Title – Shatter Me
Author – Tahereh Mafi
Publisher – Harper
Pages- 338 (Hardcover)
Published -November 15th 2011
Series – Shatter Me (1/3, Completed)
29 Jan 2017
A post apocalyptic world where resources are scarce and violence is imminent is not an original idea, but Mafi made me feel like it is.
I love the world building in this first instalment. We join our protagonist Juliette in a prison that is masquerading as a mental hospital, where she has been sent to serve a presumed life sentence for her lethal touch. Whenever Juliette touches another human being, that person dies.
Mafi shows us what we have, and then takes it away. Early on, Juliette notes that the reason why the population voted for the political party that would ultimately lead to the militarisation of the world and the slaughter of art and culture, was because they missed summer holidays and baby showers. And the rate of this societal rot is shown by Juliette’s memories of just a few short years ago, vs what the world has now become.
The writing style supports Juliette’s crazed mental state, and the fragmented use of glittering vocabulary, repetition and use of crossing out words paints a picture of the girl’s broken mind and I love it.
The characters are also excellent. Warner’s calculated evil and sudden bursts of deep emotion confuses and intrigues me, and I love the relationship between Adam and his brother. Also Kenji, I love you.
If I had to find a flaw then It would be in the pacing. The book takes a while to find its feet, and the switching between locations feels clumsy. There are entire sections of Juliette’s life with Warner that we do not see, and then too much time spent at other points.
So in a way I felt the book should have been longer and I’m not sure if the narrative began in the best place for this story.
This is a great read. It’s fast, fun and the characters will leave a lasting impression. The world is fragmented and beautiful and I hope that the pacing becomes more sophisticated in future installments.
Buy on Amazon:
Shatter Me (Shatter Me, Book 1)