Shatter Me

Shatter Me

Book rating: 04 Hardback Shatter Me

By (author) Tahereh Mafi

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  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Format: Hardback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 210mm x 29mm | 646g
  • Publication date: 15 November 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0062085484
  • ISBN 13: 9780062085481
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 30,168

Product description

`You can't touch me,` I whisper. I'm lying, is what I don't tell him. He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him. But things happen when people touch me. Strange things. Bad things. 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 on 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.

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Customer reviews

By Tammi 23 Jan 2012 4

Juliette Ferrars has been locked up in an asylum for 264 days by the Reestablishment. They locked her up because her touch is fatal. She spends her day looking out the one window in her cell. She wonders about rain drops and birds. It has been awhile since she has seen a bird in the skies.

She has been alone all that time. Now she is getting a roommate. At first, she is excited to see another human being, but has mixed feelings once she finds out her roommate is male. Adam, that is his name. Juliette has been alone for so long, that it is difficult for her to open up and talk to anyone. At first, she ignores him, but then she helps him out with the things that they do daily in the cell. Juliette cannot help the feeling that she knows Adam from somewhere. She knows his eyes.

After a while, soldiers come in and take Juliette and Adam out of the cell. They take Juliette to another place and there she meets Warner. She also learns that Adam's name is Adam Kent, that he is a soldier and can finally place where she knows him. Warner tells her that he wants her on his side in the war. At first, she doesn't understand what he is talking about. When she figures out that he wants her to torture people to get information for his side, she instantly refuses. Warner then shows her the things that she is missing. One of those things is that she gets to go outside, which is exhilarating to Juliette because it is not a dream.

Juliette has choices to make and questions to answer. Will she side with Warner and do what he wants her to do? Will she forgive Adam for deceiving her when he first came into the cell? How will she get out of this current predicament and where will she go?

My Opinion:
This book was very well thought out. There were points in the book that I didn't know what would happen. Not because Juliette was wavering, but the circumstances prevented you from predicting it. I found that I could understand the feelings that Juliette had and the actions she took because of them. There are a few surprises in this book and I won't spoil them for you, but they make the read worth it.

I Like:

Juliette. She is the main character in this book. Her touch is fatal and so she thinks that she is a monster. It takes a lot of persuasion to get to start thinking otherwise. When she is forced to kill a soldier so Warner can see what she can do, she feels awful about it. She never wants to feel that again. She has been ostracized her whole life because of this strange power that she has. Throughout the book, she learns what it means to have such power and what people will do for it.

Adam Kent. He is the boy who is put in the cell with Juliette at the beginning of the book. At first, he is mean to her, but then he softens up. When Juliette finds out that he is a soldier, she believes that she was just a "job." Throughout the book, Adam has to keep up appearances and he does it so well sometimes that Juliette doesn't even know which side he is on.

James, Adam's brother. You don't meet James until the later part of the story, but he is a neat kid.

The strikethrough print. It was interesting to read what Juliette was thinking in contrast to what she said. It was like she was debating on whether to say something or not.

I Did Not Like:

Warner. He wants Juliette on his team to torture people that he captures in the war. He puts her in situations where she will have to use her power even though she is dead set against. He doesn't want to let Juliette go. He uses fear as a tool and kills people for trivial things.

The Reestablishment. You don't hear a whole lot about them in this book, but you do get a sense that they are not the good guys. They were supposed to come in and make things better, but instead they take over and try to rule.


On the cover, there is Juliette dressed in a white gown with her hair down. There are lines coming out of her like she is wielding a secret power. She has her hands on her hips which is symbolic of defiance. The cover reads: My touch is lethal. My touch is power. I like how the cover is shiny. It really makes Juliette stand out on the cover. This fits the description of Juliette well.

By Keren Kiesslinger 23 Dec 2011 5

I have started, erased and re-started this review several times now. I know that every book deserves a review, but it's hard to find the right words to do this book justice.
I have not long finished this book, actually, around 15 minutes ago. I have had it glued to my hand on a daily basis, staying up late because I was lost in the world created by Tahereh Mafi.

For me, getting lost in a book is a regular occurence, when the book is a good one. Let me tell you, this one knocked my socks off!
I literally eat, sleep, drink, breathe the written word. Books are my passion, my life. This is for sure one book that I will not forget in a hurry.

