Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
To be honest, when I first heard about this book I didn't really know if it was something for me. I also don't really like for the cover all that much. But then I found out that the author is a fellow hijabi, so I got the book and read it.
This is under dystopia, but I don't think you can really call it that. We never really see the outside world, so we really don't get to experience that aspect of the story. If I had to call it something, I guess it would be more of a supernatural, but not really, superhero, kind of at the end, romance, the hot and heavy, kind of book. Yea. That’s it. I’ll go with that.
I think the writing will be a hit or miss thing with a lot of readers. I'm not a fan of present tense or overly pretty prose, but somehow how I liked it here. I think Mafi has a talent and I hope she continues to write more books. Hopefully, she calms down a bit with the metaphors, but it was good. I think the only reason why it works is because of the main character. Someone who is always by herself and reads a lot, might read this way.
Warner, I know that there is already a Team Adam and Team Warner thing, wow do I really hate those, but I liked him. As a villain. I already saw some of the spoilers for the next book, so I know there’s going to be a love triangle, but I’m going to hope that Warner continues doing him and doesn’t join in this whole love madness stuff. His love for Juliette isn’t real love, but an obsession to make himself more powerful. He’s stupid, but definitely a lot more interesting than everyone else in the novel.
While I didn’t mind the romance, it did feel kind of shallow. We’re told that Adam and Juliette liked each other as kids and stuff, but now that they’re older all they...no, all that Juliette can think of is how hot Adam is. I kind of wish they had more meaningful conversations about where they are. Sure they kiss a lot, but I would think that couples do more than that. I mean, when they said, “I love you,” to one another, I kind of didn’t buy it. Actually no, with Juliette I bought it. The fact that Adam was a childhood friend and he can touch her would definitely make her love him.
But Adam? I never understood why he felt the way he did. Yes, she did a lot of nice things and was misunderstood as a kid, but how did that feeling of admiration turn into love? Especially over three years of not seeing each other? How did that feeling make Adam join the Reestablishment?
You know, I think it’s actually an interesting point. Why did Adam join the Reestablishment? Because of Juliette? Come on now that doesn’t make sense. Plus the amount of planning and dedication to join the ranks just for a girl that you use to know? I have a heart too, I had crushes back in my heyday, but I wouldn’t join the army just to go find them. Especially an army that is apparently craycray enough to take every book ever written and destroy it. I also would get tattoos either. Perhaps Adam has a different side to him. Perhaps, he’s actually really okay with the Reestablishment and thinks they’re right?
I just wrote that I didn’t like him and now I’m not too sure. In any case, his love for Juliette doesn’t make sense.
When it came to Juliette’s powers, I was confused. I get that it’s like Rogue (who incidentally is my favourite character in X-Men), but she can’t touch people and she has super strength. The only two people who can touch her are Adam and Warner. I’m confused about her powers and I’m also confused if the power of love is the reason why she can be touched.
The plot was different than what I expected. I loved the beginning with Juliette in the asylum. I thought the ending was interesting with the superhero sort of angle, but everything in between didn’t really make much sense. Juliette gets captured and instead of find out more of the Reestablishment, we get a mishmash of dinners, dress choosing, romance, and angst. Perhaps if Juliette saw how the people were being treated by the Reestablishment, she’d be more against it. But it seems like she just doesn’t like Warner, so she’s against him and not the system. In fact, I don’t really understand the Reestablishment’s role here. We’re told that they want to get rid of all the books and start from scratch, but why didn’t we see any of that?
I kind of wish that was explained a bit more. The middle did seem all over the place.
I don’t really like Adam. He’s too perfect and doesn’t have a lot of flaws. Wow..that sounds bad, I didn’t mean it like that. But I do want him to have some sort of depth to him, because there isn’t really much to go on from what I read. He’s hot. That’s the only thing established. Oh and he has a younger brother. Okay.
And that’s it.
I want him to feel real and not the perfect boy for the main character type of character. This seems to be common with a lot of YA novels though, so I suppose this is normal. ** after thinking it over and writing some things above, I’m viewing him differently. Maybe there is some depth to him. Still, this wasn’t really eluded in the book and is just me over thinking things so we’ll just have to wait and see.
I also don’t like that Juliette has a reverse harem in the book. She’s been starving for weeks, doesn’t eat much, and two of the guys love her and one thinks she’s gorgeous. Bleh.
I think the biggest thing I had a problem with is the lack of awareness Juliette had. If someone didn't speak for a long time, they'd have trouble picking it up again. Also, she's been in the asylum for years, during that time many things changed in the world. The only thing we see that changed is the microwave and even then that was in passing. Juliette noticed a lot of things in the asylum, but not when she was outside of it.
I think there is potential for a great series here and Mafi can write well, but there are also a lot of cliches as well. You have the perfect guy, lead character is too beautiful without knowing it, and the dreaded love triangle. (I really hope this doesn't happen in the next book.) *sigh*
I’ll still probably read the next book to see if some of my questions get answered. Hopefully, we get to find out more about the world that Mafi created.
So while I think this book does have problems, I'm still interested in seeing what will happen next.