Saturday, 18 February 2012

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

The Story (From Goodreads):

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: 

 Shatter Me is one of many YA books recently that has made me feel like crying because I must be at that point where I'm too old for this sort of $hit. I didn't have high hopes for this one because:

1. Look at the hideous cover.
2. Many bloggers whose opinions I respect haven't had good things to say about it. 

Looking back, I don't know why I forced myself to finish reading it. To be fair, I really believe that if Mafi decided to cut the gimmicky, metaphoric nonsense prose, her writing could be very enticing.  Instead, the unnecessary strike throughs just felt like one giant telling not showing horror. Maybe it would have helped if I was convinced for a second that Mary Sue Juliette really could have been crazy. But crazy people don't give a rats about whether their new cell mate is super hawt. They're too busy peeling the skin off their own faces and eating it (which coincidentally, is what I felt like doing at certain parts of this novel).
          Suffice to say, I didn't connect with any of the characters in this one. Least of all Juliette. Show me any teen who has gone through what she did and is still such an overbearing goodie goodie and I will show you where I keep my giant chest of leprechaun gold. And to top it all off, Juliette is also unbelievably gorgeous, a fact that she seems oblivious to despite every male character falling over his feet to point out to her any chance he can get. On that note, lets talk about the female characters in this one. Oh wait, there aren't any! It's difficult to be a special snowflake with a Katniss or a Rose as competition isn't it? Better not risk the limelight and not have any other leading ladies at all. 
       I could go on but I fear I've had a major subjective review relapse. I don't think I was the target audience for this book at all. 

The Rating:
4/10

34 comments:

  1. I know exactly what you mean! All kinds of other bloggers (not just a couple) were complaining about this one. I still wanted to read it though, and I probably still will read it at some point because I just want to know... If I skim through it, so be it. But I don't have high hopes about it like I used to, which is a shame, because it did sound intriguing. Oh well! Sorry it was such a letdown for you!

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    1. I'd like to see what you make of it Jessica. I just couldn't suspend my disbelief and buy the idea that Juliette was vulnerable. There are so many other things I could have said in this review but I didn't see the point. It was pretty clear I didn't like the book.

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  2. Oh wow, it's too bad you didn't enjoy this one. I guess this is a good example of how people's tastes vary. I've personally only read extremely positive reviews, but for me, I think it was the writing style that I warmed to the most - though I can definitely understand how that particular style would rub others the wrong way. I did think that Juliette was a unique heroine; I loved all her heart and her compassion, but I understand not everyone will feel that way! I don't think she was really crazy just...deprived of human interaction and that that had definitely gotten to her. She definitely didn't act "crazy" per se, though I think that's what Tahereh was going for.

    I hope whichever book you read next (or read next, if you already have) is something you can enjoy more than this one. : )

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    1. I would understand if Juliette's so called compassion was believable, but I just didn't get that. I felt that she said and did many conflicting things and it makes me think that the author did not much research into physiological symptoms of isolation and deprivation of human affection.

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  3. I had a huge struggle the last time I got out of town and was at a big bookstore. There it was on the shelf, staring me in the face. Should I buy it? I ended up not getting it because there were so many other books calling out to me lol. But I'm glad I didn't. I know it's another book that everyone but me has read, but I'm skipping it.

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    1. I feel like there are so many books out there that everyone seems to have read and I haven't even given them any thought. Maybe because I always seem to be that person who doesn't like what everyone else has been raving about!

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  4. Mwa ha ha! I love that you disliked this one as much as me, and I love that you put your dislike into words better than I did! I'm still giggling. :)

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    1. You should have seen my first review! I had it all written out and then went to post it a few hours later using my iPhone and the whole thing had disappeared! Was so annoyed. This is the watered down version :)

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  5. You disliked this one more than I did, but I still agree with you on most of your points. Although, I never even noticed how there are no other female characters. How funny!

    I couldn't quite grasp why so many people have been raving about this book, since it just felt like a flash in the pan to me. Where's the substance? It's too gimmicky and unoriginal.

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    1. I just so hate hate hate supposedly perfect heroines. They set my teeth on edge. I thought it was beyond gimmicky. So many of the metaphors didn't make any sense whatsoever. I am usually a fan of the well placed metaphor but there was so much bat$hit in this one, I really did want to cry.

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  6. That's so strange because I've only read good things about this too. I actually really loved that Mafi went for such a different style of writing. I thought it opened up the character in a way we don't normally see. I agree that the cover is so over the top horrible, I actually used the Sweden cover for my review.

    The ending was really the only thing that disappointed me about this book. I just felt it could have been so much more. Though, considering the character I loved reading most happened to be Warner, I'm probably not the most reliable source...

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    1. I don't mind different styles of writing either. But this just felt like a cheap trick to me. I just felt the whole thing would be resonated so much more if words weren't repeated so often and there was a comma once in a while. The ending was horrible. I can't even mention it because it will send me into a white hot rage!

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  7. I don't care enough about it to read the sequel but it wasn't quite as awful as Divergent, IMO. It's just been processed for my library, so we'll see what reaction it gets from those at whom the book IS aimed. ;-)

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    1. I will definitely be staying away from anything else in this series regardless of how much it is blatantly ripping off X-men. Lots of people adore this book so I won't be surprised if the girls in your school love it. Might be a different story for the boys.

