Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Paperback edition, 338 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 2 October 2012
3.5/5 stars

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.

If you had a super power, what kind of power do you want? Invisibility, flying, or telekinesis, that would be the normal answer. But what if your power is deadly? You can’t touch other people, because of all the people you’ve touched would end up dead. What would you do? Would you consider it as a curse or a gift?

Juliette felt that she is a monster, because her touch is deadly. Her parents sent her to the mental hospital. Even when she still lived with her parents, she was treated like a monster. Her friends either talked behind her back or threw stones at her. In the mental hospital, she was isolated. Alone in the room, nobody ever visited or spoke to her. The only thing she had was a notebook, which she used to writes her thought. But still she feels lonely. How does it feels  to never touched / being touched  by other people for 264 days? It was natural for her to stared thinking that she was a monster.

Everything changed when people in the Reestablishment realized how useful Juliette power is. They began to made Juliette as a weapon, an instrument of torture. Juliette still feels like a monster. But she also learned to fight back, to take her own choices and freedom and began embracing her power as a gift instead of a curse.

Tahereh’s writing style may be annoying in the beginning. Too repetitive. But don’t give up. The repetitive writing style was necessary, because it reflects Juliette’s “crazy” state of mind. Along with Juliette’s character development, the writing style also gets better. It won’t be that repetitive and not so many word crossing.

Reading Juliette’s character development itself was such an amazing journey. From the girl who considers herself a monster, considered a monster by other people even by her own parents. From a girl who is trapped alone, a little crazy, and broken. From a girl who won’t use her power because she considers it as a curse. At the end of the book? Well she still have some doubts about herself. But she’s already learned how to use her power for useful things, even be a leader for others. But most importantly, she learned to accept for herself.

The cover is visually gorgeous! I personally thinks it represents Juliette seeing the world and people around her for the first time. The one who made it really do an amazing job. If you love paranormal and dystopia book, read this book. You won’t regret it at all. And remember, do not give up in the beginning because the writing style is repetitive. You won’t regret it at all for holding on and reading until the end.


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