Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi


TITLE : Shatter Me

AUTHOR : Tahereh Mafi

PUBLISHING DATE : November 15, 2011

PUBLISHER : Harper Collins


GENRE : Young Adult Dystopia


  • Insta-Love
  • Enemies-to-Lovers
  • Love Triangle
  • Heroine with Superpowers


I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

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.

“Hope is hugging me, holding me in its arms, wiping away my tears and telling me that today and tomorrow and two days from now I will be just fine and I’m so delirious I actually dare to believe it.”



Shatter Me is a YA Dystopia novel that follows the story of 17-year-old Juliette who has a lethal touch. Honestly, that is pretty much all I understood in this novel. Shatter Me is one of those books that you keep hearing about over and over until you decide to do something about it and well, pick up the damn book and see what the hype is all about. I entered this book all geared up, ready to find my new favorite series but I was utterly and irrevocably disappointed. Maybe the fact that I had heard such good things about this series had something to do with my disappointment being so monumental.

There are only two reasons why I write reviews that are this long. Either I loved the heck out of the book or hated it with every fiber of my being. Unfortunately for Shatter Me, it is the latter.

First of all, the purple prose was infuriating the life out of me. Striked off words littered my kindle’s screen and it was distracting to say the least. It was as if I was reading a partly edited manuscript and not the final version of the book. Additionally, the prose was riddled with unsolicited metaphors that seemed to bury the essence of the story and kept me wondering which sentence is a metaphor and which is supposed to have a direct interpretation. The messiness was too much for me to stand by and I gave up on the book thrice before I decided to just rip off the bandage and drudge through the book regardless.

As the story progresses, I think it kind of forgets that it is supposed to have a dystopian setting. Rather, it ventures into the Romance territory and sets up house there. It was hard to accept that I am reading a YA Dystopia and not a YA Romance that had a tinge of Dystopia. The worldbuilding was sorely lacking. In fact, after having read the 260 pages, I still couldn’t tell the geography or the setting of the novel. There was way too much ‘tell’ and practically no ‘show’.  Info dumps were prevalent and there wasn’t a single chapter that failed to mention Adam’s ‘blue eyes.’ I mean, there’s only so much one can take. The whole repetition thing was too much and it, in my opinion, it makes the book a hundred times worse.

The plot was… absent, I guess? There wasn’t really much happening in terms of storyline and it seemed as if the plot was on the back burner for the majority of the book. The reader knew right from the beginning that Juliette had some powers but that’s all. There wasn’t even a speck of information given about it. The whole thing was way too repetitive and I found myself losing interest more often than gaining it.

The entire story was riddled with way too many ‘coincidences’ for them to pass off as legitimate coincidences. Both the guys who are in love with the heroine can get away with touching her but no one else can and the radiation thing (which, by the way, I did not understand at all). The love triangle was so poorly executed that it made me want to bash my head on the wall. I tried my best to drag myself through the book because of the hype it garnered and I hoped that it would get better. Spoiler alert, it didn’t.

The only thing left, were the characters and even they felt pretty hollow. I failed to understand Juliette’s profound infatuation with Adam and the whole insta-love thing annoyed the crap out of me, for real. I have seen people all over Bookstagram go nuts over Warner and Juliette as a couple but I just couldn’t find it in me to care about them. In fact, in this book, I thought that Warner was a bit of a creep.

Perhaps the series will get better but for now, I can’t find the urge in me to pick up the next book. Since the moment I finished reading this book, I couldn’t even pick up another, sigh. I wish I get out of this slump super soon because it irks me that it’s been more than a month and I still cannot pick up a new book. Shatter Me ruined me, for real. And I don’t mean that in a good way.

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Tahereh Mafi (November 9, 1988) is an American author based in Santa Monica, California. She is known for writing young adult fiction.

She is the New York Times bestselling and National Book Award nominated author of books for children and young adults. She currently resides in Southern California with her husband, fellow author Ransom Riggs, and their daughter. Her most recent novel, An Emotion of Great Delight, is on shelves now. Look out for the first book in her new fantasy series, This Woven Kingdom, in February 2022.

Her work is represented by Jodi Reamer of Writers House, LLC.


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