Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi – BOOK REVIEW

Rating: 3.75/5

Overall

This is not your average book series. This doesn’t even come close to your average book series. Think The Hunger Games but with more metaphors. Think Divergent but with more heart. Even then, even then, you are not even close. This is the Shatter Me series, and words don’t come close to describing how I feel about it. Whenever I think about this series I want to scream. Out of joy, out of frustration, out of typical fangirl tendencies.

I heard about this series through Goodreads, and the reviews pinned it to be so utterly flawless that I had very high hopes. And, overall, I was not disappointed.

Tahereh Mafi writes poetically and lyrically. Her words interlock so perfectly, it’s as if they were destined to be written side by side. This injects a rhythm into her books, which I believe this genre is lacking. Every other sentence is interlaced with a metaphor, and in using this method, Mafi’s ideas and Juliette’s emotions come across much more prominently than if she had used plain words.

Furthermore, Mafi writes in a way that gives you an insight into the mind of this girl – Juliette – who is clearly very crazed due to her time in solidarity. The constant use of repetition, as if Juliette has to repeat herself so as to get through to herself. The crossing out of words, as if Juliette is crossing out thoughts, trying not to think certain things, or simply crossing things out on a page. The long flowing sentences, like Juliette’s never-ending thoughts. The short, powerful sentences, depicting sudden changes in her emotion. It’s this craft that makes this series what it is. Without it, it would not be so highly praised.

The storyline is not pristine. There are many flaws, and many reasons to believe Mafi simply wanted to write a love story, but more on that later.

Overall, this series is magnificent, and truly one of a kind. I look forward to reading more from Mafi in the future, for she is destined to be a big hit in the YA community.


Shatter Me (Book 1) (3/5 stars)

“My life is four walls of missed opportunities poured in concrete moulds.”

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

Tahereh Mafi is a beautiful writer, a stunning writer, yes, but – frankly – this did not work to her advantage in book one. The potential for Shatter Me was huge, but Mafi took an unorthadox approach to exploring it, and – personally – I fail to believe it worked.

Basically, there’s a girl called Juliette, and she can’t make skin-to-skin contact with anyone without them feeling excruciating pain. As far as she knows.

OK, so far so good.

She’s living in an insane asylum under treacherous treatment, until one day she gets a “cell mate room mate”. He is a person from her past. She remembers him, but she’s unsure as to whether he remembers her.

And this is where a possibly action packed and insanely amazing book transforms into a love story. And, as much as I adore  love stories, I think the entire plot was compromised for Juliette and Adam finding love together.

Some of the scenes are beautiful. When Juliette and Adam touch for the first time? Stunning.

But Warner is not played up enough. Juliette is thinking of Adam far too much considering her situations. Frankly, I think the love story between Adam and Juliette – if Mafi really wanted to write about it – could have been set in a non-dystopian world, and could’ve existed as a stand-alone contemporary, young adult novel.

This storyline, this plot, this whole idea was such a good one that was, unfortunately weakened by a stereotypical love story. In my opinion, Juliette should have fought Warner alone. Should have escaped alone. Should have powered through this tough time alone rather than be depicted as weak, and needing a male to strengthen her. That is not what dystopian literature is about.

Despite this, Mafi has a way of keeping you hooked, and it wasn’t until I looked back on the story that this came to mind. It is an enjoyable read, and I would recommend it to any dystopian/YA/forbidden-love fans.


Destroy Me (Book 1.5) (2/5 stars)

“I almost forget that she still hates me, despite how hard I’ve fallen for her.
And I’ve fallen.
So hard.
I’ve hit the ground.”

Synopsis:

In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

Review:

I was pretty late to the game when regarding this series. Thus, the majority of the fandom read this book after book 2. Book 2 is when Warner really comes into his own, and we start to see the truth about him, causing this book to be a great insight to what he was thinking, and also allows some good ol’ forshadowing to be involved. However, I read the book in this series in order, and – out of the context of book 2 – I hated Warner.

Frankly, I hated this book.

Everything Warner said regarding Juliette was sickening to me. And of course, props to Mafi for making me feel such an intense hatred. But I hated his so much that the book so much that it started to become a chore to read. I was no longer reading this book for me; I was reading this book because I had to…And because I’d already bought it.

Aside from this, I also felt that Mafi’s writing faltered a little. It wasn’t as rhythmic or comfortable to read, it was simply boring. The whole book was boring.

And that’s why I previously mentioned that Warner should have been bigged up a lot more.

In the first book, the segway into this book, I felt very little for Warner. He was a side character, one that wasn’t spoken about much, and thus one I didn’t have any strong feeling for.

But then BAM here’s a whole book from his perspective talking about his obsession with Juliette and I honestly honestly hated it!

Originally, I gave this book 1 star. But, when looking back on it and evaluating whether or not it was that bad, I settled on 2 stars, because – after reading book 2 – I understood it a lot more. Personally, though, I do not believe this book should be 1.5; it should be read after book 2, or at the end.


Unravel Me (Book 2) (4/5 stars)

“Hope.

It’s like a drop of honey, a field of tulips blooming in the springtime. It’s a fresh rain, a whispered promise, a cloudless sky, the perfect punctuation mark at the end of a sentence. And it’s the only thing in the world keeping me afloat.”

Synopsis:

tick
tick
tick
tick
tick
it’s almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She’s finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

Review:

This this THIS is where Mafi starts to shine! This is where the series gets good! This is where I got hooked. Forget Shatter Me, forget Destroy Me, Unravel Me is where we meet the true Warner, where the focus is finally on Juliette’s power, and when it’s finally the man (Adam) who is weaker than the woman.

