Monday, August 13, 2012

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi

"You can't touch me," I whisper. I'm lying, is what I don't tell him. He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him.  But things happen when people touch me. Strange things.  Bad things. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever.

Truth is a jealous, vicious mistress that never even sleeps, is what I don't tell him.  I'll never be okay.

Shatter Me  is a book that you're either going to love, or hate.  Luckily for me, I loved this book and am still thinking about it days after I finished reading it.  

Juliette is a 17-year-old girl that has been locked up in a prison-type setting for 264 days.  In those 264 days, she has not uttered a word to anyone.  She is in solitary confinement, dressed in rags and lucky to be served one meal a day.  She is clinging to whatever sanity she has left in her desolate world.  One day, another 17-year-old boy is assigned to her room as her cell mate.  Adam begins by attempting to intimidate Juliette, but Juliette is way beyond intimidation.  Although Juliette is confused by this new person in her life, she shows him how to shower and use the bathroom.  She begins talking to him, but once she looks into his eyes, she knows just how familiar Adam is to her. 

"Of course I remember you."  My voice is a strangled whisper.  I squeeze my eyes shut.  I remember you ever day forever in every single broken moment of my life.  "You were the only one who ever looked at me like a human being."

Juliette has been locked up because she is deadly - she can kill anyone with just the touch of her hand.  She is unable to control it.  Her parents were disgusted and horrified by her and threw her away like trash - they were only too happy to send her away to her prison.  Juliette believes she's a monster, and her personal journey towards acceptance is chronicled in this book.

"Juliette," he whispers, and I realize just how close he is.  I'm not sure why I haven't evaporated into nothingness.  "It's been me and you against the world forever," he says.  "It's always been that way.  It's my fault I took so long to do something about it."

Juliette is eventually freed from her prison because a military leader requests her presence.  Warner is the 19-year-old beautiful, yet evil and sociopathic, leader of Sector 45.  He wants Juliette as his toy to use as he sees fit.  In compensation, he will move Juliette into his military headquarters, which are posh compared to her current surroundings, and provide her with nice clothes and food.  Unfortunately, Warner is a part of the Reestablishment - the political movement that is attempting to control the world.  They are ruthless and power-hungry.  As it turns out, Adam is a member of the Reestablishment military corps as well.  

Juliette leaves with Warner and Adam and is situated in her own room while Adam is ordered to remain with her at all times.  Soon Juliette figures out that Warner wants to use her as a means to torture his enemies.  Although Julitette finds Warner attractive, she says multiple times that she hates him.  Warner makes Juliette do some truly horrible things so he can test her abilities.  He wants her to be his shiny, powerful new toy, and Juliette is having none of this.  At the same time that Warner seems sick and evil, he seems to genuinely believe that he's in love with Juliette.  And not only is he obsessed with her, but he wants her to want him back without any coercion.  

"You're sick - you're a sick, twisted monster.-"  "That's not the right answer," he says, and seems genuinely diappointed.  "It's the only answer you'll ever get from me."  His lips come too close.  "But I love you."  His eyes close.  He leans his forehead against mine.  "You have no idea what you do to me."  

Adam and Juliette fall into a passionate relationship once she figures out the truth about his motives.  She also learns how Adam is very special in more ways than one.  Adam and Juliette hatch a plan to escape and grow closer as this story progresses.  There are several hot scenes where they almost have sexy, sexy times, yet are interrupted or stop for one reason or another.  

I tiptoe forward and he pulls me into his arms.  Breathes in the scent of my hair and kisses the side of my head and I've never felt anything so incredible in my life.  I'm not even human anymore.  I'm so much more.  The sun and the moon have merged and the earth is upside down.  I feel like I can be exactly who I want to be in his arms.

 Adam and Juliette eventually find themselves on the run.  We find out some interesting information regarding Adam which relates to Warner that I hope will be explored more in Unravel Me due in February 2013.  By the end of this book, Juliette finally begins to feel that she is not a monster and that she is worth something.  Her progress from beginning to end is and hard fought for.  

I gasp and he's kissing me, deep and powerful and unrestrained.  His arms wrap around my back, dipping my body until I'm practically horizontal and I don't care.  My head is on the sear, his frame is hovering over me, his hands gripping my hips from under my tattered dress and I'm licked by a million flames of wanting so desperate I can hardly inhale.  He's a hot bath, a short breath, 5 days of summer pressed into 5 fingers writing stories on my body.  
I really enjoyed the place where Adam and Juliette end up travelling to for safety.  I don't want to say too much for fear of spoiling it, but there are some very intriguing story lines that begin.  However, the one thing that I keep thinking about is the truthfulness of the other people they meet.  Just because they are supposed to be the "good guys," are they truly good?  I hope Juliette and Adam aren't being manipulated by these people and that these two have made the right decision.

There are many people, I think, that will have a problem with the author's writing style in this book.  I was very intrigued by it - from the grand metaphors and similies, to the crossed out text and Juliette's obsession with numbers.  I found that all of these writing devices made me feel just how close to insanity Juliette truly is.  Malfi writes with a huge helping of emotion and knows how to write a love story.  

My only complaint with this book is that the door is left open for an ugly love triangle.  Although Juliette says she hates Warner, tells him he is sick and even tries to kill him at one point, she is still attracted to him.  It's like watching a train wreck.  She knows he is psychotic.  She knows he wants to use her.  She knows he's evil.  Yet in a particular scene, she has to remind herself that she's in a perverted situation?  Come on Juliette!  You're smarter than this.  
His arms are strong around me, his lips soft, almost sweet against my skin.  There's an electric charge between us I hadn't anticipated.  My head is spinning.  His lips are on my neck, tasting me, devouring me, and I force myself to think straight.  I force myself to understand the perversion of this situation.  I don't know how to reconcile the confusion in my mind, my hesitant repulsion, my inexplicable chemical reaction to his lips.

Overall, I loved this book.  I couldn't put it down and constantly questioned myself as to why it has taken me so long to read this.  If you're a fan of hot, emotional YA stories, this is a gold mine.   I am very much looking forward to the novella Destroy Me which will be released in October 2012, and is told from Warner's point of view.  As much as I know that Warner is crazy, there is something very interesting about a book told from his warped view.  

"You're my bird," I tell him.  "You're my bird and you're going to help me fly away."


Mariya said...

Adored this book! I can't wait for the second book! IT's gonna be soooo good I bet! :))

Jamie said...

Oh, I hope so, Mariya! As much as I don't want the dreaded love triangle, I want a good angsty story to read.

Liesel K Hill said...

Thanks for this review! I'm glad you ended up liking it. I generally hear good things about it. It's high on my TBR list! :D

Braine TS said...

I don't think I will pick this book up but thanks for quenching my curiosity with this review. This series has lovely covers by the way.

Post a Comment

Due to an increase in spam, all comments are moderated. Even if you do not see an "awaiting approval" message, please only submit your comment once. Sorry for the inconvenience.