Sunday, May 26, 2013

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

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.

This is probably the worst book I’ve read in years, and I’ve read a lot of books. It boggles the mind that this novel, and I use the word very, very loosely, made it through an agent, an acquisitions editor and multiple editors after that. What is going on with the publishing industry?

Let’s start with the characters, or lack thereof. Juliette is supposed to be our heroine. Yeah, right. She is the most useless waste of a character I’ve ever read. She is a melodramatic coward who spew these kinds of thoughts (and these are direct quotes): “I don’t understand why I need to wear clothes anymore and I’m a cumulonimbus existence of thunder and lightning and the possibility of exploding into tears at any inopportune moment,” and “My heart is a stick of butter, melting recklessly on a hot summer day,” oh, one more for the hell of it, “My eyelashes trip into my eyebrows; my jaw drops into my lap.” Those are just some of the awfulness of the writing as well as the thoughts in our “heroine’s” head. What a mess. Adam, the love interest, has no personality whatsoever. He is as pointless as she is and follows the author’s plot without any real reason. Their sudden attraction makes no sense, but after the first page or two I really didn’t expect it to.

The storyline has no plot, no tension, nothing to hold it together. It reads like a badly written fan-fiction, with apologies to fan-fiction writers. The author uses gimmicks that are supposed to make the story, I don’t know, more interesting, things like not using commas when Juliette is going through “strong emotions” which backfires on her because that means half the book is missing commas. Oh, and she’ll write one of Juliette’s thoughts and then cross it out as if it was too strong, too controversial to even allow her character to think it. When an author uses gimmick like that, you know you’re in for a long night.

My Kindle says that it’s two-hundred-sixty-nine pages long and it took me two months to finish it because it was so boring. Plus I was rolling my eyes so much that I was afraid they’d get stuck that way.

So. Don’t read this one. Really. I cannot stress it enough how awful it is.


Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

Oh bummer. I hear mixed things on this one. Some love the almost convoluted way Juliette thinks, but I think after those examples I will definitely pass on this one!

Thanks for the warning!

Ellen said...

This post cracked me up. I absolutely understand worrying about your eyes getting stuck when rolling...I did that with Harkness's Shadow of Night! Next time I have a bad day, I'm just going to say "I'm a cumulonimbus existence of thunder and lighting" - that's just too funny!

Unknown said...

Oh no! I just got this book! :P Hm... I'll probably read it just for the laughs then :D. Great review!