By: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: YA Dystopian
Coffee Beans: 3/5
Okay, so I'm a huge fan of this author. She has a popular and successful blog/website and tumblr page. She has an amazing presence on Twitter and she's friendlier than all get-out. She's personable and relatable and funny and seems like an all-around nice gal. There was tons of hype surrounding her book and her thousands of fans (including myself) were lined up and couldn't wait to get to their hands on it when it was released. The cover is pretty cool, I love the shattered glass behind the model. The dress is okay, kind of distracting, and I don't particularly like it when books put faces on them only because readers like to imagine what the characters look like themselves.
Here's the official summary:
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.
Here's my summary:
Rougue from X-Men set in a dystopian society. The end.
For those of you who apparently live under rocks, I'll fill you in on Rogue's mutant power: When she touches people, she sucks their life force out and they die. Cool concept, right? So why the low coffee bean rating, you ask? Simple: I don't think this was an original enough story nor did it have enough meat on it to warrant more than three. I know some of you are going to disagree with me, and you're allowed to, but the only thing original about this story line (and I mean original as in different from Rogue's) is that there are two people in the world she can touch and they don't die. SPOILER: One of them happens to be her make-out partner. How convenient to be able to let out all your pent-up sexual frustration on this one strong, handsome soldier boy. Not.
Tahereh's writing is beautiful, there's no doubt about it. And her metaphors are creative and unique. But come on, sometimes, someone just blushes. You don't have to find fifty-thousand ways to say that, and when you do, you risk not making any sense. Which is what happened in over half her metaphors. And now that I'm on that subject, there were A LOT of metaphors. Like, too many. But that's just my personal opinion. It was a beautiful writing style (although the strikethroughs were extremely annoying), but there were more times than not when it seemed like she was trying to be too lyrical in what she was saying. Again, sometimes it's just best to say it.
Juliette is a weak female character. There's no way around it. Although at the end she seems more independent, she isn't stronger. And that's a problem. I wanted her to so much be a bad ass and I was let down. She was dependent on Adam too much, never able to do what she needed when it came down to it, Adam always and to step in and save the day, and although we all want a male lead like that, it's important for the female to be able to take care of herself, otherwise she deserves what she gets.
Her weakness was a distraction to me, but even more so, were the protag's constant thoughts and talking about how beautiful Adam was. *GROAN* We get it, you think he's hot; can we move on now? To, like, the story? And while we're at it, can you take a freaking break from one of your MILLION AND A HALF heavy-breathing make-out scenes and help me FIND THE STORYLINE? It's small and easy to miss, but maybe a couple extra pairs of eyes will help me—HEY! I said stop with the making out! Sheesh.
Shatter Me felt like a hot and heavy romance in which the plot to a backseat. Not okay--Unless you're a Harlequin romance and that's expected. I could've done with a lot less of that crap. I get it—they can't keep their hands off each other and his lips taste good, or whatever, and sex sells everywhere, especially among YA, but that doesn't mean you can get by without having a story.
And talk about insecure, Juliette keeps asking Adam the SAME QUESTION (three times, no joke). "Why did you save me?" And three times, Adam gives the same answer. While he's patient and explains his reasoning with love, I would've been tempted to smack her and say, "Look we've been over this already. Accept it or get the heck out of here." I thought Juliette would have grown, but she remained a flat, weak female protagonist who hid behind a boy and his washboard stomach.
Wow. This is a bit of a harsh review, but at least it's honest. Look, I've read way better books, and I've read worse books. Pick it up, read it and judge for yourself. You may agree, you may disagree, but form your own opinion. :) Happy reading!