By: Cait Marie
In February, I was scanning through my Scribd app, trying to find a new book to read. I had just finished all of the Throne of Glass books, which left me devastated in ways I didn’t know were possible. I wanted a new series to read, and it needed to be something that would catch my attention quickly in order to get over the book hangover I was getting into.
I randomly selected Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi and right from the start I was intrigued. In fact, it was the Author’s Note in the beginning that sparked the initial curiosity. Tahereh writes:
“The strikethroughs in the Shatter Me books are intentional. The writing in this series is occasionally as erratic as its main character, and serves as a visual representation of the chaos in Juliette’s mind.”
I read that and instantly knew I had to see what she was referring to. I started the first chapter and was hooked on page one. Do you know how many times that has happened in my life? Never. I have never, to my recollection, been so interested so quickly.
Shatter Me is about Juliette, a 17-year old with a fatal touch. The series starts off with her in an insane asylum. She has been locked up and completely alone for 264 days. But she’s not insane. She has been locked up after her touch led to a tragic incident. On the 264th day, she is told she is getting a cellmate. This cellmate, Adam, shows that he’s not going to hurt her and seems perfectly sane as well. They start talking and start to become friends, after all, she’s been alone for nearly a year. Except, Juliette has another secret: she knows Adam. Yet, he does not seem to remember her.
Set in a dystopian society, The Reestablishment is a military-based government that is now in charge of the world. The first plot twist is thrown at you early, when you find out that Adam isn’t actually a prisoner. He is a soldier working for The Reestablishment. Juliette is taken to the military headquarters in her sector (like states, but smaller), where 19-year-old Warner is the Commander. He’s a cruel, arrogant leader who gets under her skin easily. But more than that, he’s determined to get her on their side, so they can use her lethal gift against any opposition.
The books are action-packed from the start and quick-paced. There is fighting, special powers, a love story, a rebellion, everything that makes up a good dystopian series. It kept my attention the entire time, which in itself is a fascinating feat. I am extremely easily distracted, but nothing was stopping me from reading these books.
The only thing I didn’t particularly like about the first book was how fast everything seemed to happen. I just felt like it took off at lightning speed. She was a prisoner one day, alone without a friend in the world, and shortly after there was a love arc happening. Which, I loved, don’t get me wrong, but it was a bit too fast-paced in my opinion. It was still really good though, so good that I read all three books and the two novellas within a week. The rest of the books do slow down and do not feel as rushed. While it does contain many of the cliche YA tropes, it is a very unique story.
Also, I want to add that the novellas are important in this series. Especially Destroy Me. Normally, I don’t read novellas. If I do, I read them after all the other books. However, I decided to read them all in order because they were all available, and I am SO glad I did!
I just read Restore Me, which is the fourth and newest book. It was fantastic!! I honestly think it’s the best one so far. A full review is coming soon!
If you like fast-paced YA dystopian books, you should definitely give these a try.