Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi, is a wonderful young adult sci fi novel that takes place in the distant future. It makes an excellent introduction into the series. Juliette is a teenage girl with a very lethal, “gift”: Her touch can kill. Her story begins in an insane asylum. She has lived there for most of her life, and has never met another person her age since she was first admitted to the asylum. This changes the day they put Adam in her cell. Adam is terrifying. Adam is a BOY.
After a while she begins to trust Adam, and they begin planning an escape together. But they can’t leave before she meets Warren. Warren is a military commander, about the same age as both she and Adam. Warren is highly interested in Juliette’s ability. She may be the exact weapon he needs in the fight against their rebelling society. Juliette has to decide if she wants to be a weapon, and receive freedom, or a warrior, and possibly receive death.
On a scale of 1-5, I would give this book a 5. I thoroughly enjoyed both the story and the writing style. Tahereh Mafi has a way of writing that is almost like poetry. In just 340 pages, I managed to really connect with the characters and care for them so deeply that the very next day I went out and bought the rest of the trilogy. I also found the characters very interesting, with intricate backgrounds and experiences that really shape who they are as people. It was very easy to sympathize and empathize with the characters, they just seemed so real.
One thing that I didn’t really like, however, was the way Juliette was portrayed at the beginning of the book. She is introduced as a poor, weak girl that needs Adam’s help to save herself. Thankfully, later on she becomes stronger and more self sufficient, and doesn’t need anyone else to take care of her.
Another thing that I wasn’t happy with was the cover. Thank goodness the publishers changed it! The paperback versions of the first 2 books and the hardcover version of the last book all have beautiful, intricate pictures of eyes on the cover. Sadly, the hardcover version of this book has a picture of a girl in a white dress that does not accurately represent the book.
I would say the reading level is somewhere around 8th-11th grade and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys impressive and powerful character development, poetic writing, and fighting against oppressive governments.
Reviewed by Isabella C., grade 9