Shatter Me is a book that has been on my TBR list for years, so I was excited—and terrified—to finally give it a shot. I have to say the experience was a real shock for me. It had all the classic hallmarks of a YA dud and it somehow became a book I couldn’t get enough of! What is the witchcraft?!
While I was reading this book, I never would have expected to give Shatter Me a rating above three stars. Let me explain why:
Purple. Prose. Oh god, guys, I had a real hard time with it in the beginning. It seemed like every sentence was flowery nonsense this and stupid metaphors this. Like this:
I am a raindrop.
My parents emptied their pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a concrete slap.
And this one:
The moon is a loyal companion.
It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.
Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.
And another one:
“What are you writing?” Cellmate asks again.
These words are vomit.
The shaky pen my esophagus.
This sheet of paper my porcelain bowl.
Now, it’s totally fine here and there (well, sort of…) and I love a good metaphor as much as the next person, but after five chapters of nonstop flowery writing I just wanted to shout GET ON WITH IT!!!!
Insta-love! I wasn’t as butt hurt about the insta-love as I was about the purple prose, but I wasn’t sold on it (at first). I had so many doubts about Juliette and Adam. View Spoiler »
The dreaded love triangle! Y’all know I am not a fan of these. They are messy, overly dramatic page-fillers.
So how does this train-wreck turn into a solid four star review?
Yes, the purple prose was hella annoying and I had a ton of doubts about Juliette and Adam as a couple (I kind of still do), but there was just so much more to enjoy about this book. By the time I had finished it, I knew I wouldn’t be able to just stop at book one.
The characters were mesmerizing and shrouded in mystery (especially the ones that seemed unimportant to the story and the plot, but more on those later).
Juliette is your typical Cinderella-esque YA heroine. Juliette is ignored, abused, hated, and tossed in a cell in insane asylum and left to die, until one day a beautiful hunk is tossed in with her and everything changes. It was hard not to feel for Juliette. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve pitied a fictional character more (okay, maybe Acheron, but he’s a whole ‘nother story). It was heartwarming to watch her learn to embrace her differences and to see her powers not as a curse or a disease, but as a way to fight back against the Reestablishment. I couldn’t help but cheer her on! And for being a depressed heroine (for good reason), she wound up being surprisingly funny at times.
I had conflicting emotions for both Adam and Warner all throughout the novel. It wasn’t always clear which one was the good guy and which one was the bad guy, and I kind of enjoyed it. My feelings were really wishy-washy, because with every new reveal about their pasts, I had a dozen more questions. In the end, there was a clear bad guy and I finally got some much-needed answers about Adam’s past. Warner’s past is still a total mystery, and the girls and I agreed that we NEED MORE WARNER! Or at the very least, we need his back story.
My all time favorite character? At first, he appeared to be a largely unimportant character to the plot, but he wound up being crucial to the plot. Kenji was a big, lovable goofball and pretended to be dumber than he actually was, all for a genius reason that you’ll just have to find out for yourself. :) I’m guessing he will have a bigger part in book two, and I absolutely can’t wait!
“I’m just messing with you guys. I like seeing psycho chick get all intense.” He glances at me, lowers his voice. “I mean that as a compliment–because, you know”–he waves a haphazard hand in my direction–“psycho kind of works for you.”
Another reason this book wound up a winner, is because Mafi made me question everything I knew to be true about this book. At first, the writing did not impress me, but in the end, I couldn’t question her talent any longer. The purple prose might have been a turn off at first, but she really threw me for a loop by the end of the book—several loops. I may have doubted her writing in the beginning, but the unreliable narration sold this book for me. Every time she revealed a plot twist or revealed an answer to my question, she proved how much I underestimated her ability to shock, amaze, and write a well-thought out novel. By the end of the book, nothing was as it seemed and I loved it!
I’m glad I was able to look past the flaws, because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to add it to my 2016 Favorite books! If you are a fan of flawed, but surprisingly twisted books, give Shatter Me a shot. You may not enjoy it as much as I did, but you’ll definitely feel something.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
2016 New to You Reading Challenge
2016 Reading Bingo Challenge