I’m back with a book review! So I’ve dropped on my reading, but nevertheless I did come up with time to read Shatter Me. In fact, I stayed up past midnight on Friday night to finish, and I can’t really remember why. I guess it made it much easier to speed through since I was already annoyed with the whole thing and didn’t need to savor the excellency of the words and characters on each page.
But anyhow, I have been so inconsistent about my blogging and so I suppose I do have a bit of explaining (and apologizing I am sorry) to do: all during the summer season (which is obviously the break season from work and school and such) I’ve gotten used to being idle and taking literally hours to write my blog posts and now that the busy work/school schedule is back, I have to learn to compact my thoughts and not open up a new tab every five minutes to surf the interwebs.
There’s either a love (#thisbookismysoulmate) or hate feeling for a book, and then there’s the two in the middles: I was disappointed, or I was surprised.
Love, hate, and surprise are all okay–they’re strong, but they’re brief. Disappointment–now that usually hurts the most, because hello, you have had STRONG expectations and it just fell short.
I deeply dislike being disappointed in a book almost as much as I deeply despise how Instagram continues to think of course I would like them to chop off the sides of my rectangle photo and make it a square (which I ranted about on my second to latest photo on my page here).
And that’s why Shatter Me has just kind of killed me. Because I heard so much about it and how it’s such a spectacular book and I was super happy to read it because 1) OMG SHE’S ASIAN LIKE MOI and 2) Renee Ahdieh is by far the best Asian writer I’ve read and 3) I need something to resurrect me after I was brutally killed by the Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi. And it REALLY disappointed me.
But please don’t judge anything I say as to be by race, a lot of Asia are second and third world countries and it just makes me want to cry very awkward happy tears because omg most kids in third and second world countries just want to be what they need like doctors and lawyers and teachers, etc. It makes me HAPPY to see people from there choosing more minor, less-valued-by-society jobs like being an author, because my ancestry line is actually indigenous to a less developed area.
By the way, I have very strong opinions for all books I read and as I happened to not like this book, I have strong negative opinions of it. I will voice them, and if you disagree with me, please know I do respect you lovely people’s opinions and will not turn you into melons for not thinking the same as I.
Shatter me was thoroughly frustrating, not just because I expected so much of it, but because how Mafi did not develop all aspects of the book equally. It’s evident that she put in a ton of time on the writing, but not on the actual storytelling.
And about the writing? It’s indecipherable. I still don’t know half of what was said in the book and I’m sure I got every necessary element to the story in my head, so I’m also sure Mafi could have
striked out, as she apparently likes, all that forced, unnecessary “prose”.
You call that prose? Is this Juliette’s journal, because honestly I thought it was a YA dystopian novel, not a YA dystopian diary? I always have strong opinions when it comes to writing because if the writing bugs me, it will be very hard for me to not DNF. The writing had tons of figurative expressions and while that adds to the elegance of the word, making the figurative expressions so deep and disconnected from the story does not. Example:
“Killing time isn’t as difficult as it sounds.
I can shoot a hundred numbers through the chest and watch them bleed decimal points in the palm of my hand. I can rip the numbers off a clock and watch the hour hand tick tick tick its final tock just before I fall asleep. I can suffocate seconds just by holding my breath. I’ve been murdering minutes for hours and no one seems to mind.”
I do not understand how this relates to the story at all. Sure, the words are beautiful and all, but I DON’T UNDERSTAND ANY OF THEM and that, above, is half of the book which could probably be eliminated. How come her beta readers and editor and publisher all seemed to understand this, but the rest of the world doesn’t?! To some, it may seem charming, and I respect your opinion, because having unique touches like that here and there does really give you the sense of Juliette being insane.
BUT THAT? All it makes you think is “how come if Juliette is definitely totally insane she has completely coherent actions and feelings and is the beautifulest person ever??”.
Apart from that, I deeply disliked all characters but Warner. Everyone else was either underdeveloped, stereotypical, or there for the sake of being there. They had NO USE. Adam Kent, for example. His world REVOLVES around Juliette and apparently he’s loved her for half his life. AND THEY ARE TEENAGERS. 17 years old. I get the whole romance thing, but making this grade four student have fallen smitten with a girl and been that way for his whole life even when she was gone for a good chunk of his life–it’s too unrealistic. No love is that perfect or whole.
