Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Shatter Me" by Tahereh Mafi

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.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel."

My most favourite book (series) has been my most favourite book series for five years now. FIVE YEARS. Equivalent to: Half a decade. A quarter of my life. 1825 days. 109500 hours. 6570000 minutes. And not once in that five years had I ever questioned my love for that favourite book. Not once in that five years did a book even come remotely close to my favourite book. That is, until this book came along and changed everything.

This book is hard to describe, the best word I can think of to describe it is breathtaking (and even that, I know, does not do it justice). From the  first page of this book I was captivated- Juliette is unlike any character I have ever had the pleasure of reading about before, aside from being badass, resilient, and unyielding, she was, best of all, real. From her erratic and jumpy thought processes to her feelings of despair and loneliness to her growth (and acceptance of her abilities) over the course of the book. She is by far the greatest female character I have ever come across in a book and I don't believe it possible to encounter another female character such as her again in my life (and why yes, that is a challenge to all other authors out there to write a female character as amazing as Juliette).

As for Adam? All I can say is Edward Cullen Dimitri Belikov Jace Wayland who? Unlike those other boys (and much like Juliette), Adam is so realistic and approachable (as well as being chivalrous, resolute, kindhearted, and utterly and completely swoon-worthy). What he did for Juliette? I cannot even begin to fathom it. There were many times while reading this book that he (and his actions) literally brought tears to my eyes- he was just so good.

I found it even difficult to dislike the 'bad guy' Warner, because he was so well-developed and so much more than the 'bad guy' (I want to know his story and the skeletons in his closest, because it is evident that there are quite a few of them, resulting in him being broken)- never before have I actually felt sympathy for one such as himself before (nor have I ever swooned over the 'bad guy' before).

Aside from the amazingly developed characters this book is also successful because of its engaging (and fast-paced) plot. This book is hands down the most unique dystopian I have ever read before (I find that most YA dystopians, ie, "Matched", "XVI", "Delirium", and the "Uglies" trilogy, follow the same storyline, the main character, a female, is quite comfortable in her life, a life completely controlled by the government, until the male main character is introduced and shows her that her 'perfect life' is anything but perfect)- it truly marches to the beat of its own drum (and for that I am eternally grateful). Furthermore, the prose of this book? Gorgeous. In my opinion Tahereh's continuous use of metaphors only enhanced the novel.

All in all, (as I am sure it becomes evident) I cannot say enough good things about this book. This book, unlike so many others, truly lives up to the hype. I think it safe to say that we have the next "Twilight" (but better in every possible way than "Twilight"), on our hands (AKA a book that is absolutely going to take the world by storm and create a cult following)!

Rating: Infinity/ 10

I received this book from the publisher to read and review, I was not compensated in any way for said review. A gazillion thanks to Shannon and HarperCollins Canada!

Memorable lines from the book:

"His lips soften into a smile that cracks apart my spine. He repeats my name like the word amuses him. Entertains him. Delights him. 
In seventeen years no one has said my name like that" (pg. 24).

"Why are you touching me?" 
"Because I can" (pg. 118).

"You're absolutely delicious when you're angry." 
"Too bad my taste is poisonous for your palette" (pg. 133).

"I'd recognize your eyes anywhere in the world" (pg. 148). 

"I hope he doesn't know he just touched my leg.
And nothing happened" (pg. 192).

"But I'm shocked by the tenderness in his voice. The sincerity with which he wants to know. He's like a feral dog, crazed and wild, thirsty for chaos, simultaneously aching for recognition and acceptance.
Love" (pg. 266).


  1. Woah. That is some high praise! As if I could be any more excited to read this! I love that this one breaks the typical dystopian mold.

  2. I really enjoyed this one as well, though I'm not quite sure I can let go of Jace and Dimitri in favor of Adam! He made some serious progress clawing his way to the top of my fictional boyfriend list, but my loyalties run deep, so I'm going to need to read more books with him before he displace Jace or Dimitri:) Luckily for me, we're getting more books, yay!

  3. Glad you enjoyed it! It's really neat and I also found Adam to be realistic and genuine. Awesome review!

    Xpresso Reads

  4. Awesome review Avery! Though I did notice you couldn't quite cross out Jace's name, LOL.

    I love the quotes you picked, but I'm sure you could have totally posted the entire book as there were just so many.

