“Shatter Me” Review


Imagine having spent your entire life in jail because no one knows what’s wrong with you. Doctors are afraid of you, children see you as a nightmare, and your parents have disowned you. You’ve never felt the warmth of a simple embrace. You’ve traveled all over the country but have never seen the world. You’re either handcuffed, strapped down, or locked up. Sleep only brings more nightmares than the ones you wake up to. Everyone flinches away from your touch.

Your touch is lethal.

For Juliette, this is the only life she knows. She spends her days locked in a cell, with only her notebook to keep her company. She counts the days, never knowing when her life as a prisoner will end. She lives in a place where she is not human, but a monster. A monster that mothers warn their children about and fathers keep a gun at the ready for.

Juliette has only known a life of solitude. So when the guards bring in Adam, a nineteen year old seemingly normal boy, she’s convinced that they’ve done this to torture her. To give her another human to speak with but never to touch. Never to be close enough to be friends. She pushes Adam away, not wanting anything to do with him, until she realizes one small detail her abused and tired brain had forgotten.

She knows him.

Written in the style of a journal, complete with cross outs and pages of nothing but her heroine’s thoughts, Tahereh Mafi’s debut novel Shatter Me is an addictive page turner dripping with romance and adventure. Despite the stereotype this book follows of being a young adult novel that, yet again, takes place in a dystopian world, the story does not disappoint. Mafi’s words are throbbing with passion. Description like “the inescapable ice of isolation” and “drops of hot water caught in his eyelashes like pearls forged from pain” allows the reader to step into Juliette’s world. Her emotions are almost tangible and suck you in from page one. Written beautifully and full of voice, Shatter Me is a novel that shows no matter how it presents itself, the light of hope will always shine through, even in the darkest tunnel.