Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi


Publisher: HarperCollins
Release date: October 2, 2012 (originally November 2011)
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Pages: 338
Goodreads || Book Depository

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.


3 stars

I’m not really sure what to say about Shatter Me. I’ve been looking forward to reading it because I’m probably the only person at this point who hasn’t picked up this trilogy… and the male love interests sounded really interesting. But after reading this first installment, I’m feeling a little bit let down.

My main issue with Shatter Me is that I felt like there was no plot. The story for me didn’t begin until 30 pages from the end of the book and I felt like the first 300 pages were just 300 pages of nothing. I couldn’t even tell you what happened because I feel like nothing did. This book follows Juliette, a girl who has a fatal touch. She’s been imprisoned for over 250 days in a dark cell but one day she’s brought out of her cell in order to aid The Reestablishment in their mission… something which Juliette doesn’t want to do. But even though the novel had a really great concept, I don’t think it was executed to its full potential. Juliette spends most of the book either locked up in different locations like a prisoner or on the run from different people who are after her. The plot doesn’t really progress and by the end of the book I felt like I was still kind of at the beginning.

What this book does focus on are the relationships between the characters and the romance. But I wasn’t a fan of the romance in this book, nor the developing love triangle. Even though Adam seems like a great guy, I never really warmed to him and was always suspicious of him. I felt like the romance developed slightly too quickly and it was just a bit uncomfortable for me to read. Warner was an intriguing character to me but I also felt like he was a bit of a creep. Overall, none of the characters really did it for me.

I did like the world in the book. The novel has an apocalyptic setting that I found really interesting. It was interesting to read about how the weather and ecosystems are failing due to human activities, and how the people live with barely any food and are concentrated in small communities that are governed by soldiers and The Reestablishment. What I was a little bit underwhelmed by was The Reestablishment itself. I thought the book lacked description and I didn’t think The Reestablishment was very well conceptualised. I had a rough idea of who they were and what they did but I thought the world building in this respect was weak.

Having said that, I enjoyed the writing style. It was easy to read and I sped through the book in two sittings. It made me want to keep reading and I’ll definitely be picking up the rest of the trilogy. Hopefully the next two books address some of the plot and world building issues that I had.


28 thoughts on “Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

  1. BibliomaniacEzza says:

    oh wow I was just thinking about reading this book for a readathon Im joining and your review is food for thought. Anyways, great review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bookmark Chronicles says:

    I admit that I was also skeptical when I started but overall I did like the story and the way it ended. I also read the novellas and I think that helped get me more into the story. There’s some good stuff coming up in the next one though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      I’m hoping it gets better from here. I’m about 180 pages into Unravel Me and it’s getting slightly better. My main issue with it is that it just doesn’t have much plot. They’re just kinda sitting there doing nothing while saying that they’re doing things. But I’m speeding through the books so I’ll definitely be finishing the trilogy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. BooksbyJay says:

    It’s an amazing trilogy, I think because it is a 3 book story the first book would be a little bit underdeveloped.. I don’t know. At least you liked the writing and you whizzed through it! I hope it gets a little bit better for you along the way as I enjoyed this series SO much!♥

    Jumana @ Books by Jay

    Liked by 1 person

  4. theadelaidelibrarian. says:

    Great review Jenna! You’re definitely not the only person who hasn’t read this 😛 My boxed set just arrived yesterday so I’ll be digging in soon. A little apprehensive after hearing you were let down. Always happens when books are overhyped! I’ll keep an eye out for your reviews of the next two!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Valerie says:

    I had the same thoughts as you when I first read Shatter Me! I found Warner pretty creepy, and I’m not sure how people like him. Maybe he changes in the next books? Either way I don’t really have the motivation to continue ahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Molly's Book Nook says:

    Oh man, I hated this book xD I could not get into the writing style. It would DRIVE ME INSANE. The repetition, the missing commas. I couldn’t handle it hahah. I’m glad you could look past that and actually had feelings on the story itself, because I couldn’t really do that lol

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      The writing did take me a few chapters to get used to but I managed to block it out after a while. At first I thought the book was supposed to be like a published version of Juliette’s writing in her notebook but nope. It was just written like that for some reason. I’m glad to hear that you (and other people) agree with me though because I’ve heard nothing but good things about the trilogy and I don’t understand why it’s so overhyped when it’s so mediocre.


  7. Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings says:

    I have had this book for ages and to be honest I don’t know why I bought it, I think I heard some good things about it but then I have heard some not so good things too! 300 pages of nothing is a lot of reading without any story! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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