I haven’t had a good rant in a long time, so here we go. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (who interestingly enough is married to Ransom Riggs, the author of the Miss Peregrine’s home for Peculiar Children’s series.)
I did not like this book.
To make things clear, I didn’t hate this book. If I truly hate a book or find it boring, I’d put it down and not pick it back up. I certainly wouldn’t finish it (and then read the next two books in the series). So since I finished these books, I didn’t hate them. But they are nowhere near my favorite book list and I got frustrated several times while reading.
So here’s the plot. (some spoilers) The planet is dying and government has fallen, something called the reestablishment has taken over. At first, it seemed like a good idea to help due to the irregular weather patterns, the fact that animals and crops are dying like crazy and that people aren’t doing so well. But of course, they’re actually taking over in bad ways/
Enter main character, Juliette, a 17 year old. She has a strange power, where her touch is deadly and anyone who comes in contact with her will die. She accidentally killed a little boy three years ago, everything thinks she’s dangerous now and has been tossed in an asylum. The novel starts with her locked away tight, half insane and hasn’t spoken to a person in many months. A handsome guy with dark hair is put inside her cell with her-named Adam and they start a friendship that you know will turn into a romance.
She is instantly in love. Also turns out the two of them knew each other as children and while they never once spoke, they loved each other secretly. It also turns out Adam can touch her without dying.
This all turns out to be a ruse of the leader of this city’s Reestablishment, army thing Warner, who is a 19 and crazy obsessed with Juliette. Adam is a soldier, but Juliette and Adam find a way to start a secret romance and make plans to escape. Along the way they meet another soldier named Kenji (By far my favorite character) and he get’s roped along for the ride.
But then they learn Warner can touch her as well! Dun dun dun.
I’ll first talk what I like.
Kenji. I wish he was the main character and Juliette was not. Without giving the ending away, he has a double agenda and actually has a personality. Even after reading three books about these characters, he’s really the only one who stands out. He’s funny, has a snarky mouth, swears constantly and has a knack for getting himself into trouble.
He’s the reason I didn’t put this book down. If he hadn’t been in the book, I prob would of stopped reading.
I also liked the (bit) of world building the book did and really wanted more. I’m still not sure exactly where in the world they are. I wanted more history and more about what happened and how this all came to be. Lot of missed potential.
Alright, now what I don’t like.
The writing. Holy crap, someone really needed to sit this lady down and have a serious talk with her. The writing is way too overdone and is full of stuff like this.
“My jaw is hanging from my shoelace.”
“My eyelashes trip into my eyebrows; my jaw drops into my mouth.”
“He leans back against the couch. Runs a free hand over his face. Seasons change. Stars explode. Someone is walking on the moon.”
To be fair, she does have a few that are poetic and lovely. But when there’s three or four every page (and half of them don’t even make sense!) it’s very tiresome.
Except for Kenji, the characters are really… bland and annoying. I don’t understand how Kenji is so awesome and the rest are so annoying.
Adam is the typical nice guy (at least until book three when suddenly aliens take over his body and he goes complete OOC) He’s described as having beautiful blue eyes and is instantly in love with her.
Warren, the leader (which as someone from a military family and knows a lot about the military, I find it so weird that they let a random 19 year old kid be in charge. But whatever) Is described as being “inhumanly handsome” (which makes me grit my teeth. I really hate it when author’s force us to believe their characters are the most beautiful things ever.) and has piercing green eyes. Again, he is obsessed in love with Juliette and wants to make her into a weapon.
He hardly tries to do this. Instead he dressed her in pretty clothes and calls her love and makes her sleep in a large beautiful bed. Yes, he does try to make her touch people a few times and does threaten Adam, but for the most part just talks like a cheese-ball Bond villain.
This could of been interesting. I wish he hadn’t been in love with her and spent his time actively trying to make her into a weapon. But no. He’s too busy smirking and being a “bad boy.”
And then there’s the main character. I didn’t care for her very much. She doesn’t have much personality. Warner describes her as feisty early on, but I have no idea why he does. She’s broken and scared, like the opposite of feisty. When they actually escapes, she tries to help out, but until then, she just sits around and waits for Adam to rescue her.
I love love characters who start out as broken and grow and change. But man, I dislike her so much. In the second book, I wanted to slap the crap out of her multiple times.
Then finally, this is said to be dystopian romance, but it’s more romance with a touch of dystopia in the background. Even before I read the second and third one, I could tell its setting up a love triangle. Juliette feels a spark toward Warner.
To sum one, one half baked idea, tons and tons of romance, one great character and a bunch of boring ones. I would not really recommend. Unless sudden romance where their lives are in danger, but they stop to kiss instead of running for their lives is your thing.
It’s not really mine.