Here is a short Synopsis of the book courtesy of Goodreads:
I have a curse
I have a gift
I am a monster
I’m more than human
My touch is lethal
My touch is power
I am their weapon
I will fight back
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.
I was amused by the author’s About Me on Goodreads:
Tahereh Mafi is a girl. She writes books and reads books and drinks way too much coffee.
BOOKS: QUALITY OF WRITING
Shatter Me is the first in a trilogy by author Tahereh Mafi. When I looked inside I was surprised to see strikeouts within the text of the book. How could such an artistic cover house such odd strikeouts? It seemed almost criminal. What was the author trying to do? As I read on, I found that Tahereh Mafi’s style of writing fitted the style of the book, the strike outs were different, suggesting Juliette’s desperation at the bleakness of her surroundings, the loss of freedom, and her awful predicament etc. The line represented for me a stark black, strike through, like a prisoner counting off their time in captivity, for a crime that they did not intend to commit.
Then to add to this heady mix Tahereh Mafi inserts repeated words. Again, these suggest to me her desperation, and confusion. There are times when I found the extra words somewhat distracting, although Mafi has to be applauded for the originality of her ideas, very clever indeed.
Overall, I enjoyed Shatter Me, even though I found the beginning a bit slow. There are parts of the book that I found quite beautiful. The following quote is my favourite:
“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 through fiction.”
CRYSTALS: Was there lightness and darkness? A depth to keep me interested?
There is darkness in Juliette’s predicament, she is unable to touch anyone. Can you imagine what that must be like? So it’s not surprising that the story is intense, and the words are lyrical. The lightness comes in the form of the male character in the book, Adam, Juliette’s love interest. I found the romance between the two of them sudden, intense, and at times quite hot! Juliette has the sense to see that Warner, the villain, is a nasty piece of work, a psychopath, who she would do well to avoid.
MAGIC: Ending and Recommendations.
The ending allows for a smooth transition to the next book in the series. I would recommend Shatter Me to readers who enjoy dystopian or post-apocalyptic fiction, and anyone who enjoys YA. In the sequel, I look forward to discovering more about their dystopian world and about the two factions, and more romance from Juliette and Adam. I will definitely read the second in the series. Great titles too, and fantastic art work on the cover – love the eye!