The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi follows Juliette Ferrars, a girl whose touch is deadly. Juliette has been locked away by her parents and society because the world around Juliette believes her to be a
monster danger. However, when the asylum gives her a familiar boy as a cellmate, everything changes.
I want to start by warning you that this series is written incredibly differently than what you’re used to. Tahereh Mafi brings her own unique style, which is so incredibly stream of consciousness and simultaneously so captivating. Thus you are left with characters that you become so close to and feel so deeply for. Because of Mafi’s unique writing style, this series can take awhile to get used to. To be honest, it took me through the entire first book to get over it. I actually
hated struggled with the first book for three reasons. The aforementioned writing style which takes awhile to adapt to. The main character, Juliette. She is a whiney, self-loathing, weak protagonist at best. Perhaps I am heartless though. Maybe you more sympathetic readers will take a liking, or at least a little pity, for the girl. Don’t get me wrong, she has an awful life and every right to be the way she is, but it definitely will get annoying after a few chapters. Finally, this book drove me nuts because of this soap opera of a love triangle between Juliette; Adam, the boy that becomes Juliette’s cellmate; and Warner, a ruthless government leader who captures Juliette in order to make her a weapon. To be fair, this is a Young Adult dystopian series, so of course there is a love triangle that makes up a good bit of the storyline. I knew what I was getting myself into. That doesn’t make the love drama any less cloying.
But I promise, THERE IS HOPE! Despite all the above reasons and out of pure stubbornness to finish what I started, I pressed on to the next book in the series. And let me tell you – no regrets. Once you acclimate to Mafi’s writing style and the character of Juliette, this series easily becomes one that you cannot put down. The story becomes somewhat X-Men-esque, and in Juliette we get a character whose faults are obvious. Even better, her character arc throughout the series is phenomenal. She becomes someone that young girls around the world can look up to – brave, strong, and able to lead.
Also, I feel the need to explain how this series runs because people tend to get confused. The picture above shows the covers of the books (and what beautiful covers they are!). That is the order of the books: Shatter Me (1), Destroy Me (1.5), Unravel Me (2), Fracture Me (2.5), and Ignite Me (3). So why the .5’s? Well, Destroy Me and Fracture Me serve as mini-books and are told from Warner and Adam’s perspectives. These mini-books give you a great chance to really get to know the two boys better, and I must warn you… if you (like myself) are a sucker for the bad boys, you better watch out! Hearing from Warner will prove especially interesting. In order to get these mini-books though, you either have to download them separately on an e-reader, or you can purchase the paperback that combines the two together, titled Unite Me. Unite Me comes with both boys’ books, as well as Juliette’s diary. However, if you download the e-novella Destroy Me, you get some really cool extras, such as Warner’s logs and government files on the main characters. These are really neat to look at, especially with Kindle for iPad or Kindle Fire.
In short, if you enjoy YA dystopian literature, if you are looking for an author with a different writing style, or if you are looking for a book with captivating character development, look no further than the Shatter Me series. These books and characters have easily become one of my all time favorites. I give the series the full five stars. But ye be warned, if you become emotionally invested in this series, you might be emotionally drained come the end of it. Then, you might have to reread the last book to make sure it all really happened.
(Noooo… I am definitely not speaking from experience! I definitely didn’t gobble the final book in one sitting and have to reread it to actually process the events. I am not that person at all!)
So read it and let me know – Team Warner or Team Adam? Do you like Juliette? What do you think of Mafi’s writing? Comment below!