Sunday, 10 April 2016

Shatter Me by by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

"I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.

I was actually excited for this book. A person in my book-club said that it was an amazing book, so I decided to give it a try. Once again, my intuition turned out to be false. I must admit the first sentence in Shatter Me did spark my interest, but the sentences after that bored me. The book got a little better along the way, though, yet flawed in different ways. I initially rated it two stars, but now I've changed it.

"I spent my life folded between the pages of books."

Juliette is certainly not human (or sane). She has not touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time he did, and accident occurred and a boy was killed. Yes, her touch is lethal. She was bullied and locked away by the Reestablishment to prevent such accidents in the future. But now the Reestablishment needs Juliette. Nope, not a very intriguing plot. It needs, um...more spice.

"I've been screaming for years and no one has ever heard me."

Let me start off with the characters. As many was rightly pointed out, the protagonist, Juliette is one insane girl! She is a whiny girl, and boy, you have no idea how much I struggled to refrain myself from smashing my phone into pieces all because she drives me insane. In retrospect, I did mention that I dislike immaculate characters with no flaws, but I fail to recall when I said I liked completely flawed characters! In this case, Juliette is squeaky, whiny, and absolutely irrational! She is blatantly indecisive, yearning for human contact, and well, how do I put in psychologically disturbed in her case. So technically, Juliette is an insane, disagreeable protagonist.

"She's not crazy. And she's not deaf, asshole.”

Followed by one of the main male leads of Shatter Me, Adam Kent. Adam, Adam, Adam - I keep forgetting his name. Every time I take a break from reading, and then resume, I blink at the page and think: "Who was Adam again?" To me he sounds more like an insignificant character. I think Tahereh Mafi intended to portray him as a strong character with his own idiosyncrasy, but she failed to do so. He was probably supposed to be brave and caring, but he isn't that strong and caring. I must say I do admire his affection towards his younger brother, James, and I absolutely loved the scene when he threatened Warner. However, Adam is not a very amiable character.

“I am nothing but novocaine. I am numb, a world of nothing, all feeling and emotion gone forever."

Speaking of Warner, the only reason why I have a little less negative impact from reading this book is only because of the presence of Aaron Warner Anderson. Call me eccentric, but he is my favourite character in Shatter Me. Believe it or not - I'm on the side of the antagonist here. Warner tortured Adam, and yet I'm like: "Warner! I want to be in your place!" I mean, he was certainly acting like me when he was being strict. (view spoiler)
“His smile is laced with dynamite. "Go to sleep"
"Go to hell."
He works his jaw. Walks to the door. "I'm working on it.”
He tries to own Juliette to use her for his evil schemes, but I feel I can associate with him for some reason. So get the point: Hallie is not your sweet candy! She is somewhat like the female version of Warner pulling out his gun and shooting someone mercilessly. And don't mistake me; I never said I have a crush on this character!

“You can't touch me," I whisper. I'm lying, is what I don't tell him. He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him.

Then we have Kenji, whom I didn't really like. Everyone says he is funny, but I beg to differ. I'm sorry, but I don't find profanity to be a laughing matter. Goodness, this guy swears 22 hours a day. He spends the other two hours provoking Adam to murder him, staring at Juliette, and making me want to run my hands through him; you know, the way Dudley broke his first TV set. A conversation with him would be just like a lesson in profanity. No, thank you! I don't want to hear anymore of Kenji. I'm not sure which one I hate more - Juliette or Kenji.

"Someone picked up the sun and pinned it to the sky again, but every day it hangs a little lower than the day before."

Look a the above quote! Is this for real?!

Moving back to the plot, it doesn't really sound very compelling. The world is in jeopardy, it needs a change: I mean, there is nothing I can play around with. Even Juliette's special powers or curse (whichever it is because no one knows) is actually pretty trivial. So technically, bad plot as well.

“Killing time isn't as difficult as it sounds."

How about the writing style? Well, it's spelled T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E. But if you want me to describe it in another way, it will sound something like: awful. The excruciating pain of reading those metaphors is torture!
“I always wonder about raindrops.

I wonder about how they're always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It's like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn't seem to care where the contents fall, doesn't seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.

I am a raindrop.

My parents emptied their pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a concrete slab."

After this, I'm wishing different figures of speech never existed at all! It is annoying enough to identify and sometimes lose marks in tests, and now they appear in books! Don't personify a raindrop like that! The sky takes amiss! *looks out at the clouds* Now look what you've done! It's going to rain again! Moral of the story: never ever personify in that way! I'll give you a glimpse of it.
“His eyes are two buckets of rainwater: deep, fresh, clear. Hurt.”

“Every butterfly in the world has migrated to my stomach.”

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

“Hope is a pocket of possibility.
I'm holding it in my hand.”

“I'm oxygen and he's dying to breathe.”

Well, get it? The last one is the one I personally detested. And when they have men with guns chasing them, instead of listening to me scream 'Run!', what they do is start kissing! You've got to be kidding. For crying out loud, their lives were in jeopardy; you need to get the heck out of there, not check the temperature of each others lips!

“Girls are always talking about electricity in their romance, but none are too happy to actually be electrocuted, apparently. Bloody confusing, is what it is.”

I don't recommend Shatter Me to anyone. No, not even my arch-enemies. Try Divergent if you want real dystopia. In spite of this, I might continue the series, mostly because I'm a masochist and love ranting about books, partly because I want to know what happens to Warner.

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