Shatter Me

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Shatter Me
Author Tahereh Mafi
Country United States
Language English
Series Shatter Me trilogy
Genre Romance/
Young adult/
dystopian
Publisher HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date
November 15, 2011
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 338
ISBN 978-0-06-208548-1
Followed by Unravel Me

Shatter Me is a young adult dystopian thriller written by Tahereh Mafi, published on November 15, 2011.[1] The book is narrated by Juliette, a 17-year-old girl with a lethal touch and is unique in that it contains passages and lines that have been crossed out.[2] The second book in the series, Unravel Me, was published on February 5, 2013. The third book in the series, Ignite Me, was published on February 4, 2014.

Film rights for Shatter Me were optioned by 20th Century Fox in 2011, prior to the book's release date.[3] Of her inspirations for the work, Mafi has stated that she drew inspiration from "an interest in human nature and [humanity's] ability to overcome great obstacles".[4]

Plot[edit]

Shatter Me follows the narrative of Juliette Ferrars, a 17-year-old girl with a paralyzing and killing touch. She can take living organisms' energy. The book starts out with Juliette in an asylum due to the fact that she murdered a small boy three years prior. It is evident that Juliette is partly insane, both from isolation and at horror at herself; she also dreams of a bird. She writes in a small scrap of a notebook to convey her feelings as she has no one to talk to. Soon, she gets a cellmate who goes by the name of Adam Kent. He reminds Juliette of someone, but she convinces herself that it is not possible that Adam is that person. She shows Adam the ways of the asylum, such as not to eat the scalding food immediately, and when the asylum's occupants are allowed to shower. One day, the Reestablishment, a government that has the world within its grasp, comes for Juliette. It is revealed that Adam is a soldier for the leader of Sector 45 of the Reestablishment. The leader of Reestablishment's son, Warner, gives Juliette an offer that includes her being able to get out of the asylum in turn for her torturing any prisoners with her touch. Warner forces Juliette to torture a soldier named Jenkins and a small child through a simulated torture room because she wouldn't touch Warner. During her captivity, Juliette develops a romantic relationship with Adam, and we learn that Adam was Juliette's childhood friend, and is in love with her. We also learn that Adam can touch Juliette without being harmed or killed. Adam eventually helps Juliette escape from Warner, and as they escape, Warner's hand brushes against Juliette's ankle, which shows us that Warner can also touch Juliette without consequence. They meet up with Adam's 10-year-old brother James, at Adam's house. One of Adam's fellow soldiers, Kenji Kishimoto shows up claiming that Warner had him tortured in order to learn Adam and Juliette's whereabouts. Kenji says that he knows a safe place where they can escape, and they formulate a plan. Juliette and Adam split up with Kenji and James. While split up, Adam and Juliette are captured, and Warner shoots Adam.

Warner drags Juliette into an abandoned classroom, and tells Juliette that he might love her. Juliette kisses Warner and seduces him to get his gun from him. She shoots him even though she is surprised by the spark ignited in her. She finds Adam in a slaughterhouse, and they escape. They meet up with Kenji, and James, who Kenji gave sedatives.

At the end of the book, it is revealed that Kenji is a member of the Rebellion against the Reestablishment called Omega Point. Adam, Juliette and James are recruited by, and then join, the Rebellion.

Reception[edit]

Reviews for Shatter Me have been mixed,[5][6][7][8][9] with many reviewers stating criticisms while overall recommending the work.[10] Kirkus Reviews praised Shatter Me for its love story, but said that the ending "falls flat" and that there was an "overreliance on metaphor".[11] Publishers Weekly cited that while the book "doesn’t escape some rookie pitfalls," author Tahereh Mafi "combines a psychological opener with an action-adventure denouement in her YA debut," ultimately calling it "a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks".[12] Booklist gave a mixed review, noting that there were "plot conveniences and melodramatic writing to spare" while praising it for its "rip-roaring adventure and steamy romance scenes".[13]

