By: Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Genre/Age: YA Dystopian/Paranormal
Source: ARC from Around the World ARC Tours
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.
Imagine never being able to touch anyone. Never being able to hug, or hold hands, or even casually brush against someone. That basic need of human contact completely and constantly denied. Then imagine being locked up in total isolation for over eight months because of it. This is when we meet Juliette. Poor, broken Juliette, who has suffered so much in life and yet still manages to cling to a thread of hope, manages to retain her sanity. And then Adam steps into her cell and her entire life changes.
Tahereh Mafi’s writing is stunning: lyrical and flowing and just so incredibly gorgeous. It reminded me a bit of Cath Crowley’s writing – it has that same beautiful poetic quality to it that makes me want to tattoo the words all over my body. (Seriously though, I might do it.) She manages to convey Juliette’s thought process and mental state SO WELL, it’s amazing. You really feel like you’re inside her head, with all of her confusion and desperation and the thoughts she doesn’t even allow herself to think. And it is a thing of beauty to watch the writing subtly change as Juliette grows throughout the novel and gains more confidence. I could happily curl up inside this book and live there for ages.
And the boy! Oh, the boy. Adam and Juliette absolutely burn up the pages together. The tension between them throughout the whole novel is amaaaaazing, leaving the reader holding their breath in anticipation. You may wonder how a romance is supposed to work when Juliette can’t touch anybody, but it does, don't you worry about that. There are several moments (one steamy shower scene in particular) that will make you fall over from swooning so hard and leave you fanning yourself on the floor. I CANNOT wait to see more of these two in the next book. Bring it on, Tahereh, I’ve got my squirt bottle ready to cool myself off when necessary. :P
And while Adam is hot as hell, he’s also sweet and loving and has a huge heart. He is kind of perfect, and I kind of love him for it. Between my compassion for Juliette, my love for Adam, my adoration of a couple of secondary characters whose names I won’t mention, my repulsed fascination with Warner (so evil and yet so intriguing!), and my awestruck worship of Tahereh’s writing, Shatter Me has basically left me a swoony, grinning, gushy mess.
This is the kind of book that I stay up until 4 in the morning to finish; the kind of book that I can’t stop thinking about every second that I’m not reading it; the kind of book that I wish I could read for the first time over and over again. It is a mind blowing debut novel, and definitely one of my favorite books of 2011. You need to RUN, don’t walk, and go preorder this book RIGHT NOW. And then feel free to join me in pining away like mad for the sequel.
*Thank you so much to Cindy at Around the World ARC tours for letting me a part of this tour!