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Book Review: Shatter Me By Tahereh Mafi

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.

Juliette is a seventeen year old girl who has been imprisoned for a dangerous and powerful ability she could not control. She’s neither seen, nor spoken, nor touched another human being in 264 days. The only indications that she is not absolutely alone are the soldiers that march outside her tiny window and the screams that she hears in the middle of the night through the thick concrete walls. Juliette’s only outlet is the ragged notebook she kept balled beneath her mattress and the hope she holds with white knuckles to keep her sanity. Inside of her is a curse gift that brings death death death agony to anyone she touches, and this strange ability has led to her being locked away in an asylum. Then the unthinkable occurs: Juliette is given a cellmate, and everything she thought she knew begins to expand and spin out of her control entirely.

Before her existence distilled to four gray walls and one square window, she’d witnessed the degradation of the world—the food shortages, the environmental problems, the panic. She’d watch the Reestablishment step in, heard their promises of solution. She doesn’t know the state of the world now, but she can see the sky is the wrong color and weather follows no discernible pattern—other than holding a beauty she longs to touch.

She is utterly alone, cut off from the world and volleying between despair and hope—until she is given a cellmate. Adam’s arrival sets in motion a sequence of events that leads her to the very heart of the Reestablishment regime. She must make a choice: is her freedom worth more than the lives of others—than the lives of those who have taken freedom from her? Is she willing to fight—not only for what is right, but for herself?

Shatter Me is a dystopian novel but, unlike others of the genre, the novel is less about external conflict and focuses more about internal conflict. I was very happy with the way this novel developed, driven by Juliette and her ramblings thoughts.

“I always wonder about raindrops. I wonder how they're always falling down, tripping over their feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It's like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn't seem to care where the contents fall, doesn't seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.
I am a raindrop.”

Time by time Juliette showed her bravery. She may have been released from asylum, but again locked in Warner's eyes, 24 hrs under camera, she was forced to hide her feeling for Adam.

"I'm oxygen and he's dying to breathe.”

Adam is protective, romantic, charming, willing to risk his life for Juliette, like every heroes do for their girls. Adam revealed he's in love with Juliette from their school life, he joined Reestablishment to find her. He did this entire thing to get near her, to save her from every harm. He has always been in love with her, no matter what she is.

"Adam stares at me so long I begin to blush. He tips my chin up so I meet his eyes. Blue blue blue boring into me. His voice is deep, steady. "I don't think I've ever heard you laugh." He's so excruciatingly correct I don't know how to respond except with the truth. My smile is tucked into a straight line. "Laughter comes from living." I shrug, try to sound indifferent. "I've never really been alive before.”

Warner is too sexy in a devilish way. It's really hard to ignore his presence. You just want to hate him throughout the entire book, but at times it was really hard.

"His skin is flawless, unblemished, his jawline sharp and strong. His eyes are the palest shade of emerald I've ever seen. He’s beautiful.His crooked smile is calculated evil."

Warner was obsessed with Juliette; he researched everything about her from past 3 years. His love was hunger, possessive, like and growing fire, the more you run, the more it will try to trap you in its flames. Warner is just a guy haunted by loneliness, tormented by his past, always craved for love.

"You’ve suppressed all your rage and resentment because you wanted to be loved,” he says, no longer smiling. “Maybe I understand you, Juliette. Maybe you should trust me. Maybe you should accept the fact that you’ve tried to be someone you’re not for so long and that no matter what you did, those bastards were never happy. They were never satisfied. They never gave a damn, did they?” He looks at me and for a moment he seems almost human. For a moment I want to believe him. For a moment I want to sit on the floor and cry out the ocean lodged in my throat. “It’s time you stopped pretending,” he says, so softly. “Juliette—” He takes my face in his gloved hands, so unexpectedly gentle.

Warner has some powers too. People are intimidated by him, so they listen when he speaks, and when he finds out about Juliette he thought she's like him, hated by the world, a loner girl longing for love, hungry for power just like him. I must say he always tried to love her, showed her affection. He thought he understand her, protecting her, he could win her, but sadly his thought was wrong, his way of approaching was wicked, instead it kept hurting her more and more.

"You think that because I am unwanted, because I am neglected and—and discarded—” My voice inches higher with every word, the unrestrained emotions suddenly screaming through my lungs. “You think I don’t have a heart? You think I don’t feel? You think that because I can inflict pain, that I should? You’re just like everyone else. You think I’m a monster just like everyone else. You don’t understand me at all—”

This book was great. I was hooked by the first few pages. The characters were amazing and portrayed very well. I have already recommended this book to friends, who went out and purchased a copy. I immediately started reading “Destroy Me” after I finished “Shatter Me” and I am anxious to get my hands on “Unravel Me.” The world Juliette lives in is controlled by the Reestablishment. They control the food and water supply and are ruthless; killing anyone who gets in their way. We aren't really told when or why things started to change in the world. The seasons have changed, birds no longer fly in the sky and animals have sicken and died. People have committed suicide over hunger and only parts of the earth are inhabitable and towns and cities are abandoned; as survivors move to sanctioned areas. The ending of the book sets the reader up perfectly for book two. Juliette had me hooked at the start, I felt so bad for her and I just wanted to reach out to her as a friend. As far as Adam and Warner go…gosh I really like Adam. I think that Adam is a really great guy. I hope that he doesn't hurt Juliette because she has been hurt enough.

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