Book Review – Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi

Posted January 18, 2014 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2014, YA / 18 Comments

Book Review – Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh MafiShatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #1
Published by HarperTeen on November 15th 2011
Pages: 352
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Format: Hardcover
Source: a Giveaway

Also by this author: Unravel Me, Fracture Me, Ignite Me


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.

Shatter Me was one of those books that I put on my mental shelf titled ‘Nope nope nope’. I had been warned about the bad metaphors and the strange passages with strikethroughs. But eh, sometimes you just need to experience it for yourself and form your own opinion.

The listed genre for Shatter Me is dystopian, but that’s a big joke. The dystopian aspects of this novel were used solely as a backdrop for what is truly a romance novel. The romance completely overpowers this story and is not only insta-lovey but there’s a love triangle to boot. Juliette and Adam. Juliette and Warner. One big happy freaking family. Adam and Warner both are total stereotypes with their good guy bad guy routine, their tragic pasts and of course the fact that they are in love with the same girl. Oh and they’re completely freaking gorgeous. As is Juliette. Because gorgeous people run rampant in dystopian societies, of course. I’m hoping the complete lack of characterization for these two is expounded on more in future installments (although it’s pretty inane that this isn’t done right off the bat in the introductions to them but whatever). The lack of characterization makes Juliette’s complete infatuation with Adam pretty nonsensical. Infatuation is putting it mildly though. Juliette acted like she was rabid around Adam, because of his total gorgeous-ness.

‘Everything is on fire. My cheeks my hands the pit of my stomach and I’m drowning in waves of emotion and a storm of fresh rain and all I feel is the strength of his silhouette against mine and I never ever ever ever want to forget this moment. I want to stamp him into my skin and save him forever.’

‘His lips are so close to my ear I’m water and nothing and everything and melting into a wanting so desperate it burns as I swallow it down.’

‘He leaves less than a foot of space between us and I’m 10 inches away from spontaneous combustion.’

What made Shatter Me positively dreadful was the writing. Those metaphors you all warned me about? You were not freaking joking. Holy metaphors, batman. They truly did not make any sort of sense, they were excessive and made for a very awkward reading experience. The most entertaining were the metaphors, if taken literally, which had Juliette falling the fuck apart.. Obviously not literally. Maybe. I think.

‘Every organ in my body falls to the floor.’

‘His lips soften into a smile that cracks apart my spine.’

“He shifts and my eyes shatter into thousands of pieces …’

‘My jaw falls off.’

‘My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps.’

‘My jaw is dangling from my shoelace.’

I can appreciate the authors attempt at conveying things in a creative manner but it simply came across as confusing. Confusing and far too grandiose. Thankfully they seemed to ease up towards the end of the story, mainly I think because dialogue became more frequent and we weren’t ‘in’ Juliette’s head as much.

I don’t often continue a series after giving the very first installment a 2 star rating. But I’ll definitely be continuing the Shatter Me series. Why? Well, that’s a bit of a spoiler. I went into this novel knowing next to nothing about it, only the dreadful writing. I didn’t know there was insta-love, didn’t know there was a love triangle and wasn’t aware of the comparisons to other novels that had been made View Spoiler ». WELL. Being the huge nerd that I am if I had known that I would’ve jumped on this immediately. The hint of what’s to come that we’re given at the very end of Shatter Me is enough to pique my interest and give me hope for future installments. So fingers crossed.



18 responses to “Book Review – Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi

  1. Alyn Y

    Holy metaphors! Those were fun to read. I have this book on my TBR list because I wasn’t aware of the metaphors and strikethroughs. A lot of people that I follow on GoodReads also gave it 4-5 star ratings. After reading your review I am going to be taking this off of my list.

  2. Yep, high five back at ya! Funny we reviewed this the same day. I was expecting so much more and perhaps if I had read it when it came out I would have liked it more. I hated the romance it was ridiculous. I can’t even believe a love triangle is in the works. The world building was pathetic and some of the metaphors and such were just ridiculous. Since I am being bitchy, I also hate the original cover. It looks stupid.
    Heidi recently posted…Review: Shatter Me(Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh MafiMy Profile

  3. There is an over abundance of gorgeous people in books period XD but I find it amusing that two absolutely gorgeous guys are equally in love with her… triangles are all the same, fine but if they going to make em.. cannot one be average looking? No, cause she will pick the gorgeous? bah…

    anyway, second disappointing review about this book today. Shame, I have it. Wanted to read it.

    Bright side? you made me giggle.
    Lily B recently posted…ARC Review: Fragile Spirits (Souls #2) by Mary LindseyMy Profile

  4. Wooow. That’s some crazy writing. ‘My jaw falls off.’ OMG, is she OK? :/ I have to admit I’ve been curious about this one a few times. I’m reading your review thinking how glad I am that you reviewed this. It was totally sounding like something I need to skip, but then… I’m a big nerd, too! Do I need to read your spoiler? The book? You just threw a curve ball there, Bonnie. 🙂
    Jennifer | Book Den recently posted…Book Review | Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel BachMy Profile

  5. The jaw dangling from the shoelace is especially hideous. 😀

    I totally know what you mean, though. I didn’t hate everything in this book, though I sure didn’t understand why there were so many nonsensical metaphors, either–NOR why there couldn’t be more of a plot! But I still wanna read the next one to see what happens. Actually, I’m just gonna let you guinea pig it first, because I don’t think I’ve seen anyone who felt the same way (2 stars also from me) who went on to read and had a good experience with the sequel.
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Reviews: Going Rogue and Burn BrightMy Profile

  6. Romance dystopians are definitely the worst.
    I rated this fairly positively, partially because I liked the writing style (I do think it well conveys Juliette’s general craziness and I just like flowery writing in general). Also I read this fairly early into my blogging career and return to YA. I wonder how I’d feel about it if I re-read it now. I am planning on reading the rest in this series eventually, so I guess I’ll find out soon enough…
    Your thoughts on the Juliette/Adam relationship are really interesting. I definitely see your reasoning there. I think I interpreted her romantic craze for him primarily as a result of the fact that here was a human who had a shared history, and he could touch her, affirming the fact that she’s not completely crazy? Or something along those lines.
    I think we all have those comparisons to certain other series that will make us continue or pique our interests. I’m actually not a fan of that other series, but I shall be continuing with this simply because I want to experience something that’s made such a huge splash for myself, you know?
    I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this one, Bonnie! I hope that the subsequent books live up to the comparison and provide more enjoyable reading experiences for you.
    Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books recently posted…Review: Everneath by Brodi AshtonMy Profile

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