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

Title: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publishing Date: November 15th 2011
Length: 352 pages
Kaywords: YA fiction, romance, paranormal
Source: Bought

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.

Summary by Goodreads 

The chapters of SHATTER ME are very short, between five to ten pages each. I literally flew through the story. It’s no wonder, considering that we’re given the electrifying start into the story with a girl, our protagonist, locked up in a cell. The very first thing we get to read about are Juliette’s feelings or her lack thereof since she has been locked up for quite a while. To keep her thoughts together, she writes in a notebook. She uses a lot of numbers to keep a hold of things and it’s quite fascinating to be so close to her very thoughts, primarily supported by the brilliantly written 1st narrator point of view.

Oh my gosh, can I please breathe in those words all day long to stay that high from a good dose of literary talent?!
Only to give a few examples of that awesomeness manifested in words (words and images that I would have never dared to go together, fit so poetically, so perfectly.)

“Dirty money is dripping from the walls, a year’s supply of food wasted on marble floors, hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical aid poured into fancy furniture and Persian rugs. I feel the artificial heat pouring in through air vents and think of children screaming for clean water. I squint through crystal chandeliers and hear mothers begging for mercy. I see a superficial world existing in the midst of a terrorizing reality and I can’t move. I can’t breathe.“ p.63

Brilliant writing!

“His gaze is fixed on me: calm, unflappable; 2 buckets of river water at midnight. I’d like to cry into his eyes.” p.113

Doesn’t that boy sound like an adorable love interest?

“ “Juliette---“ His body presses closer and I realize I’m paying attention to nothing but the dandelions blowing wishes in my lungs. My eyes snap open and he licks his bottom lip for the smallest second and something in my brain bursts to life. “ p.117

I love, love, love the romance in SHATTER ME!

Juliette is a protagonist I adore for her ability to create a strong expression with only a few simple words. She twists the words around and can use them as definite weapons as her body.
And it’s not only the words she has a talent to express power through. The concept of Juliette’s physical power is also fascinating, her touch being lethal. It’s a strong influence Juliette has on others,  an unbelievable burden not to be able to touch people.

In the course of the story Juliette is forced to cooperate with antagonist Waren who wants to exploit her power.  In huge and sharp contrast to his character, stands gorgeous, strong and absolutely adorable Adam. I loved his character from the instant he was thrown into the story.

A funny graphical element- also a way to highlight meanings and display Juliet’s torn thoughts- are crossed out words and sentences throughout the whole novel. So cool! Such and other elements make SHATTER ME such a very special read.

1) of one touch that can change everything
2) of the perfect dress
3) of a love story crackling with pure electricity and a hot kisses
4) of not being alone
5) of the pure power of Mafi’s words

5/5 ***** SHATTER ME- A shining debut filled with the sheer power of words, addicting touches and the best thrilling feeling of reading love. It’s 100 % power!

All of its characters are pictured perfectly and strong in their portraits. Waren is pure evil, Kenji is a comedian, James so sweet and innocent. And there is Adam who was always there for Juliette, always waiting for her. He’s become one of my favourite swoon-worthy YA male characters. I don’t want to wait one more second for the sequel!

* Loved SHATTER ME? Don’t miss the sequel UNRAVEL ME, coming out February 2013! 

* Click here to read an excerpt of SHATTER ME and here for the audio excerpt. 

* Click here to watch the book trailer. 

* Visit for further information about Tahereh Mafi and her books.

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