We were so lucky to have the lovely Christina stop by and write a guest review for us today!! Thank you, Christina!

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi Series: Shatter Me Published: November 15, 2011 Publisher: Harper Collins

Pages: 338

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.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

Christina put Shatter Me on the top shelf

First off, let me start by saying that I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC, so my opinion and any quotes that I may use will come from it. (My finished copy is on its way to my house as I type this and I CAN’T WAIT to brush my fingertips across its pretty, shiny cover and hug it to my chest. I will treasure it as any object that contains its magnitude of brilliance should be. Stop looking at me like I’m crazy. I might be.)

Secondly, for those of you who don’t know me, I don’t take reviews lightly or hand out five star ratings like Halloween candy. They’re very special to me and are reserved only for those novels that I feel are of the highest quality. Shatter Me is one of those books and Tahereh Mafi’s writing is unlike anything I’ve read in a very long time. Now, let’s get on with my review.

I’ve been sitting on this book for the better part of three weeks, contemplating the different angles in which to approach it. A part of me wants to tell you ALL THE THINGS because it’s just that magnificent, but a bigger part of me wants you to experience this riveting tale as you read because, in my opinion, that’s what makes this story so captivating. In the end, I think spoiler-free is the only way I could possibly write this review. So, here we go…

Reading Shatter Me is a full-body experience. It’s a novel that awakens all the senses, engages the deepest parts of your mind, and continuously stokes the burning embers in the heart of its reader until your whole body feels like its engulfed by the flames of  the author’s enchanting words. Her unique prose is so enriched with luscious metaphors that it’s almost as though Mafi has recreated the entire English language. At times, I felt as if I’d been wearing blinders for a majority of my life and after reading her work, I saw the world clearer because it was now richer in color and texture. Even a description about the rain was enough to give me pause.

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 theirs pockets over the earth and 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 tap on their doors.

I am a raindrop.

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

(Oh, to stow away in a corner of Mafi’s brain for just a day and to see the world through her eyes is going straight to the top of my Christmas list. Come on, Santa, make it happen. I digress…)

Set in a dystopian world, Mafi sinks her hooks into you quick and deep with her thrilling debut novel by painting the picture of an imprisoned, broken-spirited heroine who’s kept confined away from society because of a dangerous ability that she cannot control.

I’ve been locked up for 264 days.

I have nothing but a small notebook and a broken pen and the numbers in my head to keep me company. 1 window. 4 walls. 16 square feet of space. 26 letters in an alphabet I haven’t spoken in 264 days of isolation.

6,336 hours since I’ve touched another human being.

Meet Juliette, our seventeen year old protagonist, whose desperate pleas for human interaction had my heart aching from the very first page. Alone with her thoughts and only a notebook to tell them to, she struggles daily to stay above the crippling despair that threatens to drown her, fighting against the debilitating idea that she might be insane and more monster than human.

Juliette is such a lovable character. Aside from her badass ability and despite her initial vulnerable state, don’t mistake this girl for weak. She has a spunk and quick-wit about her that I adored, and I believe one of her greatest qualities is her heart and her ability to have compassion, even after all the misfortune that she’s had to endure. Then, when a glimmer of hope in the form of a tall gentleman (WITH AN ABUNDANCE OF SWOON AND TATTOOS THAT TRAVEL THE CONTOURS OF HIS MUSCULAR ARMS *flails*) named Adam Kent walks into her cell one day, Juliette’s life of solitude is forever flipped on its head. You guys, there is so  much I can say about Adam. SO. MUCH. *tapes mouth shut for the sake of the reader* Just know that this ridiculously attractive male specimen skipped straight to the top of my Fictional-Dude-Who-Made-Me-Swoon-My-Pants-Off list. Did I mention he was swoony and sexy?

From this point on, we are greeted with a whole host of secondary characters that I grew to love. One of Tahereh Mafi’s greatest strengths lies in her ability to create characters we can truly connect with, making each of them multi-faceted and so real that they leap off the pages. Even her villain, Warren, is so much more than just the enemy of the book. (Seriously, I was conflicted. I almost felt a pang of sympathy for him a time or two. How many times have you ever wanted to hug the antagonist? It doesn’t happen often. Or maybe I’m just a hugger…) There’s a certain tenderness about him when he interacts with Juliette that made me question his true intentions and wonder about his hidden secrets. Yes, he’s a person that’s done bad things, but it seems as if he may have done them out of necessity to remain on top in a world where everyone is literally gunning for his position, and not because he necessarily wanted to commit these deplorable actions. It is my belief that we’ve only barely scratched the surface of him, and there’s so much left to discover about this mysterious man.

Lastly, one of the most fabulous credits I can give this novel is that IT. IS. A. COMPLETE. BOOK! It has an engrossing beginning, an absolutely delicious middle, and a shocking end. No cliffhangers. Zilch. And guess what, I’m still just as excited to get my greedy little fingers on the next book. To the other authors and publishers of the world, please take note because Tahereh Mafi just proved that you don’t have to leave your story with an “OMG, YOU CAN’T END IT LIKE THAT! I’M GOING TO PULL MY HAIR OUT WAITING FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT…” ending to make me come back for more. I’m extremely anxious to see what else Mafi has to offer us in the series, and furthermore, to see the characters that have held me spellbound since the beginning fleshed out even further.

So, I’m telling you, don’t walk, don’t run, rather get in your car and race down the road (Not really, please be careful!) to your nearest bookstore and purchase your copy because it went on sale November 15th! (Or you could always do like me, and type in your credit card number as fast as your fingers allow on the interwebs and click express shipping.) You won’t regret it. As for me, I know I’m going to read everything this lovely lady writes. {Sidenote: If you aren’t following her on twitter, then you are missing out on the most adorable tweets ever! She’s like a cute, sugar-coated and confetti-sprinkled cupcake that I want to snuggle with daily!}

~Christina

P.S. Thanks to lovely ladies at THE BOOK HOOKUP for allowing me to be a guest reviewer. I doubt they’ll have me back after this crazy-long review, but I had a blast!

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