Title: Shatter me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Review: The opening to Shatter me was great we meet Juliette who has been locked up in a mental asylum for a long time when she is given a cellmate in Adam. At first she is terrified of him but over the weeks they are locked up together she begins to open to him but won’t ever allow him to touch her. It turns out Juliette can kill people by touching them and this is why she is being isolated in a cell, she also realizes she already knows Adam as they went to school together but he doesn’t remember her. After weeks of being locked up they are suddenly removed at gunpoint and Juliette believes she is walking to her death. This isn’t so, it turns out Adam is a soldier and was locked up with Juliette to test her and she apparently passed. Adam’s commanding officer Warner wants to make a proposition with Juliette but we don’t know for what yet.
As we approach the ¼ mark in the novel we learn that Warner wants to use Juliette as a weapon. He tries to break her by giving her a life she hasn’t had for a long time. She is given good food, a warm bed and nice clothes but she refuses everything Warner attempts to give her. It is only when he forces someone to touch her and he is gravely injured that we see Warner is deadly serious about using Juliette to his advantage. To be honest I didn’t really like Adam or Warner at this point in the novel because they both want to use Juliette and don’t care about her feelings or slightly fragile mental state at all. Seeing Juliette’s power in action though was amazing but she does freak out afterwards as touching people is something she has avoided for a long time because she knows what she is capable of.
As we cross the 1/4 mark in the novel we see Juliette in a completely different type of captivity with Warner constantly pressuring her to use her “gift” as her describes it. Despite seeing her power it doesn’t affect Adam for some reason and he theorizes this is why Warner wants her. It is around this point in the novel we see the love triangle forming between Juliette, Warner and Adam.
As we approach the halfway mark in the novel we see Juliette trying to convince herself that she isn’t like Warner and that the murder she committed was an accident but whether she actually believes this is yet to be seen. The depravity and desperation we see is unbelievable especially since we see the world through Juliette’s naïve eyes. Adam and Juliette plan to escape from Warner especially since Adam is the only one who can touch Juliette. We also learn that she is more powerful than anyone first thought, when Warner makes her hurt a young boy she smashes through a concrete wall with her bare hands scaring the life out of everyone except Warner who seems even more fascinated by her than he was previously.
As we cross into the second half of the novel we see Adam and Juliette escape after Warner’s plan goes wrong but we also see a few others things namely Adam confronting Warner and declaring his love for Juliette. The most interesting thing though is we learn that Warner touched Juliette with his bare hand and nothing happened although in the heat of the moment it is impossible to know whether Warner knows this happened or not. The pair end up hiding out at Adam’s home with his younger brother James to recover from their daring escape. Adam in the brief time they have been together tries to teach Juliette that she is worthy of love and affection despite being different. We also see further into Adam and Juliette’s past which honestly brought a tear or two to my eyes.
As we approach the ¾ mark in the novel Kenji turns up at Adam’s house badly injured, Adam immediately know it isn’t safe there for any of them now and they have to leave as soon as they can. Before they can make a run for it Warner and his men arrive, the group split and during the chase Adam is injured and left for dead and Warner takes Juliette. I was so scared for her but her quick thinking and anger lead to some dramatic events. The group quickly reunites and head for the safe place Kenji mentioned earlier as there is nowhere else they can go.
As we cross into the final section of the novel we see Kenji bring the other to Omega Point which is a safe heaven for people with unusual gifts like Juliette and for the first time she doesn’t feel alone, she doesn’t feel like a monster, she feels human. We are also introduced to a variety of characters who we will get more depth on in the next book but some of the ones we meet now I love already. In a twist we also learn that Warner isn’t dead and he hasn’t given up his quest to get Juliette back. I honestly can’t wait to get stuck into the next book to see what happens to everyone next.
Overall, I loved Shatter me a lot more than I did the first time I read it and I would highly recommend it for fans of dystopian novels and it would also make a great starter book if you are looking to get into the dystopian genre.
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