Sunday, May 13, 2012

Guest Post on Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Published: November 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 352
Copy: Library

Shatter Me (Good reads Summary)

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.

Shatter. Crack. Glass. Mirror. Reflection. Me. You. Us. Them. Us versus them. Win. Lose. Fall...

Stream of consciousness: A writing exercise in which you start with a single word, and write down every thought that follows, no censoring allowed. It was one of my favourites in my creative writing class in high school. Shatter Me reminded me of this writing exercise, which is probably why, once I started, I had to force myself to put it down. I absolutely RACED through this book, which I haven't done in months. The narrative is told from 17 year old Juliette's perspective. It is a stylized way of writing that may not resonate with all, but struck a chord with the poet in me. The book opens with a chronicling of Juliette's time in prison - and her reaction to an unexpected cell-mate. We are privy to the initial thoughts she has (emphasized with a strike-through in the text) followed by the thoughts or words she actually shared. Wouldn't it be interesting to have that insight in our daily lives?! On second thought...perhaps it's better left to the books...yikes!

I loved the plot development in this story almost as much as I loved the characters; Juliette, Adam (uh hello, I'm in LOVE!), James and Kenji...even Warner, the antagonist of the story. Mafi's writing style is like prose-perfected, and her descriptions of the simplest things are absolutely mesmerizing (Adam's eyes, raindrops, pain, affection). I can't say too much without giving away the plot. But, I will say that I was unabashedly riveted from start to finish with Mafi's dystopian novel. I am anxiously awaiting the second book, as it predecessor left me with a cliff-hanger ending, and a plot twist in its final pages that was completely unexpected. If you were a fan of X-men or the Hunger Games, it is likely you will be a fan of Shatter Me as well!

Many thanks again to Ellie Kathryn from Wide Eyed with Wonder for her review.

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