Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
”I’ve been locked up for 264 days”.
Juliette has powers which make her lethal and no one knows why. She can’t touch another human being without hurting or killing them. Everyone is afraid of her, her parents hate her and sent her to a mental institution where she’s been locked up for over 260 days and nobody cares. The word outside is too busy falling apart. Almost everything is poisoned and there’s nothing to eat and nowhere to live, and everyone is under surveillance by the Reestablishment. To increase their power and control, the Reestablishment wants to use Juliette and her powers as their secret weapon. However, Juliette has other plans.
I really enjoyed reading this one even though the storyline isn’t new in that sense, it’s like most dystopian fiction but with a dash of fantasy. And I like both dystopian fiction and fantasy, so I mean, I really couldn’t go wrong with this one. But what stood out the most for me was the language. It was amazing, very descriptive and full of metaphors and poetic in a way. Tahereh also describes broken characters very well.
Juliette is constantly battling with herself and who she truly is. She basically hates herself for being able to kill people by touching them and trust me I would too, and it’s easy to understand why Juliette acts ant thinks the way she does. Tahareh describes that hatred in a way true to human behaviour. She’s not a superhuman, she’s a human being with human behaviours and reactions. The only difference is that she’s been cursed (or blessed) with supernatural powers.
I can’t imagine how scared I’d be if I knew I could kill my family and friends by just giving them a hug. Imagine the anxiety. As you keep reading about Juliette and the world she comes from you can’t stop wondering how it got to be that way and how the Reestablishment could brainwash people so completely.
Another thing I both like and dislike about the book was how Juliette isn’t portrayed as the typical strong female protagonist (but she has potential to become one). I like that because she’s broken and has to rebuild herself and accept the way she is, therefore, becoming a stronger version of herself. I think that’s very true to real life. Some may be born strong others have to grow, fight and learn to find their place in this world.
However, even though I really liked Shatter Me, I can’t say that you should definitely without a doubt read it, but I think you might enjoy it especially if you like to become caught in a whirlwind of emotions.
If you like dystopias like The Hunger Games or Divergent I think you’d like this one.