Monday, November 7, 2011
"Shatter Me" by Tahereh Mafi
Age Group: Young Adult
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.
Let me start by saying that the writing in this was so good. It was beautiful, emotional and so expressive. It kind of felt like reading a story and watching living artwork all at once. We start out the story with Juliette in her cell. She's been locked up because her touch kills and nobody knows why, or what to do about it. Juliette hasn't seen or spoken to a person in a very long time, so she is very wary when they all of the sudden give her a cellmate. A male cellmate. And that's only the beginning. I really like Juliette as a character. She's not perfect and she definitely has a mountain of issues, considering her lethal touch and the horrible things she's endured in her life, but I think that made me like her more. I can definitely respect a girl that won't back down from what she thinks is right, even when she has been pushed to the limits.
Skipping ahead a little, Juliette is still a prisoner, but she's no longer in isolation. She's being held by a
super creepy, evil guy named Warner. He's definitely bi-polar and completely obsessed with Juliette. He spends most of his time parading her around his compound and trying to get her to want to be with him. I am so torn about characters like these because it's obvious they are the bad guy, but then there are moments when they do something and you can't be sure. It messes with the mind, but because of this, I can't commit to hating Warner 100%. We'll have to see how he evolves in future books. Opposite of Warner, we've got Adam. I adored him. He's definitely not perfect either and has his own mountain of issues, but the fact that he truly cares about Juliette is so obvious. He wants to get her out of there and he wants to keep her safe, no matter the cost.
So the story is going along really well and building up to be a great start to a dystopian trilogy. You can imagine all the great places she'll take us, writing about them hiding out and scraping by, fighting for their lives and possibly finding a few allies along the way. These are the kinds of stories I love and Juliette is just the girl I want to follow into them, but then BAM! We take a left turn and the story is going in a completely different direction than I anticipated. And it's FANTASTIC! I absolutely cannot wait to see where she takes us next. This first book was a great ride and I can't wait to buckle in for the rest.