Aside from loving Juliette, there was nothing to Adam except for muscle and black hair and blue eyes, and I HATE HIM. How dare he shame Will Herondale. It’s made me realize that I actually do love Rhysand and Will Herondale because of their personalities rather than their dark blue/violet eyes and dark hair. Because Adam is a knockoff of Will Herondale and he makes me want to cry not happy tears.
The main character herself, Juliette, is so stereotypical. The way her character is shaped makes it look like the author was forcing her to be unique, and that made her boring. Juliette is supposedly insane and can kill people with her touch, she’s astonishingly beautiful, she’s captivating two of the most good-looking and the most powerful person where she lives, and she’s very intelligent, loves books, and is gifted with superhuman strength.
Excuse me while I go find an asylum.
It’s an offense to people who really are insane, to have their case used as a cover and then dropped and portrayed unrealistically.
What was the point of Kenji? He was conveniently placed in the story and aside from being forcibly sassy, he had no persona. People say they love Kenji because he’s sassy in a bleak world with powerful Warner and smitten Adam and perfect Juliette. I’m afraid it just didn’t work for me, because just like with the writing, it wasn’t my taste and it also seemed very forced. Kenji just wasn’t a real person for me.
I love Warner. He deserves the whole two stars himself. Warner was such a realistic, imperfect character. He truly gave everything for Juliette (even though he’s kind of a sadistic maniac, but again, you can see his pity and his passion and his ambition–he’s not pointlessly ruthless like Joffrey).
And see, presented with Warner who talks to Juliette and dines with her and gives her clothes and makes her eat because he wants her to be healthy (even if it’s for the wrong reasons) who coincidentally happens to be in a position of power, where, matched with his personality, creates a very iron-hard, ambitious slytherin-like leader and then presented with Adam who just makes out with Juliette every time he sees her–I would pick Warner. It feels like something deeper than just an infatuation with Warner. HE’S DRACO MALFOY AND LORD HELP ME I’M IN LOVE.
The story, as a baseline, was actually somewhat interesting. Granted, this is definitely not to be considered a YA dystopian and should rather be considered a YA romance. I, personally, don’t have a very high opinion of the necessity of true love or romance in my life. But being non biased, a touch of romance will always get to me in books. This was an evident romance, and I liked the whole theme of ‘escape’. It was very tense, and I love tense books because in the end, what do you know? PEOPLE WILL DIE AND IF PEOPLE WILL DIE I WILL BE HAPPY BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY DEAD PEOPLE ARE MORE APPEALING THAN HAPPY PEOPLE.
There was just a ginormous problem with the execution.
But aside from that, I think that the remaining not deplorable (IMO) 3% was spectacular. It was just the way everything was developed (or not developed, depends on what you’re talking about) that really did not make this my book.
I think that the ending of the book was definitely a lot better than the beginning or the rising action. I definitely didn’t like the conclusion, but I did enjoy the part with the action which lasted for about thirty pages before we went back into the last forty pages of boredom.
I think any development that happened at the end happened with Adam…..? And I don’t even know how he developed. The author simply infodumped us on his life, or basically what Juliette has deciphered out of what she’s seen because she’s very omniscient obviously. Which makes her more perfect.
When we all saw Adam’s brother and his home and how he took care of his brother and basically everything else, Mafi was trying to get us to see what Juliette sees: a perfect, flawless boy in all areas of life. So while she did shape his character more, she did NOT make him more realistic or likable in anyway. Likability is never important, especially if it’s not intentional, but she wanted to make Adam likable, and for me, she made him a very odd, intangible character and I definitely didn’t like it.
But that’s just my opinion, of course 😉
I probably will end up reading the rest of the series just because I ship Warner and Juliette so much and I do want to see what happens, but I’ll have drastically low expectations for Unravel Me and drastically high expectations for Ignite Me, because I struggled to convince myself to read the second book. I’m going to need the reward. And lemon meringue pie.
Warner was a developed, unique character and the initial idea is creative but the execution and other qualities were all underdeveloped and disappointing.
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.
-Do you agree with me?! What did you think of Shatter Me? Did you like it or not, and if you did, what did you like about it? Who where thought that Warner was the only good thing?? AND DID ANY OF YOU LIKE JULIETTE???? I must know.
-Also HALP HALP HALP. I think I’m in a reading slump. Tell me what I should read now? What are you reading? What are some really good books you’ve read that you think I should read? RECOMMEND SOMETHING I MUST READ SOMETHING WONDERFUL.