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The Fiction Conniption

Proud book geek and YA enthusiast. Can also find me at my other book blog home www.tyngasreviews.com




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Unravel Me

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me  - Tahereh Mafi

There are some main characters in books that will just reach out and touch you. In Shatter Me, Juliette has been confined in an insane asylum for the last 264 days. She hasn’t touched a single human being, hasn’t spoken a word in as long – because society has discarded her.

Besides, the world is falling down around them, the Reestablishment has promised to rebuild the hope and future that the world once shared, but now the birds are falling, the clouds are the wrong color, and everyone is dying. Nothing is as it was. And no one has time to worry about what might be causing one girl’s touch to be able to kill.

Shatter Me opens with Juliette writing in a notebook while in prison. The depth of her solitude is absolutely heart-breaking. Some of the lines she writes just seemed to reach down into a part of my soul that completely understood her right from the first page.

"Hello world, you will forget me."

Time no longer holds any meaning for Juliette – each day is the same as the miserable day before. No one speaks to her, no one touches her, no one remembers her.

"Killing time isn't as difficult as it sounds. I can shoot a hundred numbers through the chest and watch them bleed decimal points in the palm of my hand. I can rip the numbers off a clock and watch the hour hand tick tick tick its final tock just before I fall asleep. I can suffocate seconds just by holding my breath. I’ve been murdering minutes for hours and no one seems to mind."

Until one day another prisoner named Adam comes to share her cell, and forces her to learn to connect with others again. He reawakens the part of her that had forgotten how to reach out and trust another person. Adam and Juliette are taken from the asylum where the Reestablishment's terrifying leader, Warner, has been waiting for Juliette. He has visions of using her as the ultimate weapon for the movement, and he's determined she see the world through his murderous lens.

I don't have any issue with love triangles. As expected, Shatter Me does throw in a hint of this sort of drama. But it really upset me in this book, because I felt as though it somehow cheapened the romance happening on all sides. Sometimes two people really need just each other – sometimes I need to read about a heroine who knows what she wants and who she loves and who she trusts. I know life isn’t easy, but in this case, it was right in front of her. I wasn’t at all on the same page as her when it came to her confusion.

The lyrical writing in Shatter Me is what won me over. The story is fascinating, the romance is lovely, the somewhat disconnected dystopian world definitely held my interest, and yet – it was Juliette’s thoughts that continually pulled me back.

"This time I'm in his arms and against the wall and I'm trembling everywhere and he's so gentle, so careful, touching me like I'm made of porcelain and I want to shatter. He's running his hands down my body running his eyes across my face running laps with his heart and I'm running marathons with my mind. Everything is on fire. My cheeks my hands the pit of my stomach and I'm drowning in waves of emotion and a storm of fresh rain and all I feel is the strength of his silhouette against mine and I never ever ever ever want to forget this moment. I want to stamp him into my skin and save him forever."

Um, hello there, gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous writing. I was quite literally holding my breath while reading scenes like these. When reading on my iPad, I often highlight passages like the ones above that really left an impression on me or that I just found completely beautiful.

Normally there's just 2 or 3 of these in a book, if that. Want to know how many highlighted notes I have in Shatter Me? 37. Thirty-seven times that I was holding my breath because the writing was just that beautiful I didn't want to breathe and accidentally break it. It's just that lovely.

It likely goes without saying, but I will be anxiously waiting to get my hands on the sequels Destroy Me and Unravel Me just as soon as I can.