by Tahereh Mafi
Shatter Me # 1
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.
My thoughts about the book:
Now here I’ve again a book which splits the opinions. One group find it fantastically, the others can only shake their heads and don’t understand the hype for the book. I’ve started the book without any expectation and have already counted on the worst, after some bad reviews I’ve read on other book blogs, but now I can clarify: I belong to the first group – the fans! :)
Astonishingly I’ve liked it really much and I don’t understand completely why the book was torn to pieces by some other readers. Up to the writing style, okay – there I also really have to get used to, particularly at the beginning – it is really exciting and also Juliette is a good character with which I could feel with. She doesn’t cry too much (at the start), exactly in the right measure and for the situation, in which she finds herself and so her reactions are also quite understandable.
Now again briefly back to the lot discussed writing style: The beginning is really bewildering and Mafi plays with the words: she juggles and throws the dice with them and add them again apparently at first vaguely, crosses out some words or repeats other words again several times one after the other without any punctuation mark.
Who would like to read only normal standard texts, neatly written under the rules of the orthography, is wrong for this book and will probably have problems with it.
But if you can get really into it, can accept it for what it is and if you’re open minded for something new and allow experimenting with the language, than you’ll find a great book here.
But as I said, this is only mostly at the beginning of the book, when Juliette is still confused and stands completely beside herself and hence, I found this manner of writing also so great because it shows very authentic the mental world of her. And it changes throughout the story and the text become more normally and more suitable for the mass, after also Juliette changes as a character and become stronger and clear. Though Mafi also writes later still a little different, it didn’t disturb me at all. She doesn’t use common phrases, but invents completely new comparisons which do not seem suitable at first, but if one is open, they have something special, unique – I would even say something lyrical and I really liked that.
The plot was bewildering at first, became quickly faster and has changed up again in the end. Most of the time it was really exciting and I’ve virtually flown over the pages. Though the end went out well and I was glad with it, but it also was a little bit too simple, too foreseeable and the explanation with the powers and this organization, has reminded me too much of X-Men and hence, also from here comes the point reduction – it was for me too uncreative, after the great beginning with the unique and independence style.
But in return the characters were really for my taste. Juliette could change well and then she showed her strength and courage, stood up for her opinion and has cried only now and then, when it was suitable. Okay, later on she has cried a little too often for my taste, after the middle of the book and also Adam – who I really like and I thinks he’s a hottie *yummy* – often did the same think, like constantly strike through his hair. It was great that even Juliette has mentioned that fact once, as a sign of his concern and restlessness. Otherwise it would have already become a little absurd.
But Adam is up to this little thing a main male character who I also would like to meet with pleasure. :) He has inspired me and I were engrossed with them and felt for them both, more than with some other characters of late. Adam looks simply stunning, he has his heart at the right spot and in addition he’s a strong fighter, and still a kind big brother and a sensuous lover – my heart, what do you want more? ;D *nice* From my side, there could have been even more and more intensive ‘kissing/ love scenes’ in it. But the reason for that is probably that I’m also totally succumbed to Adam’s charm! *oh man*
I find both covers absolutely great, no matter whether the German one or the English cover. I only think that the title of the German one isn’t as suitable to the story as particularly in comparison to the English title.
All in all:
A new prelude of an interesting story with likeable characters of which I would like to read more with pleasure. I’m very excited and curious about the next part – I can hardly wait for it.
4 of 5 points – (Great, Great, Great)
Juliette: “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.”
Juliette: “All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.”