Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Summary (courtesy of GoodReads): 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.

And here's what I thought:   The author takes some interesting ideas: dystopia, a police state, and X-Men-esque abilities, introduces us to a teenage girl, and gives us a really read-able story.   There are definitely a lot of threads woven together in this book, and combined with the steady pace, I found this was a real page-turner.

I think the thing I liked most about this book wasn't the story, or the characters, but the writing, itself.   Juliette writes in a stream-of-consciousness style a lot of the time, and once I got used to that, I really liked it.   I thought it was cool that lines or words would be crossed out -- which gave me insight into what Juliette was really thinking.   Example: (p 95) "I watch him swallow hard and take a tiny breath and immediately I sense something is wrong.  I move closer and a quick. stiff shake of his head tells me not to.  I do not touch people I do not get close to people I am a monster.  He doesn't want me near him. "

The way that Juliette writes, you really get a sense of emotion, what is going on underneath the surface.    That's something I sometimes feel can be missing from a story, and I liked how the author used this technique of Juliette journaling to not only tell the story, but also let us in to Juliette's head.   Very cool.

Here's another example of the writing that I liked:  "Killing time isn't as difficult as it sounds.  I can shoot a hundred numbers through the chest and watch them bleed decimal points in the palm of my hand.  I can rip the numbers off a clock and watch the hour hand tick tick tick its final tock just before I fall asleep.  I can suffocate seconds just by holding my breath.  I've been murdering minutes for hours and no one seems to mind." (p 127)

I found some parts of this book absolutely delicious to read.

First sentences: I've been locked up for 264 days.  I have nothing but a small notebook and  a broken pen and the numbers in my head to keep me company.

Thoughts on the cover:  Very arresting, even if the girl on the cover didn't match up in my mind with the main chracter in the book.


Jo K said...

I already have this on my TBR and your review only makes me want to read it more! I was attracted by the plot, but now you make the writing sound so appealing, it seems something I would enjoy. Great review!

Hanna @ Booking in Heels said...

I'm desperate to read this but it wasn't available in the UK when I was last paid and I've run out of money now. Figures, haha!

All these great reviews make me want to read it more and more - I don't think I've actually seen a negative one yet.

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