I can honestly say that what drew me to this book was the cover. People were talking about it on Twitter and, as I usually do, I had to look it up on Amazon. Boy am I ever glad I did. It sure lived up to the hype.
There is only one slight negative about it so I might as well get it out of the way now and move on to the positive. The cover. It is both a positive and a negative for me personally. The eye-catching, absolutely stunning cover had me salivating. I am a self-confessed book cover magpie. As many people now know, I am a collector of beautiful, shiny covers. So this was the positive.
The negative however, was the fact that it was so beautiful. How is that so, you ask? Well let me explain. The world within the covers is a Dystopian world, controlled by The Reestablishment. There are strict rules and it is a stark environment.
The cover usually conveys something to us of what is inside the book, but to me, this cover didn't do that. The cover suggests happiness - something beautiful. It isn't until I got further into the book that I saw where thie idea for the cover may have come from.

So now you are thinking "Oh my God, this woman just spent ages telling me about the cover. I wish she'd get on with it and tell me more about the story". Well, that is exactly what I intend to do. Now.

"I've been locked up for 264 days.
I have nothing but a small notebook and a broken pen
and the number in my head to keep me company.1 window.
4 walls. 144 square feet of space. 26 letters in an alphabet
I haven't spoken in 264 days of isolation."

These are the words that greet us on the first page. It must be hard being Juliette Farrars. She has been in isolation for 264 days. Meaning she hasn't seen, spoken to or touched another living soul in 264 days. Her mouth is not used to forming the words that comprise of the alphabet she knows yet remains unspoken.
Juliette is trapped in a living hell. She gets a meal of what one can only describe as gruel, once a day. It is too hot to touch straight away. She knows this only too well and has the scars to prove it.
She sits alone in a cell day and night. One window and about 10 square feet of space. Only a thin blanket and a mattress of springs for company. She has a notebook and a pen, that she rations the ink rather than run it dry.

The world outside is crumbling and has little time to pay attention to the needs and wants of a 17 year old girl. Disease has all but ravaged the poulation. Food has become scarce. Crops do not grow. Birds do not fly. Animals are all but extinct.
This is the world The Reestablishment have created. They said that their way was the only hope they had of fixing things.

But it seems that even they are struggling now in the world of their own creation. The survivors are whispering possibilities of war. So now the very same Reestablishment that locked her up are rethinking their decision. Maybe Juliette could be more use to them than they previously thought. Maybe she is just the warrior the world is in need of. A weapon they can control.

I cannot tell you more of the story, for fear of ruining your own journey of discovery. I can only tell you how it made me feel.

There were times when I felt lost in a pit of despair. I felt like tearing my hair out. There were times when I felt trepidation. In fact, this was most times. However, there were also times when I felt that perhaps something good could arise.

I got so lost within the world that Tahereh created, I felt an empathy with Juliette. There was one paragraph that I felt particularly spoke to me on a personal level.

"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"

This spoke to me and touched me in a way I have never felt with other books. I feel like I live my life vicariously through the characters on the page. When I am reading a book I enjoy, I tend to feel like I am the female MC. In this case I was Juliette. The things that happened to her, happened to me. When she felt fear, I felt it too. When she felt anger, I felt it too. I was a world of emotions throughout this book. Not many of them good in the beginning. But I am glad to say, there were moments of elation and I felt those too. They were few and far between, but were enough to keep me from feeling like all was bleak and hopeless.

In fact, there was hope. There were even times of happiness. Stolen moments here and there. These were what kept my eyes glued to - and my fingers turning the pages.

This is one of my favourite books of 2011. There is no denying I was desperately upset when it ended. I felt a huge loss. There were no more words for me to devour. I must wait until goodness knows when for another installment. But one thing I do know is that as soon as I hear of the next release, I will be clamouring to get in line for it. Or maybe I'll buy it on Amazon and save myself the hassle of beating someone to death in the local bookshop because they had the audacity to pick up the last copy!

Well done Tahereh on an absolutely stunning debut. Also, well done on capturing my attention and keeping me on tenterhooks for book two. This is not an easy feat, but you did it. And you did it well!

By Juhina & Farah 21 Dec 2011 5

I have been thinking about how to write my review of Shatter Me ever since i finished reading it last week. How can a book this beautiful and mind blowing be given justice in a couple of sentences? Or how can my writing show how great and absolutely inspiring Tahereh Mafi's writing is?

There is no doubt that Shatter Me is THE BOOK of 2011 for me. It beats all the 98 books i read this year, and is up on my top 5 books I've ever read in my life. Shatter Me left me hungry for more and just astounded, that I recommended it to anyone who would listen!

Juliette's touch is lethal, anyone she touches either ends up in great pain or dead. She has been in an asylum for 264 days and she hasn't spoken to anyone for that long. The dialogues and struggles that goes through her mind are just so gripping. I was so fascinated by Tahereh's writing, especially when Juliette thinks a thought, but scratches it out (literally, the sentence would be scratched out). This way of writing sucks me in so deep into Juliette's mind, to the point that I can feel how real her pain and struggle are. The characters are all likable, even the villain! You get a glimpse of all the character's feelings and their own struggles, which reminds you that people are not pure evil or pure good, that each character ended up the way they are due to their surroundings and the people around them (nature vs. nurture debate: I believe in nurture).

