Thursday, February 18, 2016

Audiobook Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Narrator: Kate Simses
Publication Date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins
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Review for book 2

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.

Warning: This review might be slightly spoilery, but I think pretty much everyone but me has read it by now anyway.

Shatter Me was recommended to me by approximately 17820183 people when I asked for a series where the bad guy gets the girl in the end. I went into this one knowing the ultimate romantic outcome, which I'm totally fine with. I didn't know a whole lot about this series other than that though, except apparently every person on the planet loves it. I didn't have super high expectations, I just wanted a good love story. Coming out on the other side, I'm thinking it's a good thing I wasn't expecting much.

This story is about Juliette, a girl who has super scary powers and hasn't seen another person in 264 days. Her entire life has been terrible up until the point when she suddenly gets a roommate (which never happens) at the mental institution she's currently locked up. Her roommate, Adam, happens to be a guy she knows and she immediately starts swooning over him. Juliette is a little messed up in the head after having such an awful life, which is understandable to an extent, but this book takes it to a ridiculous level and Juliette ends up being the kind of speshul sneauxflake character I wish I could just put out of her misery. She is weak and pathetic and is almost constantly crying, shaking, or gasping. The declaration in the synopsis that Juliette has to make a choice to be a weapon or a warrior is totally misleading.

Adam, the love interest, is a Gary Stu who is super swoony because... why? I never quite figured it out. I know he apparently has super amazing blue eyes. Other than that, I don't get it. Of course, he wouldn't be a true sneauxflake if he couldn't do something extra amazing which, in this case, happens to be touching Juliette. He is the only person who can touch her without dying. Awfully convenient, eh? I'm going to jump immediately into one of my main issues with this book here. The descriptions that Juliette used for everything were so ridiculous, even when they weren't completely insane metaphors. She used the term "small smile" to describe Adam's smile at least 278 times. I swear to you, this --------> is how I started seeing him after the 10th time she said it. (Go ahead and bow down to my mad photo editing skills. I laughed so hard, I cried.)

And then there was Warner. He's about the only character in this story with any real depth and honestly the only one I had any real interest in getting to know. IF I continue with this series, he'll be the only reason. I'm not really clear on how Warner is going to become a love interest, but he HAS to be better than Adam.

The world building in Shatter Me is almost non-existent. This book markets itself as dystopian, but it honestly isn't. It's a romance novel barely, barely passing itself off as something more. But hey, I wanted romance, right? I definitely got it!

As I've already mentioned a little bit, the writing was really my main issue here. It tried really hard to be unique but came off as really, REALLY annoying instead. Part of the problem is that I listened to it rather than reading a hard copy. If I had a copy in my hands, I would've skimmed a lot of the repetition, but I couldn't really skip past it. The absolute WORST was when Juliette repeated "I am not insane" at least a hundred times. I was ready to put my fist through a wall. Several other people have already listed some of the cringe-worthy metaphors, so I won't go into much detail there. Here are some of my personal favorite quotes, though:

"My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps."

"I am an old creaky staircase when I wake up."

"I'd like to cry into his eyes."

"My jaw is dangling from my shoelace."

I just literally cannot deal with this writing. At first it was unique, but by the end of the book I was rolling my eyes at least once every 5 seconds. I actually have a headache.

Tahereh Mafi tried so hard through the writing style to make this book unique that I was honestly shocked when, near the end, this became an actual ripoff of X-Men. Seriously. The whole gang was there. Rogue, Professor X, (male) Storm, and others. They had Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters Omega Point. They even had the suits! The only difference was that Rogue's Juliette's suit was purple. I swear to you, Adam actually told Juliette that she looked like a superhero at the end.

I didn't completely hate it. I just didn't like it and probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone over the age of 15. It's November 2017 and I'm back to tell you that I actually did hate this book. I will probably did still read the next book just because I know how the romance ends and I was interested to see how it gets there, but that's honestly the only reason. Morbid curiosity.