This month I read Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, and I was surprised that I did not enjoy this book as much as everyone else has. Don’t get me wrong it was incredibly entertaining and I finished it in less than two days, but it was not my favorite read of the summer. This book follows Juliet and her love obsession interest, Adam. Juliet is not your everyday girl, though; she has the ability to drain the life force from any living creature with just her touch. This causes her to be of interest of the terrible new regime, The Reestablishment. These awful people are trying to wipe everything from our society that makes individuals unique. Warner, is a general of the Reestablishment who takes an interest in Juliet and her abilities, and takes her from the insane asylum that she has been locked in for a year, or almost a year I can’t seem to remember. I would rate this one a 2 out of 5 stars. Here is my Five Things Wrap Up.
- The writing was trite
Tahereh Mafi was taking an artistic leap with her strikethrough text. This device was used to allow the reader to see what Juliet was actually thinking. It also fit in with the idea that the book was a journal. However, the first part of the book was littered with the strikethroughed text, and it got distracting. Moreover, you can tell that Mafi was getting tired of the device and cut down on it significantly towards the end of the book. Also, the metaphors in this book were nonsensical at points. For example, “He says it with a small smile the size of Jupiter” (p. 119). She does realize that Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, right?? That metaphor is completely contradictory and does nothing for me. I know Juliet is the artistic type, but the metaphors are clichéd and kind of pretentious. Another one to entertain you: “My jaw is dangling from my shoelace” (p. 310). That is quite grotesque, and it does not help make the writing any better. These metaphors are in every other line, so if you can’t handle this type of writing style I would not recommend you read this one.
- This is a romance novel, not a dystopian novel
This book is associated with dystopian novels, however, this was more of a romance novel to me. Juliet and Adam are nauseating. They have an instalove relationship that is extremely unhealthy. Juliet talks about Adam constantly. There is not a page that goes by that she doesn’t: ask about Adam, worry that he will leave her, talk about how “beautiful” he is, or try to suck his face off. They always seem to be fighting about how their love is dangerous. Neither of them seems mature enough for a serious relationship, and their obsessiveness just proves that even more. Moreover, the dystopian aspects of this book are just skimmed over and not developed very well, thus, the reason why I think that this is romance, not dystopian.
- Warner is the only character with potential in this book
Warner is completely disturbed, but he has depth. He has the potential to be a dynamic character, and I hope Mafi takes advantage of that. He is a monstrous 19-year-old general who completely lacks empathy. He also seems to have mommy issues, which I hope are explored in the next book. He kills without thinking and shows no remorse. He wants to rule the world with Juliet, but we see there is more to him. He is a character that I really hope Juliet does not fall for, though. He is a great villain, but please Mafi do not go there. He is a psychopath… just because he is hot doesn’t mean Juliet should hit that. I hate seeing assholes being accepted because they are “hot” and only “misunderstood.” He is crazy, end of story.
- Juliet has the “how could anyone love me” character trope going on
Now, I understand that Juliet has been ostracized and bullied her whole life, but she is so whiny. She lets her experiences destroy her, and she basically becomes Bella Swan. Someone who does not think they are good enough for anyone, and they just deserve to die. She would die without her love interest. It is sickening. She is not strong at all, and it is just excuse after excuse with her when she isn’t obsessing over Adam. She even acknowledges she needs to learn to be strong on her own, but never even tries to put in the effort. Ahhh…. Man, I really don’t like her.
- However, it is entertaining
As much as I didn’t like some of the key elements of the book, it kept me reading. It was not the best written and the characters were nothing spectacular, however, I still blew through this book. I would not recommend this book to some as a “must read” however, it was not the worst book I have ever read. I own the second book as well, so I am going to continue on and read the second book. I will let you know if there are any improvements.
Read ya later!