilling action, captivating paranormal aspects, and a breathtaking romance.This is very much a multi-layered story. It is not simply just Juliette’s story or just Adam’s story or a story about a dying world or a story about a villainous establishment. It’s all of these things. And spectacularly so. Imagine this book as set of Russian nesting dolls, with Juliette as the smallest most inner doll and the world itself as the largest doll holding everything else inside it. Juliette and her story make up the core of this book, but are nothing without the world she’s enveloped in. And I loved the fact that when the story begins, we are placed snuggly within the most inner nesting doll with Juliette, and we journey outward. Yet, despite how layered this book is, it is never overwhelming or just Too Much. The story paces and flows effortlessly. While reading, I never found myself over or under whelmed or distracted by what I did or didn’t know.Mafi’s writing and way with words is impressive and quite beautiful. Her prose is almost lyrical and poetic. The story is told from Juliette’s point of view and her narration flows in an intriguing, Faulkner-esque stream of consciousness kind of way and I found myself completely mesmerized by Mafi’s words. For me, this way of presenting Juliette’s story/thoughts/actions creates a very intimate relationship between her and the reader. And there is something so incredibly powerful about the way Mafi utilizes the strikethrough (as I did above). Each one of Juliette’s words or thoughts that had a strikethrough felt as though it were stitched into my mind or embedded underneath my skin, always there, always present.The story itself is just awesome! There’s such a phenomenal mix of action, romance, supernatural action, and character driven emotion. There are several climactic revelations and plenty of awe inspiring twists and turns. The ending will leave you desperate for more. CHARACTERSAs the narrator, Juliette’s developments is integral to the development of the story as a whole, and trust me, she’s a brilliantly developed character. This is a character that has been abandoned, abused, humiliated, and yet, she’s not completely broken. She has a quiet strength that has nothing to do with her lethal touch and a breathtaking grace that I found moving. She’s surprising and relatable and easy to root for. Juliette’s every thought, every feeling, every emotion is palpable, and I felt intricately and intrinsically connected and bound to her and her story.Adam is a complex character, yet there’s also a comforting simplicity to him as well. I was completely drawn to his compassion, longing, earnest intentions, and I was awed by his honesty that is found even within his lies.Warner, the antagonist, is charismatic and his villainy is very compelling. I thoroughly enjoyed hating him; yet also found myself sympathetic toward him at times as well.ROMANCEThe romance between Juliette and Adam left me completely breathless! There’s a sweetness to the way they fall in love, but their relationship is also passionate, sexy, and intense. I read every scene between them feverishly and with a racing heart.Adam and Juliette fall in love quickly, but it didn’t feel rushed to me. Their feelings developed very organically and felt natural. I love the way Mafi explores the excitement, anxiety, and intensity of falling in love for the first time.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Shatter Me is an amazing and riveting debut from Tahereh Mafi. I was captivated by the story and enchanted by Mafi’s beautiful, aching words. This is an awesome and MUST read book!

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