Grand Mistress of On a Book Bender. On the path of least revision. Wine supplier for grammar pain sufferers. #BecauseWine. Idea wrangler. Wielder of words. Black coffee drinker.
Reading Shatter Me was like experiencing the same tumultuous emotions that The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer stirs up, though unlike Mara, you know what is going on. The prose is so utterly fascinating that at times it crosses the line between prose and poetry. I flagged 14 different passages while I was reading and I normally never feel motivated to flag passages. Tahereh Mafi does not write, she manipulates words into fantastical imagery.
“My eyes are 2 professional pick-pockets, stealing everything to store away in my mind.”
“The sky is raining bricks right into my skull.”
“His voice hugs the letters in my name so softly I die 5 times in that second. His face is a forest of emotions.”
“Realization is a pendulum the size of the moon. It won’t stop slamming into me.”
“I’m too poor to afford the luxury of hysteria right now.”
It is vague and precise at the same time. Numbers are a reoccurring theme throughout the entire book, something that begins as a way of tracking time and continues in a subtle reminder of everything Juliette has left behind. The narration style is a tumble of words, but one that makes sense and feels like you jumped into Juliette’s brain to experience everything she is, the exact way she experiences it. It took a few chapters to really settle into the book and find your own bearing, but once you do, the book takes off and soars.
We learn so much; we learn so little. The world building feels minimal, but in one sense, it reflects the Reestablishment and their total control over everything. We get glimpses along the way, and only at the end are our glimpses blown apart and everything we know suddenly shifts, leaving me wanting to pick up the next book immediately even though it won’t be out until the fall. It is both frustrating and fascinating.
The more I think about Juliette, the more I like the way that her character changes and comes out of her shell as the story progresses. She hasn’t had much of a life, so she has been isolated and sheltered, and the way she views the world — even one that is damaged and a fraction of what it once was — is breathtaking. And Adam is… I’m not sure that I have the words for Adam without giving anything away. He will make you melt. And the secondary characters are just as interesting/terrifying/intriguing.
Shatter Me is an incredibly unique experience. It certainly will not work for everyone, but it is enchanting and captivating, and a whole slew of other adjectives for amazing and perhaps-you-should-read-it-too.