Thursday, January 5, 2012

Shatter me by Tahereh Mafi

genre: young adult sci-fi
Don't touch Juliette.  Bad things happen when you touch her.  Things so bad that she's thrown into prison, alone in a cell until the day that Adam arrives.  Adam who looks shockingly familiar.  Adam who is going to play a big part in her story as she suddenly has to choose if and how to use her own strangely-X-men-type powers.  In a world we've destroyed where survival depends on listening to orders and not making any ways, Juliette has to find someone she can trust before she doesn't have any options left.

So.  I didn't love it.  The plot is interesting enough that I read it in a day (although, at the end I had a slap-the-forehead-COME ON kind of moment) but the writing style pretty much drove me crazy.  The author does all these "strikeouts" that are supposed to tell us Juliette's inner thoughts but WOW I was not a fan.  There are a lot of textual things that just grated on me - the repetition of thoughts, the CONSTANT, and I mean every page, discussion about some point of Juliette's body - her heart, her lungs, her mind, how overwhelmed it is or how terrified or pounding with love - and maybe the author is trying to point out that because Juliette has never touched people that she's super body-aware but it got really annoying. 

For a young adult novel, it is steamy, for sure.    I liked the romantic plot line, in that the development of their relationship felt authentic and I liked Adam as a sensitive bad-guy/good-guy, but Juliette. The juxtaposition of her amazing strengths and her serious weaknesses just fell flat for me most of the time.  Surely there will be a sequel and I'm actually on the fence as to whether or not I'll try it.  The ending felt like she was really shoving so much at us in a super short time so that the sequel could start where she wanted it to.  We'll see.

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bermudaonion said...

I think the strikeouts would drive me bonkers too. Maybe teens would accept them more.

Susan Bennett said...

Oh wow, strikeouts to reveal a character's inner thoughts - what a terribly, terribly bad idea. I'd be throwing the book at a wall.

Karlyn said...

I had to read this book for my Young Adult Literature class.

I agree with everything you said. Also, all the metaphors in this book drove me up the wall. Ugh...

The author actually came to our class (with Ransom Riggs - Ms. Peregrines School for Peculiar Children- which I loved) And I was biting my tongue the whole time. I just wanted to ask...WHY?

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