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enyaceleste

Shatter Me  - Tahereh Mafi This review was originally posted on http://threecatsandabook.blogspot.com/

Having heard only a-ma-zing things about this book I was expecting one of the best reads of at least this year. Instead I ended up dreading to continue reading this book. I always force myself to finish reading books, even when it takes me several months, and I’m glad I finished Shatter Me. But I doubt I’ll pick up the sequel Unravel Me. And that makes me sad because I still want to read the Shatter Me I expected to read.

Shatter Me is about Juillet whose touch is fatal. She grew up thinking she was a monster and for the past couple of years she has been locked up so she can’t hurt anyone. But the Reestablishment releases her from her cell because they have great plans for her. They want to use her as a torture device.

My first problem with this book was Juillet. I didn’t like her at all. And since this book is narrated by her, the fact that I don’t like her is quite a big deal. What I don’t like about her is a combination of her personality and her writing style, the writing style of this book.
Most people love this book because of the prose filled with imagery and similes. I dislike this book for the exact same reason. The writing is way too dramatic to my liking and so is Juillet. I understand that her situation sucks but does she have to whine about everything over and over again?

Some examples:
“His shoulders are so close too close never close enough.”
“All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.”
“My body is a carnivorous flower, a poisonous houseplant, a loaded gun with a million triggers and he's more than ready to fire.”
“Hate looks just like everybody else until it smiles. Until it spins around and lies with lips and teeth carved into the semblance of something too passive to punch.”
I don’t mind some imagery and some descriptions. But enough is enough. Neither do I mind an unusual writing style. For example in the Knife of Never Letting Go different types of fonts were used throughout the book and I loved that. But in Shatter Me Juillet crosses out sentences and gets too passionate to use punctuation properly. She also repeats words and sentences to emphasize how she feels. Again, this is too much for me. Turn down the drama a notch, Juillet.

The storyline could have added a star or two to my rating if it didn't take forever for something to actually happen. It wasn't until the last 50 pages that I was actually looking forward to finding out what would happen next. Then again, maybe I didn't like the story because none of the characters interested me. As you know by now, Juillet and I didn't really get along. But I’m not a big fan of her love interest, Adam, either. And let me not even start about Juillet and Adam together. Their relationship and especially the way it develops was awful. It developed way too quickly and their steamy scenes were a new kind of awkward.

Like I said, I really wish I liked this book. The prose, the slow-paced plot, but mostly Juillet and her relationship with Adam left me giving this book a low rating. The only reason why I might read Unravel Me is that it bothered me that it isn't explained in Shatter Me why Juliette’s touch is lethal. But then again I'd have to get through almost 500 pages of Juillet’s narrative. I'm not quite sure if that’s worth it.