lover of written words

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

on December 20, 2011

“All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.” 

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.

Personal Thoughts:

Shatter Me is one of those books that everyone keep pushing me to read even before the book is release. Add the glowing reviews from trusted bloggers I know I need to read this book as soon as I can. So eager to get a copy I pre-ordered a hardbound copy online from book depository as well as signed-up to Pinoy Book Tours for this book. But before my turn from the tour and before I get my order from book depository Shatter Me is already available from local book stores, so I end up buying another copy. Getting multiple copies of this book is worth it because the book delivers what it promise and it is worth sharing to my friends.

“The world is flat. I know because I was tossed right off the edge and I’ve been trying to hold on for seventeen years. I’ve been trying to climb back up for seventeen years but it’s nearly impossible to beat gravity when no one is willing to give you a hand. ”

The best part of this book is the writing. Taherah Mafi use an unconventional writing style that is beautiful, unique and engrossing. The poetic prose, lyrical style and metaphors is simply captivating. I am tempted to quote Mafi’s words but with so many lovely passages from the book I decided not to bother going back or I might end up re-reading the whole story. Mafi’s words are so captivating that I’m afraid if I revisit it sooner I’ll be pulled once again by her words. And with so many pending books that I need to read and review I’m not sure if that’s a good idea. Other brilliant thing about the writing is the use of crossed out strike-through words to emphasize Juliette’s subconscious thoughts. It gives more personality to Juliette as we glimpse a little more of her unspoken thoughts.

“Someone picked up the sun and pinned it to the sky again, but every day it hangs a little lower than the day before. It’s like a negligent parent who only knows one half of who you are. It never sees how its absence changes people. How different we are in the dark.”

Juliette as the heroine is intriguing and unique. Her voice is compelling and raw. From the first part of the novel her thoughts are desolate, repetitive and unsure which perfectly suited for someone being locked up in isolation for 264 days. Aside for her unique voice she also has a unique ability. But more than her power what I really like about this girl is her good heart and integrity. She has all the rights to hate the world, the world that mistreated and discarded her when she was a child, but she never turn against anyone.

Adam is likeable but he doesn’t strike me as much as I expected. I find him intriguing at first when he was still Juliette’s room-mate but when they transferred and become too close to each other I lost my interest with this guy. The only left intriguing about him is the reason why he is immune to Juliette’s power.

Warner is the most compelling and the most complex character from the story. There’s more in him than meets the eye. The way he project himself to Juliette and to others simply shows the complexity of his character. He is cruel, twisted, deranged and irrational most of the time but there are times that his calm, gentle and affectionate side emerge. Putting him on the bad side doesn’t make me afraid of him. Add the fact that he is also a teenager like Adam and Juliette, good-looking and actually likes Juliette, I just can’t find him as the frightening villain. I can’t even hate him. I may not like him for Juliette but I don’t want him to be a an all evil villain. Part of me believe that he has some redeeming qualities underneath his projected bad persona. And I am interested to find out about his past and his family. For sure those little details carry all the explanations of his dark personality. I really believe that he is just a tortured soul with complicated past and still can be redeemed.

The plot is fast paced for the most part with all the suspense and action-packed scenes. The ending is satisfying but also offers a way for a more exciting plot for the next book. I’m already looking forward for a more enticing sequel. I want to know more about Juliette’s power and its limitation. And I hope there is a better explanation why Adam and Warner are immune to Juliette’s gift. Why of all people they are the only one who can touch Juliette?

Shatter Me is an impressive debut. With unique writing style, compelling characters and intriguing premise this book deserves all the hype around it. I don’t know where the story will go after this book but I’m looking forward reading the next installment because Mafi’s words are worth visiting again.


26 responses to “Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

  1. you posted your review before me! lol
    I think I’ll read it a 3rd time to write it hehehe
    and thanks for the review!!! it’s awesome!! I agree!!


    • blackplume says:

      actually this is scheduled post but wordpress didn’t published it on time. I set it on the 18th for the blog tour but I forgot to check again on the said date. Thank God I saw it again or else it won’t make it to the deadline for the book tour.

