Saturday, March 16, 2013

Audiobook Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Shatter Me
Tahereh Mafi
Narrator: Kate Simses
Publisher: Harper Audio
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Acquired Via:
Overdrive (Library)

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.

My Review

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi is probably one of the most beautifully written books that I have ever read. I also almost gave up on it completely after about 10% of it. Kate Simses, the narrator, was definitely Shatter Me's saving grace.

Since I listened to the audiobook, I think it changed the reading experience. (I cannot tell you if it was for better or worse.) For one, I missed out on the scratching out of phrases except for the brief ripping sounds in the audiobook. Honestly, I thought it was skipping at first. It was more annoying than effective. As for the flowery descriptiveness, I would have probably skimmed through most of that. Mafi used strings of similes and metaphors to say the simplest things. It was the most lovely overkill that I've ever experienced. It was torturous to sit through, being as it was used mostly to illustrate the hormonal explosions happening with Juliette. I have read borderline erotica that did not have heroines so needy and starved for human touch as that girl. Granted, she had spent nearly a year in solitary confinement at an insane asylum. That lusty desperation overshadowed the majority of the novel. Juliette was either pining over Adam, the boy thrown in the cell with her at the start of the novel, or waxing poetic about Warner, the twisted leader of the sector. I know that she hated Warner, but she infused much of that hatred with flowery descriptions of his hotness. Say what you will about me, but I will forever refer to this novel as The Passionate, Desperate Ramblings of a Lonely, Horny Teenager from this day forth.

As for the characters themselves, I did not find myself really liking, hating, or even feeling sympathetic to any of them. Juliette was a very weak person who let herself be defeated by her circumstances young girl who has gone through a lot. She wallowed, nay luxuriated, in self-hatred because of her ability and did not really think of herself as a worthwhile human being deserving to be treated as one until Adam began showing affection toward her. That pissed me off that she required a male for her own happiness made me very sad. As for Adam, he mislead her from the start, and I kept waiting for him to pull a trick out of his hat. That is not a good way to start a romance. Warner is a twisted, mean bastard, but he never tried to be anything but that. Juliette always knew where she stood with him and what he was capable of, whether she liked it or not. James was probably the only character I came remotely close to liking, but he did not come along until much later in the book. Unfortunately, he is very much a secondary character, and I don't see him progressing into much more than a cute kid on the sidelines.

The setting of the novel itself was interesting, but not enough to really redeem the book. The world was changed, causing death of animals, plants, and nearly humanity. A group called the Reestablishment took over the government and was trying to save what it could of the people around the world. The Passionate, Desperate Ramblings of a Lonely, Horny Teenager... Err... I mean Shatter Me is a dystopian, so the Reestablishment was, of course, portrayed as EeeeVille. Realistically, when times are tough, people get hard. Look at the Middle Ages. The whole concept was interesting, but nothing new. The setting was also used to get a bit preachy about environmentalism.

It would be unfair of me to at least not mention that the book picked up at the end, but it was too little too late. Juliette does put a damper on those raging hormones and becomes a tad bit more interesting, but it's in the last chapters. There is finally talk of the powers Juliette and others have developed, but it's really nothing new. *coughs* X-Men *coughs* I have hopes that she'll stay remotely interesting in the later books in the series, but I don't know if Ill stick with it to see.

The Passionate, Desperate Ramblings of a Lonely, Horny Teenager Shatter Me is a beautifully written hot mess young adult novel that I bet teenagers are loving everywhere. I even have adult readers that I'm looking forward to giving the book to at the library because I know they'll love it. However, The Passionate, Desperate Ramblings of a Lonely, Horny Teenager Shatter Me is most assuredly not for me.

- 1.5 Stars -

Buy Links
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  1. Ouch that was brutal. I'm sorry you didn't enjoyed it. This was one of my favorite books last year.

  2. I went in with high hopes, and I really wanted to love it. It just didn't work out. :-(

  3. LOL. The retitling. *dies* Ummm, yeah, so basically I don't think I'll like this, but I'm going to read it and we can make fun of it together I guess. At least you like the writing. I think the purple prose is going to kill me.

  4. Oh Kayla, you crack me up, that is one of the best reviews I've read in a long time. I'm so on the fence about this book, and when I get to it, I'm going to go in with low expectations and hope it's a pleasant surprise.

    Though now, maybe not ;-)

  5. @Christina I have no doubt that you won't like it. I thought the writing was gorgeous - it really was - but I think I'd rather have a tooth pulled. It was just too much.

    @Kat Thanks! :-D There is just so much that went wrong with the book. I think my problem is that I like dystopian novels, but not dystopian ROMANCE novels. I don't think I'd be wasting my time worrying about whether or not Boy A & Boy B want to kiss me if I was being chased by an evil government or whatever.

  6. Finally someone else who didn't like this book. I thought I was the only one and that my review was too harsh but I absolutely hated the writing, the characters and the lack of world building! I went into this with such high expectations because everyone seemed to love it, it's a shame I didn't see this review first!

    1. I think my review was a little too generous now. I went in thinking that I would love it, and no. No. No. NO. Why are there not more reviewers that didn't like this book? *shakes head sadly* If I want to read the rantings of a crazy person, there are much better books than this one.


You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!