Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Posted December 22, 2017 by Amber in Reviews / 6 Comments

Shatter Me

Shatter Me

by Tahereh Mafi

Series: Shatter Me #1
Publisher: HarperTeen on November 15, 2011
Genre: Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction
Target Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: ★★½

Check out this book on Goodreads

I have a curseI have a gift

I am a monsterI'm more than human

My touch is lethalMy touch is power

I am their weaponI will fight back

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.


Juliet knows nothing but hatred and isolation.

And yet, she is a sweet kind soul.  Her heart is broken by her past, by the things she has done that were beyond her power.  Her very skin is a poison.  She is locked away for the safety of the people who surrounded her – unwanted my her parents, there is no where for her to go but the asylum.

Then, one day, there is Adam.  He is dragged into her cell and awakens life into her.  He is not afraid of her… perhaps only because he doesn’t know how dangerous she is?  But with Adam come a barrage of changes and soon Juliet is scooped up by a madman in the military who wants to use her as a weapon.  But she just can’t do that, and Adam won’t allow it either….

If you’re looking for a love story, you’ll love this book.

Juliet was bound to get a tragic love story with a name like that.  This is a book about mutants and military dystopias in a post-apocalyptic world, but all that is really just setting for Adam and Juliet’s love story.  It feels like insta-love, but we learn that Juliet and Adam have a history.  Everything she is and everything she has done is known to him.

I detest love stories.  I feel like there’s only a few ways to do them and that they’re grossly overdone. Mafi adds some originality to her story by using its setting and Juliet’s affliction and contributing aspects… but at the end it’s still a boy-meets-girl type of tale.  And if you want something sappy and sweet, then you’ll love this.  I proceeded to roll my eyes.  A lot.

Tahereh Mafi’s writing is gorgeous.

For the first few chapters of this book, I was absolutely blown away by the gorgeousness of the author’s writing.  Shatter Me is littered with similes and metaphors that will make your wordsmithing heart melt.  Her writing flows so beautiful.

I will admit that by about chapter 30 this became a little exhausting?  It was less flowery once Juliet rejoined the world, which was a good choice as we pulled more out of her head and into her environment.  I did appreciate the lyricism of this books and thought it bears mentioning.  I love writing that sounds like an exotic garden, but that may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

I’m glad I read it, but I wouldn’t buy it.

As much as I appreciate Mafi’s writing style, the story really didn’t appeal to me.  Like I said above – I’m not a romance reader.  I wanted to know more about the political intrigue and the mutations than I did about Adam’s rippling chest muscles.  Juliet’s history was interesting but the pacing was just gosh darn slow… if this hadn’t been a fairly short audiobook, I don’t think I would have kept listening out of sheer impatience.

However!  I do think this would appeal to all sorts of other readers.  Especially if you are the sort that loves soft squishy romantic boys and forbidden love.  This book isn’t a love triangle (not really) so if you fall in love with Adam then this is 338 pages of bubblegum and fairytales and you will love it.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★ 1/2
Plot: ★★ 1/2
Characters: ★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Pacing: 1/2
Narrator: ★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★ 1/2


Have you read this book or anything by this author?  If so, did you enjoy it?  Tell me all about your experience in the comments!

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6 responses to “Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

  1. Danielle

    “Juliet was bound to get a tragic love story with a name like that.“ I’m gagging lmaooo!!! But seriously I’ve been wanting to read this book too but I’ve heard positives and negatives. I’m into love stories with a twist but insta-love I cant get into; it’s not realistic to me lol. Are you excited for the TV show coming next year?

    • Amber

      Ag no. Don’t think I’ll probably be watching that, to be honest! I did like Tahereh Mafi’s writing *style* just not the story… I think I need to find something else by her!

      • Danielle

        Yeah, I can see that. I know she has a middle grade series, but I haven’t read it either. Maybe you’d like those? Furthermore, I think it’s called.

    • Amber

      Bleurgh, me either. I don’t know how I manage to keep picking them up! I think I keep hoping it’ll be a subtle subplot. But it never is.

  2. LOL about the characters. I personally adored the writing style as well, while many people thought it was tedious! I didn’t hate this book when I read it, but the characters, man. However, I continued with the series and LOVED it. It was so much better OMG. Juliette grows so MUCH!!!
    This series is not actually very dystopian, rather a very character-driven trilogy later on. And there’s a bunch of action in the other books too. It is mostly like an analysis in Juliette’s development, and it’s amazing to see. I hope someday you read the sequel!

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