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  8. And just like that, I crossed it off my list of possible reads...lol. I hope you know that Im now using you as my barometer for trying new books - ever since you led me to Kate Daniels and Curran, well, you are right up there in the celestial regions of amazing bk reviewers ( in my humble opinion) And you like Hunger Games...and you suggested Angelfall...

    NO pressure or anything. None at all. But can you please hurry up and direct me to another series I can get addicted to?
    Waiting...waiting...waiting...

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    1. Too much pressure Lani! I am too atypical when it comes to books. I just never seem to like anything that's super popular. Except Hunger Games and VA. Plus you liked Twilight and I...did not....

      I'll try and find something else for you soon :)

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    2. I will forgive you for Twilight. We'll call that your ONE faulty book-lens thingamajig.LOL

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  9. So....you didn't like it? *snicker* Love your review! Don't think I've ever come across a book where I'd rather peel the skin off my face and eat it rather than continue reading, but that's just me. I actually started reading this one and put it down for now, but will probably finish it just to see what happens.

    One of my big pet peeves is when the main character has to be gorgeous and have a "hawt" love interest. How about having a MC of average looks, like the majority of the world? Not everyone is gorgeous, especially after being in isolation for the past several years! You're telling me she would have had a bad case of split ends at least? pfft

    Awesome review!!!

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    1. Exactly!! I just find the whole thing so implausible. Someone who is started for attention is usually obsessive about their appearance. And Juliette's personality just didn't fit with the way she acted at all.

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  10. Love love love your review. Sounds like a book I'd end up torching so thanks for the warning. I can't stand "heroines" who are super gorgeous and brilliant at absolutely anything and everything but also super oblivious to the attraction they have on the inevitable smoking hot hero/bad boy. Gimme a girl with flaws!! (my iPad autocorrected that to fleas for some reason, oh well).

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    1. I'm so glad someone else agrees with me! There are just so many great reviews for this one and I just want to shake someone.

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  11. Love the review. It's nice to know that not everything has a raving review of it. Even though I enjoyed the book I guess a little more than you did. :) You tell it like it is though. I think now that you mentioned it there wasn't another female in the book really. Odd.

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    1. Ash, I am getting so cynical in my old age. I'm finding fault in everything.

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  12. I actually enjoyed this one, but I'm attributing that to the fact I listened to the audiobook version, and the voice performance was FANTASTIC. In retrospect, there were definitely some issues, but at the time I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did feel, even then, that it was the kind of story that would be love or hate for people - and that the love/hate would depend on whether or not they connected with the characters.

    Sorry you didn't like it, but...hey, there's always Kate Daniels! ;)

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    1. Yeah, you know how I'm obsessed with the characters BJ. I just want someone to be sensible and I'm starting to learn that the overly emotional ones are the ones who drive me insane.

      I picked up Hammered straight away after this one and it's calmed me down thank goodness.

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  13. Wow. Interesting take on Shatter Me. I haven't read it yet, but after reading your review, seems like my opinion would be similar towards yours. I also hate it when you can't relate or have a connection with any of the characters.

    Thanks for stopping by,

    Livn' Life Through Books

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    1. I guess I just don't relate to some characters the way other people do. Especially the many many bloggers who loved this book. This seems to be happening a lot. I'm beginning to think it's me...

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  14. *gasp* *cry* Oh No!!! I loved this book soooo much. I know what you mean about the whole no females thing. I just noticed that.

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    1. I think the worst bit for me was because I felt Juliette was so weak. I know you loved it Sherre :( But I just couldn't get into it at all. I'll bet if there is a female in the next series, she will be all jealous of Juliette because Juliette is so gorgeous and special. sigh

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  15. I really disliked this book too. It made my "worst of 2011" list, and I am not someone who enjoys putting together a worst list, but it was so awful. The metaphors and the angsty stream of consciousness writing paired with the ridiculousness of the main character made me want to rip pages out of the book. Instead I gave it away as soon as I could. I do know several people whose opinions I respect who have loved this book though. I think you either love it or hate it.

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    1. Is it wrong to be happy someone else didn't enjoy a book as much as you did? I feel a bit mean, but I really disliked this one.

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  16. Haha, Lan! I love it when you dislike a book, because it always makes your reviews so hilarious! I wasn't a big fan of this one either--but mostly because I thought Adam and Juliette's relationship was so totally shallow. Even more so that most YA paranormal, and that's saying something :)

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    1. Their relationship WAS shallow! And I hated all the silly fake misunderstandings. Argh!

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  17. I had to jump in when I saw your review. I heard so many people rave about this book, I could not WAIT to get my hands on it. I was SO disappointed.

    My favorite part? When Adam is dying in Juliette's arms, and all she can think about is kissing every inch of his body. I kept thinking, Lady, maybe you should be worried about getting a tourniquette on him instead!

    And the X-Man knock-off on the end just annoyed me.

    The writing, though beautiful and poetic, seemed an odd juxtaposition to a YA romantic thriller. The two just did not seem to mesh well, IMO.

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