Shatter Me #1
by Tahereh Mafi
Nikki’s Rating: 9 out of 10
Summary: Kept in isolation for months due committing a heinous crime, Juliette is being driven mad by her own loneliness. But when she gains a cellmate, Adam, the boy she loved all her life and never expected to see again, her spirit is sparked and hope takes hold. As her and Adam frantically search for a way to escape The Reestablishment, Juliette learns that her powers are greater than anything she ever imagined and may be the key to her freedom.
9 Spectacular Things about Tahereh Mafi’s “Shatter Me”
(MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)
1. Love Story
Of course being the hopeless romantic that I am, one of my favorite aspects of “Shatter Me” was the love between Adam and Juliette. It is heartbreakingly sweet that both of them had feelings for each other when they were in school but both were too afraid of rejection to even talk to each other. Thankfully with being thrown together again, they take their second chance and embrace their love.
Okay, while Mafi doesn’t call them “superheroes” or “mutants” there are several humans in this world that have powers. Having grown up reading comics, my favorite being Marvel’s Uncanny X-men, I tend to love all stories involving people with powers, mostly because I want them myself. Since I have to live in the real world, I live vicariously through book characters.
3. Rogue tragedy
Rogue is one of my favorite X-men. If you are unfamiliar with her tragedy, she absorbs others’ energy (life force), powers (if they have any), and parts of their mind/personality. This happens every time someone makes contact with her skin. Juliette has the same problem but worse; she practically kills people with her touch. I could never imagine how painful it would be to be afraid to touch another being or to never be intimate with someone you love. Tragic.
Juliette is a kindred spirit! Juliette loves books to a level that I understand. This literally could have been an entry in my own diary:
“I spent my life folded between the pages of books. In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed though fiction”p. 70
Okay, I realize that Warner is suppose to be the “bad guy” but I like him. Yes, I have read books 2 and 3 so my opinion is a bit skewed. Regardless, even when I read “Shatter Me” for the first time I liked Warner, he reminds me of Happy Bunny. A bit mad but devastatingly handsome and there is good in him under all that trauma and abuse he suffered.
The knight in shining armor. Not only is he a sweetheart to Juliette, he is an awesome older brother! Adam gets serious points for taking care of his little brother. He provides James with a safe space and protects him the best way he can. No matter his other faults, Adam is a good guy simply for doing this!
7. The World
Unfortunately Juliette and Adam live in a dystopian world. Not only is the government totalitarian but the environment is fucked. And all I have to say is that I’m worried that Mafi’s world is not too far off the mark of where we are headed.
Mafi has a way with words. I love her descriptions and she does an amazing job of conveying Juliette’s feelings. I especially like that some phrases/words are crossed out; the feelings and thoughts of Juliette that she is afraid of and doesn’t want to acknowledge. Nicely done!
9. Unravel Me
I cannot get enough of these characters and thankfully Juliette’s story continues on in “Unravel Me” Book 2 of the Shatter Me series.