A youth reviewer for the National Post recommended it highly, stating that it had "just the right amount of action to make it thrilling, but not exactly gruesome."[14] It was included in BuzzFeed's list of Best YA Books of All time.[15]

Awards[edit]

Characters[edit]

  • Juliette Ferrars: Locked up in an insane asylum, Juliette must convince herself daily that she's not a monster, even though her hands say otherwise. She lives with the power that when she touches someone she can inflict pain. Juliette is quiet and timid at first but learns to be more outspoken. She has brown hair and blue-green eyes. Also, she's 17 years old.
  • Aaron Warner: 19-year-old leader of Sector 45 in the Reestablishment is shown as a very cold and manipulative person. Warner gradually changes into a more loving human being as the book progresses. He has blonde hair and green eyes, considered inhumanly handsome. Since the beginning of the series, he is desperately in love with Juliette which turns into an obsession. Although he may seem cold and ruthless, Juliette grows empathy for Warner and asserts him as a normal human, despite his denials.
  • Adam Kent: A soldier in the army, 18 years old; he is in charge of Juliette after she is brought out of isolation. He is known as a handsome man with blue eyes, tattoos, and dark brown hair. He is shown to be in love with Juliette since they first met, as children.
  • Kenji Kishimoto: A 20-year-old soldier in Warner's army who is friends with Adam. He is later found out to be a member of Omega Point and is shown to have the gift of invisibility.
  • James Kent: Adam's 10-year-old younger brother. He is extremely mature for his age.
  • Castle: Leader of the Rebellion (Omega Point). Castle is a thirty-year-old scientist with telekinetic powers...

Sequels[edit]

Shatter Me is the first in a trilogy. An e-book novella titled Destroy Me, set after Shatter Me and before the sequel, Unravel Me, told from Warner's point of view, was released on October 6, 2012. Unravel Me, the second book in the series, was released on February 5, 2013. A second e-book novella titled Fracture Me, set during and soon after the final moments of Unravel Me, told from Adam's point of view, was released December 17, 2013. The last and final book in the series is titled Ignite Me and it was released on February 4, 2014. On the same day that Ignite Me was released, Unite Me was also released. Unite Me contains the two novellas, Fracture Me and Destroy Me, combined into print for the first time ever, and it also features an exclusive look into Juliette's journal.

References[edit]

  1. ^ New Voices: Tahereh Mafi and 'Shatter Me' USA Today
  2. ^ Not Just for Kids: Author Tahereh Mafi discusses 'Shatter Me' LA Times
  3. ^ Rachel Abrams (March 21, 2011). "Fox to adapt 'Shatter Me' novel". Variety. 
  4. ^ Breia Brissey (November 22, 2011). "'Shatter Me' author Tahereh Mafi talks her debut dystopian novel". Entertainment Weekly. 
  5. ^ "SHATTER ME (review)". Dolly. November 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Vilkomerson, Sara. "Books To Steal From Your Kid". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  7. ^ Cassady, Emily (Mar–Apr 2012). "Shatter Me (review)". Library Media Connection. 30 (5): 72. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  8. ^ Campbell, Jane (February 2012). "Mafi, Tahereh: Shatter Me (review)". Reading Time. 56 (1): 31–32. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Isaac, Megan Lynn (Spring 2012). "Mafi, Tahereh: Shatter Me (review)". The Horn Book Guide. 23 (1): 105. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Toui, Meriam. "Tahereh Mafi"s "Shatter Me" (review)". Michigan Journal. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Kirkus Review - Shatter Me". Kirkus Reviews. April 5, 2011. 
  12. ^ Children's Review: Shatter Me Publishers Weekly
  13. ^ "Review: Shatter Me". Booklist. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  14. ^ Biggs, Lacey. "Book Review: Shatter Me, by Tehereh Mafi". National Post. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  15. ^ Rebolini, Arianna (September 23, 2015). "37 YA Books You Need To Add To Your Reading List". BuzzFeed. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  16. ^ "2013 Arab American Book Award Winners". ArabAmericanMuseum.org. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 

External links[edit]