    Juliette is amazing and so is Adam. And the writing is absolutely gorgeous. And I love Warner, too. Dying for the sequel is an understatement.

    This book is so impossible to describe, it's without words kind of good.

    I'm glad you're on the bandwagon for books releasing in a year that you're dying for. :)

  5. Wow. I'd actually talked to someone who didn't like this book and I'd kinda been staying away from it. That being said, I just found your site and I've been reading your book reviews for like the last hour and it seems like we have the EXACT same taste in books. (YAY TMI!!) So, now I'm super excited to read this book. I'm going to pick it up today. I had no idea what to read next, so thanks!

    1. Awwww... Your comment just made me so gosh darn happy- so thanks! ;)

      And yes, I have basically forced it on all of my friends and I haven't had a complaint from any of them yet (well, except my one who sent me the message of "WHY DID YOU GIVE ME THIS BOOK WHEN YOU KNOW THAT I HAVE TO STUDY? I AM GOING TO FAIL THIS EXAM BECAUSE OF YOU AND THIS DARN BOOK!" True story... ;)

  6. haha...I wouldn't blame the girl for failing her test over Shatter Me. I LOVED this book. I can't thank you enough for your review. I doubt I would've picked it up otherwise and it was SO good. I finished it in one day and then turned around the next day and started reading it out loud to my daughter. She's loving it too. The first day I read it to her, we read for three hours straight because she wouldn't let me stop.The writing is just SO beautiful. I'd kill to be able to write like this girl!

    I still love TMI, and I think Harry Potter will always be my favorite series but--that being said--Adam and Juliette are now my favorite couple.

    I'm going to browse through your other reviews now so I can find what to read next, even though nothing will top that.

    1. <3

      I know! I am in awe of Tahereh's writing!

      This post might come in handy, it's a list of the top ten favourite books I read in 2011: http://averysbooknook.blogspot.com/2011/12/top-10-books-ive-read-in-2011.html

      Also, have you read Divergent by Veronica Roth? That is one book that I CANNOT get out of my head. I cannot tell you the number of times I have glanced at it on my bookshelf and thought to myself, "I need to reread it" (a thought which I have succumbed to a number of times ;) ).

      Or, or Kimberly Derting's "The Body Finder" series (Which includes "The Body Finder", "Desires of the Dead", and "The Last Echo" comes out really soon). It has one of the cutest romances ever (Jay Heaton makes my heart SO HAPPY).

      I also highly recommend Aprilynne Pike's "Wings" series ("Wings", "Spells", "Illusions" and "Destined" which comes out really soon)- Tamani is so gosh darn swoon-worthy! And it's really nice to see a faerie book, I don't feel that we see them too often.

      And Rachel Hawkins "Hex Hall" series ("Hex Hall", "Demonglass", and "Spell Bound")- Sophie is one of the most hilarious characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading about before. And the love triangle that develops? :O!

      Stephanie Perkins series, "Anna and the French Kiss" and "Lola and the Boy Next Door"- these books make me feel all bubbly inside and after finishing them I literally wear a gigantic goofy smile on my face all day.

      And Maggie Steifvater's "Wolves of Mercy Falls" series ("Shiver", "Linger", and "Forever")- I don't often cry while reading a book, but I sobbed after finishing "Shiver".

      And what is nice about the large majority of books that I just recommended is that the series have now come to an end (or is soon going to) so you can enjoy the books without having to wait for any to be released! ;)

      Anyways, I hope that helps! And THANK YOU SO MUCH for your comment! It literally made my day (again ;) ).

  7. :) I've read most of the books you just mentioned, although there's a few I haven't tried. I agree with your opinion on all of them. I'd actually just read Divergent before reading Shatter Me...I waited forever to read that book--I just kept putting it off, and then I LOVED it. SO good. I can't wait until the next one comes out!!

    And Maggie Stiefvater has been one of my fave writers forever, she just writes SO beautifully. I also totally agree about the Body Finder series! Except I did NOT like the little subtle hints in the last book that the new guy could be a potential love interest (like the electricity between them) She has to stay with Jay!! I really hope it doesn't go in the love triangle direction.

