Shatter Me #1. HarperCollins (Nov. 2011) Own
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.
Let me first say that Shatter Me was one of those books I was hesitant to read for the longest time. It sounded kind of interesting. I mean a girl who has the power to kill you with her touch? That's pretty cool. But, I just didn't think I was going to like it... I don't know why. I guess for one I didn't get the obsession people had with the book covers which are on most blogs I've visited. Also, the plot didn't make the book sound like I needed to drop everything and read it right away. It just sounded alright. Why do those words make me cringe? Because I do this to myself all the time. I see this popular book and think "Nah, I'll read it if I have the time." Years later I fall in love with its story and its characters and I'm hitting myself over the head for waiting so long to read this amazingly wonderful read. Shatter Me was so engaging, so romantic, so everything! The only plus side to my blunder was that I got to read the series all in one go. That I do not regret.
I've already read the whole series. I promise not to spoil the story for anyone reading this. Just keep in mind that I loved this series and I might not be able to explain in a coherent way how much I truly love it.
Juliette has been ostracized her entire life. She constantly goes from school to school and is seen as a threat in each one. Her parents blame her for everything that is wrong in their life. Her existence is not wanted. Juliette was finally given up three years ago to the authorities after a tragic death caused by Juliette. She tried to tell people it was an accident but of course no one believes she is anything except a monster. Juliette can't forgive herself for what's she done. She is a shell of a girl when we meet her. She's been living in an asylum for 264 days where she sits and looks at the world outside and hopes and wishes for escape. Then someone new walks into her life. A handsome boy who looks so familiar... She soon discovers herself in the position of being forced to be a weapon for The Reestablishment, an organization that was supposed to save people from lack of food and water. Instead, The Reestablishment brought on terror to its people and a government that seeks to annihilate anyone who stands in their way.
What caught my attention at first was the writing. That might sound silly because with a book it's all about the writing. However, Mafi's writing throughout the story is very distinctive. It made me connect with Juliette right away. It made me see inside her head. A head filled with pain and words. She has this poetic sort of way of thinking which makes sense since with everyone hating her and all she used books to escape. She captures her thoughts in a journal that she isn't supposed to have with words that might never be known by anyone else but her. Sometimes Juliette says things in an overly dramatic way. Although, for the most part the writings flow makes it so that you realize she's just saying something in the moment and it doesn't matter in the long scheme of things. I wouldn't call Juliette dramatic at all though. She's only had a couple of thoughts that were worded strangely. Mostly, I saw Juliette as someone given a tough break in life. She's also someone who really cares about being good. There's a time where the book details examples of what she's done for other people without any recognition. It was really sad to read how she was written off by everyone including those she was nice too. I couldn't help feel for her. She didn't deserve what she got handed in life. It reminded me how people who get a bad wrap are never given a chance. Some people are worth that chance like Juliette was.
Different cultures, languages, everything is seen as a threat to the Reestablishment. Our differences are why the world is the way it is. The environment is going haywire. There are hardly any animals around. Birds haven't been seen in years. People are dying by the thousands. All this is brought on by people not taking care of the Earth. This story is a little bit scary if you think about it because it's a possibility in the future - a far off future but the future nonetheless if people don't wake up to the world around them including me. This book had a subtle way of showing what can lie in our destiny.
Adam is the mysterious boy that looks a little too familiar to Juliette. You don't really know where his allegiances lie even towards the end of the book. He becomes this silent protector and friend for Juliette. It's heartbreakingly sweet how he treats her sometimes because Juliette has never had anyone who cared to look at her other than something inhuman or wrong. Here's this guy who shows up out of the blue who accepts her for who she is. I questioned his motives throughout the whole book though. The way in which Juliette reacted to things made me think maybe he's not who he says he is. She really kept me on my toes on who to trust with Adam and crazy boy Warner. Warner is this boy bent for power. He's literally obsessed with Juliette. OBSESSED. He's kind of daunting. He does show Juliette his soft side at times but he's kind of unhinged so I was worried about what he would do the whole time.
So I know how this story goes but even the second time reading Shatter Me in such a short span of time made me so happy. Especially since I know how it all goes down. I cannot stress enough how much I love Juliette as a character. She really grew in this book and has plans to do more growing in upcoming books. Shatter Me and Juliette really took me by surprise. The writing is so good and the protagonist made me really care for her. It's such a good book and only gets better from here. By the way if you've only read Shatter Me do yourself a favor and read Destroy Me next. You will not regret it. And you won't regret reading this series!