Title: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: November 15th 2011
Published by: Harper/HarperCollins
Source: Book Tour (thanks Jayjay / Pinoy Book Tours!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
Warner's personality made the biggest impact on me. He's captivating and all kinds of wrong but his appeal is so strong and unique in his own tortured, sadistic way. Warner has a warped, twisted grasp of the concept of power, it might be honest, true but frightening and ugly. He's passionate about things that would make him stronger and achieve greater things, mostly because of his insecurities. And for him Juliette is a destructive but a powerful and effective means to a grand end. What puzzles me is his almost tender, confusing treatment of Juliette. Is that how psychos show their love? One second tender, the other violent. Maybe he's as broken as Juliette is, with his own horrors in life and nightmares to chase away, but there's something about Warner that just fascinates me even when he's this disturbed, cruel, cold blooded, heartless young leader.
Adam is probably a few notch down the broken list than Warner, but he has his own charms and his own monsters and nightmares to fight off. He's trying to pick up the pieces of what's left in his life, trying to keep his brother safe from the horrors of life and is genuinely kind and heroic. The proverbial knight in shining armor who has to keep up a facade to protect Juliette. At some level he understands Juliette's pain, they used to be friends after all. He was her only friend. He was the only one not afraid of her, understands her, knows that whatever she has done wasn't her fault, cares for her, loves her so much. Adam is this guy who protects Juliette unconditionally, willing to take countless blows and hurt and pain for her. Where do you find a guy like that now, much less in a future where the world is falling apart?
I don't think I have ever met two boys with personalities as intense as Adam and Warner. They're probably at the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to mental stability, but both are still too hot for words.
Pity is probably the last thing I felt for Juliette. Sadness was what I first felt when I flipped through the first page and read about this girl who has not touched anyone in 264 days and has not been loved all her life. All she wanted was to be loved and treated like a human being. Not a monster, not the harbinger of death, not a freak. I felt anger for all the injustice and torture she has ever suffered, and suffered she did. A lot. Despite all of that, Juliette might not be as broken as she thinks she is. Even when death surrounds her, she still believes in the value of human life among anything else. She didn't end her life because deep inside she believes this life she's living, leading, will get better, will be worth it.
The supporting characters were also fabulous! Raise your hands if you like Kenji! I love a guy who can effortlessly throw off a scene or a bad moment with his sarcasm and unexpectedly good humor. Sure he curses a lot, but he's provided a lot of opportunities for light moments and smart comments to make readers like him instantly. He's excruciatingly persistent, and good natured.
And the plot?
Brilliant. Heavy. Intense.
Every single thing about this book is exquisite.
Every single moment, every single touch, every single kiss Adam and Juliette shares is like a shot to the heart. Intense and overflowing with emotions it just takes my breathe away. It's hard to lose focus on either Adam or Juliette because they always seem to have very vibrant emotions which readers couldn't help but be attached to.
Tahereh Mafi brings to life Juliette's world in vivid detail, with beautiful words flowing and fusing together one by one. I tell you, this girl has talent. It was hard to continue reading because almost every single sentence in the book is worthy to be quoted. Juliette, Adam and Warner could not have been brought to life more convincingly were it not for the power of Tahereh Mafi's writing.
"I'm one piece of astonishment forged into being".
I am completely flummoxed just by how Tahereh Mafi puts together words so easily and make them sound so wonderful. Shatter Me is a beautiful book with beautiful words, astonishing plot and heart stopping moments. Just reading isn't enough. You'd want to experience every single moment, you want to it come to life right before your very eyes. You need to have a really good imagination to give justice to the brilliance of the imagery, and the wide range of emotions you'll feel. I am shaking with feelings ranging from amazement, disbelief, and utter, total fascination. Shatter Me is intensity put into words. Every bullet fired, every punch thrown, every single second spent running for their lives will keep the readers wide eyed, wildly anticipating what happens next, if Adam and Juliette can escape.
The emotions slowed down a little bit towards the end, but if there is one thing I've learned from emotionally potent books like this, it's that the calmness at the end is the beginning of something more in the next book. Shatter Me's ending allows readers to catch their breaths after a highly entrancing experience.
Read it! Read it! Read it! This book definitely deserves all the hype and attention thrown it's way! Tahereh Mafi is a superb author to watch out for!
Content (plot, story flow, character):
STUNNING. This book will shatter you. :)
Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!
This review is part of Pinoy Book Tours' Shatter Me ARC Tour.