Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Almost a year ago today, I bought the first book in the Shatter Me trilogy because it was on sale for like $1.99 for kindle users. It sat there for a year, untouched, until one day while I was waiting for my sister to get out of drivers ed, I started reading it. I finished it that night, and TBH it was way shorter than I thought it was going to be. I was reading, waiting on baited breath to see what was going to happen next, and all of a sudden I was at the acknowledgements. I actually texted my sister who had read the books a recap just to make sure I hadn’t actually missed anything by skipping ahead accidentally or something. Nope, I was just so enamored with the story I blazed straight through it.

About The Book:

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Published Nov. 15th, 2019 by Harper Collins. Recommended Reading Age is 13+

Official Synopsis:

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.

My Ramblings:

I just want to start by telling everyone my thoughts on the synopsis. I think it’s a tad misleading. Well, not exactly misleading but I was expecting something different I guess. I went into Shatter Me thinking Juliet would be this badass that needed to be restrained and that we would get to learn about her powers and stuff, but Juliette was this timid girl scared of her own skin. It was heartbreaking to read, I felt awful for her. I am proud that she took action when Adam became her cellmate and showed him the ropes so he wouldn’t get killed, but She was so scared of herself because of those 17 years of abuse that her being brave didn’t last long

Throughout the book, I could sympathize with her on her stance of wanting to keep her old clothes and not wear the dresses Warner picked out for her. She felt like she was being groomed and by not complying, she was taking control of her life.

I felt the relationship was bound to happen, but unnecessary. Really, Adam just read as annoying and needless in a relationship. I can respect that he was trying to be a friend to her and help her escape, but being in love with a girl you haven’t seen in a year or more? One you never even interacted with, let alone looked at? That seems a bit obsessive if you ask me. I didn’t like that every time he and Juliette ended up behind closed doors, they made out. It felt risky and unwarranted, knowing that Warner could walk into the room at any moment.

Warner was so… Abusive? Definitely annoying and a jerk, but I knew that in later books he and Juliette got together and while I was reading this I just could not understand why they got together. He was pushy, also obsessive, and whiny. Also, I kept forgetting he was supposed to be blond the whole time I was reading this book. In my defense though, how many guy main characters in YA these days are blond haired? I was so used to reading about MCs/Love interests being brown/black haired that I just couldn’t picture it. Even now I have a hard time, but I don’t see him as dark haired anymore. I think both Adam and Warner having the ability to touch Juliette is a given, but every story needs something cliche.

Also, the scenes where Warner forced Juliette to touch someone where not what I meant when I wanted to learn more about her powers. I felt so bad for her while she had to go through that, especially at the raw fear and grief it caused her.

I think James deserves so much better. He is a sweet, innocent kid and deserves the world. When Kenji showed up (who I didn’t really like in this book) I loved how he took an immediate liking to him. I think it’s important that every series have the one character who is funny and sarcastic and flirty but when it comes down to business, can be series and a leader. Kenji is clearly the one in this series.

The scene where Warner forces himself on Juliette after he shot Adam was not okay. Forcing yourself on someone is never okay, but this was made worse by the fact that he knew they were together, shot Adam and had him taken away to be tortured in front of Juliette, and then pinned her against the way to make out with her. He deserved to be shot for that.

I love the idea of the secret base, but it still has a long way to go. It was actually really funny when Kenji explained him drugging James, and the moment he realized Adam and Juliette were together. What wasn’t funny was him not explaining a damn thing to anyone and sedating Juliette as well.

My Overall Rating: 3/5 Stars

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi”

  1. Yes! I so, so agree!

    That scene with Juliette and the toddler was the one that really cemented my hatred for Warner, but I just didn’t like him in general. In my paperback version it had his short story at the end, and that was interesting to read. If that had been in the book I might have different opinions about him, but as it stand I don’t know how he’ll redeem himself.

    I also really flew through this book! I think it’s easy to read, and written in an exciting way, even if you don’t like what’s happening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! His POV short story was very insightful, but what he did anyways wasn’t okay. The toddler bit was really bad, and I also didn’t like him in general. He just gave off a sleazy vibe.
      It was super easy and exciting to read! No info dumps, you could just move right along. I like that in a book, especially a first book. I think it help you get acclimated to a series.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! Agreed! More world building and information later on helps when you have a lot of books in a series, though you gotta space it out. Otherwise you get that second book slump from not as much action as book one


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