Teen Review: Shatter Me

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Reviewed by Sophie V.

Shatter Me tells the story of 17 year old Juliette Ferrars, a girl who’s touch can kill. The book starts with her in an asylum because years ago, she accidentally killed a young boy. Juliette’s mental state is slightly unstable, as she has spent the last few years in isolation and guilt. However, she gets a cellmate, Adam, just as she thinks she is about to go insane. As time goes on, she becomes comfortable with Adam, showing him how to adjust to this new life. However, it is later revealed that Adam was actually a spy for the Reestablishment (the evil government). She and Adam go to Sector 45 and meet Warner, the leader of the sector. Warner proposes that Juliette work for the Reestablishment by killing the rebels, and in turn, would have a luxurious life. Juliette refuses Warner’s offer, and instead, tries to make his life as difficult as possible. Warner continues to disgust Juliette with his ruthless actions: beating Adam because of Juliette’s actions, killing his soldier for giving food to rebels, and having one die by touching Juliette. While Juliette’s hatred towards Warner grows, she creates a romantic relationship with Adam and realizes she can touch him without repercussions. Juliette and Adam create a plan to escape, and once they do, they go to Adam’s home where his little brother lives. Kenji, a fellow soldier, also goes to Adam’s home to warn them that Warner is coming. The group is able to escape from Warner, but Adam suffers serious injuries. They head to a potential safe haven, a place they later learn is called Omega Point. There, Adam is healed, and Juliette meets the leader, Castle. Castle says Omega Point is a refuge for people with powers, and that he wants Juliette to join their rebel cause against the Reestablishment. Juliette accepts his offer.  

Juliette’s character is easy to sympathize with, as her tragic history unfolds before the reader. They root for her and want what is best for her. Warner, on the other hand, is an easy character to hate, and some of his actions are repulsive. However, there is duality to him, as he believes he is in love with Juliette. This book takes place in a dystopian society, and is pretty simple to understand. The world building is straightforward and easy to follow. The writing style gives readers a look into Juliette’s mind and thoughts, as it is written from the first person point of view. The additional use of Juliette’s diary helps readers understand Juliette’s mind. They can see her struggles and confusion, as she tries to make sense of the world around her. The repetitive striking out of words emphasizes Juliette’s internal conflict. The type of language is mostly straight forward and remains uncomplicated with vocabulary the average teenager easily understands. 

Shatter Me is best suited for teenagers with an interest in dystopian romance novels. It is high paced and exciting, but it is also a series, so readers should be aware of this. A similar novel is Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, and Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I would rate this book as good. It was an enjoyable read, and I will likely read the next one in the series.