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.
Worth the hype or not worth it’s salt?
Hey guys! Welcome back to another review! This is my second post in my ‘Overhyped?’ series – a series of posts where I review books that have been massively hyped up and discuss whether those books are overhyped or not. If you want to check out my other posts in this series you can find them here.
I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading Shatter Me – I’d heard a lot of people talking about it and it was a book that I’ve been hearing about for a long time but I’d never fancied picking it up. Recently, however, I started hearing a bit of mixed feelings about the book and, if you know me at all, mixed feelings is the only thing needed to tempt me into reading something. I’m going to take this opportunity to say that I am going to be completely honest in this review and, if you love this book, please don’t be offended – everything I say here is just my opinion.
Rumours are more likely to kill you than I am.
I think the first thing that put me off this book is the writing style. I understand that it’s a stream of consciousness, and I often enjoy a stream of consciousness point of view, but I think that in Shatter Me it was just a bit too overdone. There were often moments where the writing was incredibly repetitive and, while I understand it was trying to make a point, it was just straight up annoying. Furthermore, basically the entire story is filled to the brim with terrible metaphors and similes that just miss the point. It was exhausting trying to navigate the minefield that was this book, trying to find the small bits of plot and substance amongst all the tack and superfluidity.
The romance is one of the most frustrating parts of this book. It felt very much like insta-love – even though they’ve known each other since they were young, they’d barely spoken three words to each other before they’d decided that life wasn’t worth living without each other. Juliette and Adam are oddly intimate in times of danger – they could literally be running for their lives and stop to caress each other’s cheeks and stare into each other’s lives. Not to mention Adam’s knight in shining armour complex that seemingly comes out of nowhere. Juliette has certainly proven to be capable to take care of herself. I mean, her touch literally kills people, but no, Adam has to save the day.
He’s kissing away the pain, the hurt, the years of self-loathing, the insecurities, the dashed hopes of a future I always pictured as obsolete.
Puh-lese. I don’t mean to roll my eyes, but really? Really? Out of all the tropes littering this so called ‘novel’, this very much perpetuates the idea that a man can come into your life and fix everything. Considering that Shatter Me is written by a female author I’d honestly expected much better.
My life is four walls of missed opportunities poured in concrete molds.
The characters. Oh the characters. Where do I even begin? I think Mafi at one point writes “Warner thinks Adam is a cardboard cutout of vanilla regurgitations.” While I don’t know where to begin with making this sentence make some sort of sense, she has somehow captured the essence of every single person in her book. Adam actually is a cardboard cutout of vanilla regurgitations and mostly just stands there and makes gooey eyes at Juliette. Warner is the worst excuse for a villain ever written. Ever. I mean, he does have the ability to make me feel uncomfortable and comes across a little creepy, but I’ve heard that he’s a character that people now love, and I can’t deal with the idea that people actually like someone who forced a child – because Juliette is, indeed, a child – to torture someone against their will. Not to mention that I thought he was in his 40s for way too long.
And Juliette. Jesus. I know she’s supposed to be pretty – even though she’s been locked up and starved for months – but why oh why is everyone falling in love with her? She’s as bland as a garden snail, does nothing but whine and complain – yes, I know she’s been through a lot, I get it, I still don’t like her – and her power, the most interesting thing about her, is never actually explained or explored in any depth. Not to mention she’s just another teenage girl in a YA book who ‘doesn’t like dresses’ and therefore must be a strong female character. At this point I want to take every insipid, interchangeable girl who thinks she’s so bloody awe-inspiring and unique for not liking dresses and throwing them into the trash, where they belong.
Overhyped? Or not my cup of tea?
So the question ultimately comes down to this: is this book hyped up way too much, or is it just not for me? Coming from a critical point of view I understand that Mafi was trying to go for a more unique writing style, but honestly the writing just felt so self-gratifying and uncomfortable to read. The story was basically nonexistent and the only redeemable quality of this book was James, Adam’s younger brother. I can see why people like this book, but there is just way too much going on for me to be able to enjoy the writing for what it is. Mafi just needs to be reigned in, her excitement needs to be held back. A metaphor should be precious, handed out sparingly. When you get one, it’s exciting, it stands out, it’s the cherry on top of the cake. But instead, Mafi throws them about like raindrops, letting them fall where they may. They get in the way of the story. They’re too much,
So yes, at face value, this book is vastly overhyped. Does it have potential? Yes. This reads as more of a first draft, in my opinion. The plot needs more substance, the characters need more depth, but you can see the beginnings of a good story underneath all the mulch.
Have you read Shatter Me? What did you think of the book?
Do you think it was overhyped? Or do you love this book and disagree with me completely?
As always, if you enjoyed this post please don’t forget to give it a like and subscribe to be notified every time I post! Until next time!