Shatter Me

Finished Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.

Juliette has been imprisoned for three years.  (She could give you the exact time; I cannot.)  She accidentally killed someone just by touching them, and so her parents—who had been extremely cruel and neglectful even before that—agreed to have her locked up for the greater good.  So she goes on, day after day, being largely ignored and not touched by anyone.  And then she gets a roommate, Adam.  She’s immediately drawn to him, but is he who he appears to be?

This is one of those books that is nearly impossible to put down.  I got sucked into Juliette’s life right away and I immediately liked her.  One of the writing devices I really enjoyed was the author’s use of the strikethrough to show the difference between Juliette’s “acceptable” thoughts and how she really felt but didn’t feel justified in expressing.  Laurie Halse Anderson used it to great effect in Wintergirls, and it worked just as well here.  Even better, as the story progressed and Juliette became more confident, she used it less and less.  I love that kind of proof that the character is progressing. :)

Also, the story between Juliette and Adam is intense.  Even though I was never quite sure whether she could trust him, I still rooted for them as a couple. 

But even better than the love story?  The dystopian world.  Earth is basically destroyed and the country is run by people who were supposed to fix the problems but instead broke everything even more.  There’s theoretically a resistance, but nobody’s sure if that’s true or if it’s an urban legend.  (If there is a resistance movement, there’s also a good chance that the people in charge are also using it as an excuse to crack down on everyone even harder.)

I mention that to show how potentially valuable Juliette is.  Can you imagine how much a dictator would love you if you can kill someone with your bare hands?

This is a fun, creepy story.  Recommended.

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