What: Shatter Me
When: November 15th, 2011
Why: DUDE EVERYTHING
How: For Review
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.
THE WRITING. THE WRITING, PEOPLE.
The writing in this book is really what blew me away. Tahereh's prose is lyrical, elegant, and lush but still abrupt and perfectly in sync with Juliette's thoughts. There was no confusing, un-characteristic descriptions and I love that it was very much like how thoughts are in our real heads: short bursts, not long-winded paragraphs of info-dump. Her writing had me rereading pages just to really dive into the words because they were so well-crafted and gorgeous.
The society Tahereh has set up sounds absolutely awful and I loved every minute of it. You learn much more about the internal affairs of the military base were Juliette is taken than the outside world and what has become of it; but I expect to learn much more in book 2 about what exactly is going on there! Juliette is a lovely heroine: strong, determined, and for every new experience she had, I felt it as vividly as she did. I couldn't even imagine going through everything she's gone through without going insane. The idea behind her not even knowing how being touch feels like (and not just intimacy, but a pat on the back or a kiss to the cheek) was heartbreaking and I wanted to just reach out and hug her myself as she grew into this brave heroine by the end of the book. All of her weaknesses even up simultaneously being her strengths and that's good character development people!
Next on the character chain: we have Warner. Warner, Warner, Warner. Is it wrong that I kind of love him? He's sick and twisted and completely and absolutely evil but...he has this desperate vulnerability that really surprised me and you can't help but sympathize with all his cruel, but in his own mind well-meaning, motivations. I loved hating him and I hated loving him.
And then we have our love interest, Adam, who is sweet and lovely and is really the only person who Juliette can be herself around. Their interactions were so simple, yet loaded with sexual tension as well as total sweet adorableness. And don't think this book is lacking in steaminess because HOT DAMN, Tahereh, those shower scenes? To quote my friend who read the book (and furthermore, this friend is a GUY. Which means guys, read the darn book.): "Holy Shit."
As for side characters, Kenji rocked my socks off and I loved every second of reading about him. He really brought the funny side of the story out and his wise-cracking and loyalty made me love him the minute he was introduced. James, Adam's little brother, and Adam had such a sweet relationship and again, fell in love with his character the minute this happened:
Juliette: "How old are you?"
James: "I turn 11 in a year."
Juliette: "So you're ten."
James: "I turn 12 in two years."
Overall, possibly my favorite book of the year. Complete, absolute love.