Shatter Me

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Tahereh Mafi
Oct 21, 2021

Juliette was born with a strange power. A strange curse. A strange gift. Her touch kills, which leads her to live a large portion of her life in solitary confinement. Outside her cell, the dystopian world is faced with a dead ozone layer, fascist governments, and constant dilemmas. One day Adam, a boy that reminds her of her childhood crush, starts to live with her in the cell. After a series of events she is held hostage by Warner, the son of The Reestablishment’s leader. She is faced with the two outcomes: become a weapon, or fight back.

Mafi attempts to write Juliette as a scared girl who is on the brink of insanity. At many points of the book, this fails. Her character is heavily described through many metaphors as a creative perspective. However, it seems very awkward at times and unpleasant. The writing overall wasn’t good, despites its efforts. Juliette is very self-centered, and not very different from most YA protagonists. What disturbs me the most is how she almost instantly forgives Adam after discovering he spied on her. I wish she had more of a personality that was evident, rather than labeling her as the ‘timid, dangerous girl’. She had little to none character development, and whines constantly. In addition there was a weird obsession in describing Adam’s eyes, and kissing him when they’re seconds away from being caught. I tried to love her, but it was near impossible.

With Adam, he’s your classic YA second male lead, resembling Aspen Leger from The Selection by Kiera Cass. Good-looking, non-existent personality, brown hair, and overfilled love for the protagonist. There isn’t much to him. It seems extremely convenient that Juliette can touch the boy she’s been in love with her entire life, and that he was able to come back to her and be very trusted by Warner. This writing is very predictable. Anyways, they are both desperately in love with each other despite how it seems like they’re more infatuated than anything. Oh well. I could go on and on about this, but it would be better not give a whole review a rant on how much I hate Adam.

Next is Warner. I want to like him, like A LOT. However, he’s a complete creeper. Making Juliette wear smaller and smaller clothes. Approaching her in uncomfortable ways. Making her become a weapon. ALSO HURT A CHILD. Apparently he’s very good looking as well, which might explain Juliette’s Stockholm syndrome. It makes absolutely no sense how she loves him, but won’t admit it. When Juliette was first interrogated he was in charge of her getting beaten. I rather not romanticize anyone like this, but ‘oh well’. 

So far we have: 0 development, explanation of powers or why the world is in this state, and love (everyone is infatuated). What we do have a lot of is weird similes. This book had a lot of potential, and I believe Mafi can write amazing books as well. Just this one wasn’t great. I do recommend anyone to try this, however.

Written by
Sanjana A.

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