    The only books I didn't agree with you about was the Wings series. I found Lauren (I think that's her name, it's been awhile) was being SO ridiculously self-involved and selfish in Illusions that I couldn't even get through the book. It seemed slow too, like nothing was really happening but a bunch of angst and Lauren treating Tamani like crap. However, I did go read your review and--since you said the book got way better--I'm going to finish it and see what I think. I'll let you know. :)

    I also want to check out the Hex Hall series--that's another one I've been putting off for awhile. Thanks for the recommendations. I'm always looking for good stuff, so I'm SO glad I found your site!! (even though I thought you were way older by your writing style--then i saw that you're fifteen, right? I'm very impressed by your reviews!) I'm embarrassingly older than you to have the exact same taste in books. haha. But, since I'm an aspiring YA writer, I guess it works that my brain still likes teenage stuff.

    1. BAHAHA! I am constantly told that I look like I am fifteen, but I'm not (I'm 21)- but there are a lot of great younger reviewers like Alex from Electrifying Reviews and Melina from A Reading Vacation. And heck, I'm still going to be reading this stuff when I am a wrinkly old crazy cat lady... ;)

      And yes, Laurel drives me insane as well! I think that why I like the series so much is because of Tamani- I mean, how romantic is that? Guarding over the girl you have loved for basically forever (and who doesn't have a clue who you are) in the hopes that she will one day reciprocate your feelings?

      And yep, I am going to FREAK OUT Rafe becomes the third part of the love triangle in The Body Finders series. Have you read Kimberly Derting's The Pledge? I read it over Christmas and I LOVED IT- perchance even more than TBF. Max was just so gosh darn swoon-worthy.

      Also, I forgot to mention in the GIGANTIC post last time around, have you read anything by Kelley Armstrong? I highly recommend her The Darkest Powers trilogy (The Summoning, The Awakening, and the Reckoning) and her new trilogy The Darkest Rising (I think)- it has The Calling and another one. Her adult series, Women of the Otherworld is also really good (it's one of the few adult series I actually read).

      Also, the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead? The first three are iffy in my opinion, but the latter three more than make up for it (and her spin-off series, Bloodlines, is also really good). As is Lili St. Crow's Strange Angels series and Jennifer L. Armentrout's Luxe series. Oh, and I can't forget my most fav series, The Mortal Instruments by Cassie Clare! ;)

  8. Oops. Okay...I just went and finally read your "About Me" section. I was too excited about all the cool book reviews to do that before now) haha. I could've sworn it said in one of your reviews that you were a year older than the MC--who was fourteen? At any rate, I was obviously wrong about that, so sorry. I'm still impressed by your reviews though. And I'm still embarrassingly older than you. haha.

    However, I also have four cats--and it's weird, because three of them look just like yours. I have a black and white one, a calico one, and a grey/black tabby. I'm missing the orange tabby though. We have another spotty cat in his place. What are your cats names? Mine are "Chairman Meow" (after TMI), Fray (After TMI) Izzybelle (Okay...are you seeing a pattern here?) and--off on his own--Dr. Friendlypaws. haha. My whole family LOVES those books. When my daughter (who is your age) got pregnant, we all agreed that Jace would be the perfect name for her little boy. He's two now. :)

  9. No worries!

    I love the names! And you know what? I swear that recently I read another book (not TMI) and the cat's name was Chairman Meow- but now I can't, for the life of me, remember what it was.

    I have a lot of cats (I kinda live in the country AKA land of the stray cats, so my family is constantly adopting them so that they don't get hit by cars of anything)- in the pics (in order) is Marbles, Ruffles, Oreo and Patch. But I also have Pumpkin, Baby and Misty. And there are some outdoor cats that we also look after- Momma, Chunk, and Mini.

    Oh, and Jace? PLEASE TELL ME THAT HE HAS BLONDE CURLY HAIR! ;) With a name like that I'm sure that he'll grow up to be a heartbreaker. ;)

  10. haha. I never got back to this, sorry. Love all the cats you have. I actually have five and four doggies. We had five dogs but one died last month. :( None of my dogs have crazy TMI names because we hadn't read them yet when I got the dogs. haha.

    And no, Jace doesn't have blond curly hair, but he is absolutely the cutest little boy I've ever seen. (Besides my own son at that age of course. lol) He has dirty blond hair (with light blond tips) and huge green/brown eyes and naturally tan skin. I need to figure out how to attach a pic, but I don't think I can do that in the comments section. Rest assured though, he definitely does the name proud!

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