Sunday, February 24, 2013

Book Review: SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi

3 out of 5 hearts

I decided to read this book because it was all over the blogosphere.  Especially with the release its sequel Unravel Me earlier this month, everyone walk blogging and tweeting about Mafi.  I had to give in and give it a try.  

*Since the official synopsis is pretty vague, this may seem like a spoiler.*

We meet Juliette Ferrars, who is locked in solitary at an asylum because she is considered a danger to society.  It has been almost a year since she has seen or spoke to another person.  She is told she is getting a roommate but she never thought it would be a guy.  Her new roommate is Adam Kent.  Despite the situation, they pretty much fall in love while in captivity.  Suddenly, one day an army of soldiers barge into their cell and drag Juliette to meet Warner, who is a psychopathic leader of the Reestablishment.  Juliette has a special trait, which is that her touch is lethal.  Warner intends to craft her trait into a torture mechanism to use on rebels.  

Juliette and Adam are taken to live at Warner's headquarters.  It turns out that Adam is a soldier in the Reestablishment and he is assigned as Juliette's guard.  But, Adam is in love with her, which was obvious from the start.  He devises a plan and they escape.  From then on, Juliette and Adam are running for their lives and the twists emerge.

As soon as I started to read it, I was pretty hooked.  Mafi has an amazing talent in writing emotional descriptions and imagery that it sucks you in.  At first, I did think it was a bit over the top, but I had to remember that Juliette had never experienced acceptance, love, or touch.  Then, I felt it was most appropriate and Mafi conveys it beautifully.  I think there is a good balance between action and romance in this book.  I appreciated that Juliette was always written as a heroine, even when she thought her trait was a detriment. 

So why 3 out of 5?  The lack of a creative or original plot.  I am aware it is a dystopian book.  There were a few minor details that were unique.  However, the last 100 pages were the problem.  It became The Hunger Games meets X-Men meets Fantastic Four.  I love graphic novel and comics, so I know the stories and characters in X-Men.  As I was reading, I had the hunch that something very similar to the events in Mockingjay would occur and I was right.  Then, the other "special" characters were introduced that they were complete spin-offs of other comic/science fictional characters, even Juliette (Rouge from X-Men).  So, I was very turned off to the point I almost stopped reading.  But, I read it to the end and I thought the ending was cheesy.  

However, like I stated, Mafi creates amazing descriptions and I want to know what happens to Warner, so I will eventually read the following books.

This is book one of a trilogy.  Books 1.5 and 2 are already out.  The third will be out Fall 2013.

To each, their own.

"Laughter comes from the living."  I shrug, try to sound indifferent.  "I've never really been alive before." - Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Hardcover, 338 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Harper
ISBN 0062085484 (ISBN13: 9780062085481)
Edition language:  English

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