Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me #1)

I love pretty books with lots of metaphors.  I love having to work through a book and struggling a bit to read it.  That's what makes some books so polarizing and can make people hate them but hey, I like to have to work to understand sometimes.  This book combines elements of Divergent with a Stephen King novel.  It's creepy in some ways and you never really know what the full extent of Juliette's powers are.  You want to root for her but I know I hesitated, just because she holds back as a narrator and I never trusted her.  Another reason to love the book.  It keeps you on your toes.

This cover is wonderful.  It picks up on so many elements of the book.  

The crossing out of words or phrases like at the top happens constantly but somehow, I ended up loving it.  It shows the inside workings of someone who is fighting her natural inclinations in order to stay alive and stay sane.  

The eye, I think, is Adam's and Juliette fixates his eyes a lot.  It is how she recognizes him and one of the ways that she connects to him.  The eyes are the window to the soul, you know.

The branches/veins/ice coming off of the eye also reflects a lot of the style of this author.  She is symbolic.  She is poetic.  There are lots of metaphors and allusions.  It is like reading the better version of high school creative writing where everybody is trying to be profound and just ends up sounding like a jackass.

"I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction."
I find that beautiful.  You don't see authors these days really working to make stuff sound pretty.  I feel like an audiobook of this would be absolutely wonderful to listen to, especially with the right narrator.  I think the words would just roll off the tongue.

This is the story of a broken world.  Old things are idealized and glorified, like birds flying or normal sunsets.  The world that exists in Shatter Me is a wasteland.  It is controlled by a sort of Big Brother type government that puts the "useless" people in society in asylums and basically enslaves the rest.  It is supposedly to protect the world but Juliette has her doubts.  She is unerringly positive throughout the book that maybe there is something else out there and maybe the sky isn't falling like the government claims it is.

Onto the characters.


This girl is damaged and it is obvious.  She isn't the most reliable of all narrators but she seems like she is just barely maintaining her sanity at times, especially towards the front of the book.  Juliette is stronger than her surroundings though (in more ways than one) and she does what she has to in order to stay well adjusted.  I like her.  I admire her strength and how she can protect herself if necessary.  She is also extremely moral and weighs the consequences of her actions.


Adam is honestly the only character I didn't connect with in this book.  He is just too flipping nice.  Now, I hate being that girl that only loves the "bad boys" but in this case, I am being her.   Adam is too gentle and doesn't really show any edge.  He is strong. He is loyal. He is the Prince Charming of this book and never does a damn thing wrong and never gets truly angry.  I want some edge. I want action and tension.  He didn't do that for me.


My poor broken antagonist.  He really is the pathetic character of the book and I adore him for that. I just want to help him.  It's obvious that he isn't really a cruel person, just a lonely one.  He is just as damaged as Juliette and when he finally finds someone that he thinks he can connect with and love, she pushes him away.  I want someone to reach out to him!  He is the bad boy that doesn't want to be bad.  He is the big pit bull chained to a tree that barks when people get close but cuddles in their laps when they hold him.  At least, that is the impression I get.

I'm looking forward to the next book and my goal is to not burn through them quickly.  These are books to be savored I think.

4/5 stars.  I took off a star just because Adam is too nice and I want him to not be.


  1. Great review Britt! :)
    I love you how explain the meaning of the cover. I always thought it was beautiful but I never thought of how it reflected the writing style of Mafi. And I have to agree on you with Adam. He is a great guy but he seems too nice and I that's why I love Warner!
    I read this book just last month and I couldn't stop reading it. I read Shatter Me and Unravel Me in two days. And finally~ I'm about to start reading Ignite Me :D

    - The Reading Izzy

    1. Thank you so much!

      I fixate on covers because I think they tell you a lot about the author (or publisher). There are three options: 1) just a stock cover image...common in cheap romance 2) cover relates to the book but doesn't carry any meaning 3) deep insightful and beautiful covers. I know there is an alternate cover to this book and I think it is horrible.

      I've heard Unravel Me will turn me into a bigger Warner fan and I'm looking forward to it. This series looks so good!

    2. Haha. Yeah, the original cover is awful. I was really glad when they changed it. I can't wait to read your review :)

      I tagged you to do the Opposites Book Tag btw. Have fun Britt! :D
      Check out the link below for details :D

  2. Oh I hated Adam so much. He didn't feel like a genuine character to me and I think that's why I detested him. How beautiful is Mafi's writing, right? I've seen her cop a lot of hate for being a bit too "purply", but that's how I like my writing. Beautiful, lyrical and full of metaphors. Some of them were a tad ambitious but it was a gorgeous book overall. Warner is just a beautiful broken soul, isn't he? I hope you enjoy the next one just as much.

    (You're lucky with this cover. I have the one with the girl and it's...not so pretty)

    Fantastic review, Brittain! x

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought Adam was too good to be true. I like the beautiful purply writing too but I can definitely see how it would be grating for some people. It isn't for everyone.

      I can't wait to read the novella in between this book and the next. Poor Warner. I really do want to fix him.

      Thanks so much for commenting!

  3. GAH the new cover looks absolutely stunning. I love how you interpreted the symbols, it makes a lot of sense now.
    Unfortunately this book didn't do it for me. Sure, the writing was beautiful but sometimes it felt a bit too methaphoric. Some methaphors didn't even make sense. The crossed out sentences didn't make this any better. Also, Adam is a bit too (wannabe-Edward) perfect for me.

    - nana

    1. This book isn't for everyone and I can see how it could drive anybody crazy. If I had been in a bad mood reading it, I probably would have thrown it out the window. (But not really, that's my preciousssss)

      Adam as Edward...I'll never be able to get that out of my mind. Especially the *sparkling*.

      Thanks for commenting!