The sizzling slow brewing romance between Juliette and Adam was magnificent! I didn't feel like anything was forced or unrealistic in terms of instant love. I especially loved the conversations Juliette has with herself when she starts to realize she's falling for Adam. A re-accuring description Tahereh uses is when Juliette blushes. She describes it in one of the scenes through Juliette's thoughts as "Heat rushes through my neck and i fall off a ladder holding a paintbrush dipped in red" She turns a simple description into an extravagant, beautiful one. I was reading so many of those to my sister, it was like beautiful poetry!

You can notice all I have are high praises for this book, even though I had unbelievable expectations for it. All I can say is that this debut novel and author are ones to look out for, because Tahereh Mafi's writing is like a work of art, and who doesn't want to witness something as beautiful as this?

By Nausicaa @ Inkytopia | YA Book Blog 28 Nov 2011 5

SHATTER ME was told in a poetic manner that had me flying through the pages of the book. I was sold from the first few lines and didn't put down the book until the end. This story was brillantly woven, with elements of dystopian, paranormal, and romance. Main characters: Adam and Juliette were fascinatalingly-driven protagonists. The plot was filled with tension, and the stakes were high. It's only setback was it's similarities to X-Men, and a few cases where the prose came across to me as a bit overdone. SHATTER ME is definete MUST READ of November 2011 debut Novels.

By Alaiel Kreuz 23 Nov 2011 5

Welcome to Shatter Me, please, enjoy the ride and don't forget to take your bag of hope before you leave! Ready? Come with me, please.

- I read it in one night and one morning. Not because I wanted to stop but because I had had a rough day and couldn't keep my eyes open.
- I wanted to hug Juliette after reading the first page and keep her safe.
- I told my husband about the book and after that he kept sending me messages to know what was going on. Which I found hilarious and sweet.
- The characters were so real...

Juliette has been trapped in a cell for 264 after a homicide she didn't want to do... but it happened and she was convinced that, without her the world would be safer secure. Besides? She never had a real friend or the love of her parents who often remembered her that she was a freak, an abomination that couldn't be their daughter.

With nothing awaiting her outside and a world where a group called The Reestablishment had taken the control her hopes were none. To begin with, this group proclaimed that they wanted to help the world reach a better place, find answers for the problems that were raising with Mother Earth and take care of the people.
And looks like, with nothing better to choose, we chose them.
Big mistake. Ever.

All they did was slave people, kill the rebels and use their power to terrorize everybody.

But the hope of our heroine began to blossom again when a new roommate entered her life. Another human being, probably a lunatic, was with her, in the same room, a boy. And... somehow, she remembered him from somewhere.

What began as a scary situation developed into a pure love that would change their world completely.
That is until Juliette realized that Adam was only spying on her and that a handsome but cruel boy wanted to use her to torture and kill people.

Personal opinion:
I have to admit, at the beginning it was hard to follow Juliette's thoughts because she kept repeating words, phrases, crossing out things she wanted to say but was afraid to do so.
And then Tahereh caught me in the world she had created for Juliette and didn't let me go.

Soon I realized that the way Juliette thought was authentic, her own personality trying to break free from the prison that her life had become. The transition we share with her during the book allow us to see, with our own eyes, how her confidence improves, how she begins to say what she really thinks and that she is not longer afraid of being authentic.

What I loved most about her? She is strong. Truly strong. I picture her as a phoenix who, doesn't matter how many times you hurt her and try to destroy her, she will rise again, strong and beautiful, with her hopes intact.
The world chose to hate her? Fine. She understood that but she would never hurt anyone on purpose. And that defines her very well.

Adam will also enchant you with his charisma. He is simply amazing, a true gentleman, a kind soul that always looked out for Juliette. His side of the story is very important and you will also develop strong feeling towards him. Their relationship was fire and steam because, somehow, he could... Well, no spoilers, you know me ;)

And, of course, I can't forget our bad guy: Warner. It's rare for me to like the bad guys, you know? Specially people like Warner, heartless, cruel and mischievous but he is such, such a complex character! Amazingly done, Tahereh! This bad guy, being a cruel soul and all, will leave your heart sad. You will want to hug him, at least once. And then you will want to punch him a lot. Which is normal, believe me.

Anyway, my final opinion? Buy the book, read it and treasure it. The end will leave you with a smile in your face and your heart full of hope. The next book will be, for sure, amazing and marvelous. It's impossible to think otherwise.

Review quote

`Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly....Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans.`--Kirkus