      It is really tempting to re-read this one, when I browse again the book to pick quotes that I bookmarked for this review I almost re-read the whole book. Mafi’s words were really lovely 🙂


  2. I really want to read this so much.
    Actually won it through a book blog but needs time to get to me.

    Hope it gets to me soon.
    Love how you always add a few book quotes into your reviews.


    • blackplume says:

      This would be a lovely read, I hope you get your copy soon and enjoy it as well.
      Glad you like the quotes, I love quoting books it reminds me what are the things I like or enjoy about the books I read.


  3. […] It took a lot of pushes and mistakes before Juliette finally grasp and accept what she really is and what she can do, a growth that took a lot of time but nevertheless worth waiting. She is still broken but she is a much stronger person than she is in Shatter Me. […]


  4. […] his books, visit his website here. You may also check my review for Tahereh Mafi’s books, Shatter Me and Unravel […]


  5. Tina Sawyer says:

    This sounds like a very interesting read. I will add to my list!


  6. kahcherub says:

    I just loved this book! SO, so different and touching!!


  7. joni78 says:

    Thanks for the giveaway


  8. I loved Shatter Me. I totally agree with your review 🙂 The style of writing is awesome!


  9. Loved it! Again surprising because I didn’t think I would. I just feel in love with Adam…sigh….!


  10. mayabraham says:

    Shatter Me was AMAZING! I love Adam<33


  11. Great review! I really respect that you notice aspects like prose, tones and techniques like repetition. Keep up the awesome work 🙂


  12. Louisse Ang says:

    Like Tahereh said, Warner isn’t really a villian. 😉 I absolutely love the way Tahereh Mafi writes her books, from the strike-throughs to the metaphors, there’s just something so unique and beautiful about it. I love how her characters are both complex but also very simple and easy to understand at the same time. We have Juliette who’s insecure but has a really strong willpower. And there’s Adam who’s in love with her but will they really work out? Of course there’s Warner who’s OCD riddled and just sexy, period? There are characters who you will love and love to hate. Haha! Lovely review! 🙂


  13. So, I got this book for Christmas, and have yet to read it. I really like Tahereh Mafi, because she is incredibly nice, and that totally weighs in on whether I should read the book or not. I really don’t like the fact that there is a proposed love triangle, but I feel like I can deal with it, with this book, right? Maybe? I hope so. Everyone loves this book, so I will give it a shot. Especially since I own it lol. Thank you for the great review!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!


  14. Armando Read says:

    Everything you say sounds really interesting, I wanted to read the book but I have not been possible. And you’re right, is one of those books that people invite you to read it even without being published. I hope to read it soon. Thank you.


  15. Ashfa Anwer says:

    OMG I really need to get started on the series now!!! Its too fantastic.


  16. Hanna Abejo says:

    Aww. The second book. Haven’t read the first one, but soon. Heard it’s a really good book


  17. Amber D. says:

    I really need to read this! (:


  18. marieviola says:

    I want to read Shatter Me all over again. :))


  19. Lori says:

    I love Mafi’s writing. I could read this book over and over again!


  20. Honestly speaking, I had a hard time understanding Tahereh’s writing style. That’s why I just gave this book 3 stars. Anyways, I really really really love Warner! *dreamy sigh*


  21. I also loved the use of strikeout by Mafi. It was great to gain the insight into her deepest, darkest thoughts. I quite liked Mafi’s poetic prose as well.


  22. slf2 says:

    I’ve been told that this book is the book to read when you want to start reading dystopian novels! Would love to win this!


  23. Aa'Ishah says:

    I agree, I really loved the use of strikethroughs. I know a lot of people were unhappy about it, but I think it was perfect for Juliette, and it’s also good to be experimenting with writing. This is such an amazing book. Great review! 🙂


  24. Alexis says:

    I have been so excited to get my hands on this book because I’ve heard a lot of many good things about it! I’m excited to get reading!


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