I absolutely loved this book. For the first time in my life, I would say the sequel is better than the first novel. In this book something was actually happening – Juliette wasn’t locked away for half of it, it wasn’t all about Adam. Adam was so totally annoying in this book that – for me – there never was a love triangle. Adam was just a place holder for when Warner came into his own and finally understood what it is to be nice. Har har.

I adore all the characters, and the development oh the development! Juliette is no longer a scared little girl and I love it!

Additionally, the humour Kenji brought to the table was so necessary! I actually laughed aloud at some of the things he said, and he really energised otherwise boring scenes. Scenes where he and Juliette were walking down the street would be boring if it was Adam, maybe even if it was Warner. But Kenji? He allowed the book to blossom, and brought colour to dull scenes.

I know it’s impossible but…team Kenji anyone?


Fracture Me (Book 2.5) (2/5 stars)

“All I can think is how horrible and beautiful it is, that our eyes blur the truth when we can’t bear to see it.”

Synopsis:

As Omega Point prepares to launch an all-out assault on The Reestablishment soldiers stationed in Sector 45, Adam’s focus couldn’t be further from the upcoming battle. He’s reeling from his breakup with Juliette, scared for his best friend’s life, and as concerned as ever for his brother James’s safety. And just as Adam begins to wonder if this life is really for him, the alarms sound. It’s time for war.

On the battlefield, it seems like the odds are in their favor—but taking down Warner, Adam’s newly discovered half brother, won’t be that easy. The Reestablishment can’t tolerate a rebellion, and they’ll do anything to crush the resistance . . . including killing everyone Adam has ever cared about.

Review:

Adam is such a bore! He did not deserve a whole book. Frankly, I think this book should have been handed over to Warner, for I was much more interested in his life.

All this book did was confirm how boring Adam is, and how utterly wrong he was for Juliette. He became so moody, so angry, he was like a different person.

I didn’t enjoy this book. I didn’t further the story, it didn’t offer a new nugget of information. It’s simply there.

I went into this book disliking Adam. I was hoping it would sway me a little, give me reason to like Adam, but NOPE.

And what is this ‘Addie’ thing anyway? Not a fan.


Ignite Me (Book 3) (4/5 stars)

“I like the way I feel about myself when I’m with him.” I say quietly. “Warner thinks I’m strong and smart and capable and he actually values my opinion. He makes me feel like his equal–like I can accomplish just as much as he can, and more. And if I do something incredible, he’s not even surprised. He expects it. He doesn’t treat me like I’m some fragile little girl who needs to be protected all the time.”

Synopsis:

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

Review:

Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner

Ugh my God yes! This was the perfect conclusion! There was so much action, so much dialogue, so much WARNER!

This book made me so happy to read. Mafi’s has an amazing ability to keep you turning the pages. Ordinary books become extraordinary at her touch, and I love it I love it I love it. I loved it so much I finished this book in a matter of hours!

SPOILER ALERT

I love the fact that Juliette ended up with Warner, and not Adam. It’s about time someone got with the bad guy!

Finally, what made me happiest is that Juliette finally fought alone. She fought Anderson without the help of any boy. Neither Warner, nor Adam were in sight. Girl power!

Whilst the end was very rushed, it was still a perfect conclusion to this trilogy/series. Mafi took me on a journey like no other. The Shatter Me world – whilst terrible – is so good to read about.


You can find the books here:

Goodreads: Shatter Me | Destroy Me | Unravel Me | Fracture Me | Ignite Me

Amazon: Shatter Me | Unravel Me | Ignite Me | Unite Me (Destroy Me and Fracture Me combined)

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19 thoughts on “Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi – BOOK REVIEW

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  8. Laura

    I found this series on Goodreads or Amazon, but I wasn’t sure if I should read it. After reading your review, I think I’ll give it a try.

    By the way, what did you mean when you said that J. is weak who needs a man’s help?
    Personally, I don’t think a person is weak if she/he asks for help/accepts help. On the contrary. Atlas’s mistake was not asking for help (Greek mythology).
    Now, it depends how it was described. I did not read the novel, so I don’t know the context. 🙂

    Like

    1. Olivia Emily

      I would only recommend this book if you’re OK with the interesting plot being compromised for romance. This book is definitely not the dystopian it’s described as, but more a romance novel with a few complications.
      In terms of Juliette being weak, I meant that Mafi definitely portrayed her in that fashion, whether she meant to or not. Juliette falls absolutely in love with the first human she sees after being in captivity. Granted, there would be some affection, but throughout the entire novel, it felt like Juliette was with Adam just because. Mafi didn’t play Juliette up enough, causing her to appear weak, in my opinion. It’s not that she’s weak because she needs a man’s help – far from it! Adam hardly helped her at all! She’s weak because she gave up so quickly. The book is weak because the dystopian is compromised for romance.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Laura

        Ay, so she’s more like a doormat? It’s not about teamwork, then; two people coming together to form a greater whole.
        Nay, I like the romance to be sub-plot to the major plot, not the other way around, especially if it’s not meant to be a romance novel. Or at least, the romance adding something to the plot, making it better. I will think about it, especially since I just finished the Mythos Academy where the romance ruined the plot.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Olivia Emily

        Definitely, and the book is less about teamwork and more about “omg he’s so pretty”. I was definitely disappointed that the dytopian storyline was compromised for the romantic side, for Mafi had a really great idea! It’s a shame, really.

        Liked by 1 person

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