Release Date: November 2011
Pages: 340 pages
Series: Shatter Me #1
Source & Format: Bought; Paperback
Amazon | Goodreads
Summary (from Goodreads)
I have a gift.
I'm more than human.
My touch is power.
I will fight back.
No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever.
Thoughts on Shatter Me
I've probably left this information in a million comments, so I apologize if you know this already. But here goes: when Shatter Me was first released, I was intrigued. The concept sounded interesting, and I kept seeing so many great reviews. However, I was completely turned off by the cover. It just wasn't doing anything for me. I decided to give it a chance, and grabbed it off the shelf at the bookstore to read a few pages. A few strikethroughs later, and I put the book right back where I got it. I just couldn't do it. I didn't like it.
Months went by, and then I started seeing the AMAZING cover redesign for these books. I found them so eye-catching (haha!) - and then they were even prettier in person. So, when I noticed Shatter Me at the library one day, I figured it couldn't hurt to give it one more chance.
For the first few chapters, I was iffy. I liked where Mafi was going with the story, but I just couldn't get past the strikethroughs. I found them almost distracting - they interrupted my normal reading flow and were slowing me down. It was like my eyes wanted to skip over them, but they were actually important and revealing so I was having to force myself to slow down and see past the strikethrough to the words underneath.
Suddenly, I wasn't struggling anymore. I was falling in love, racing through the pages, unable to keep myself from devouring the story inside.
Mafi's writing is striking and unique and unsettling. It's off-balance and so is Juliette. The descriptions and language are a little over-the-top, but it's fitting. I never felt like it was forced or trying too hard - I just felt like I was seeing inside the mind of a girl who was so many things: broken, confused, lost, scared, angry, hopeful. Most of all, unbalanced. Juliette doesn't have stability in her life, and that's really obvious throughout the book in the way she chooses to express herself.
I know I've barely said anything about the story, but I feel like there are a million reviews that have already covered all of that stuff. I'm just here to say that I was skeptical, and I came into this book with an attitude. I was predisposed to dislike this book, yet I gave it a chance. And I'm so glad I did! This is one of my favorite recent reads because it's just so memorable. I can't think of anything I've read quite like this or written this way, and I love Mafi for taking such a risk. Despite my best efforts, I was completely won over by her words.
I didn't tell you anything about pacing, setting, plot or characters. I know. What a bad review, huh? Here's what I am telling you: I found the strikethroughs off-putting until I didn't. When I started to understand Juliette, they made sense to me. They are as though-out and as important to the book as the plot itself. In this simple way, you learn so much about Juliette and her state of mind. So, if you've been wary of the differentness of this book, I encourage you to give it a chance. You might be surprised if you do!
This beauty of a book is just as amazing inside as it is on the outside. Mafi is a masterful storyteller - placing threads here and there that don't make sense until you take a step back and see the masterpiece as a whole. She has woven together a book with an exciting plot and compelling characters, and I'm so glad I didn't miss it. I feel sad just thinking about the fact that I almost did!
(PS - Team Adam. And yes, I've also read Unravel Me. Stay tuned for that review!)
"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."