Epic Recs Review: Shatter Me

Posted September 29, 2015 by Lyn Kaye in book review, epic recs, Lyn / 6 Comments

Epic Recs Review: Shatter MeShatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Published by HarperCollins on November 15th, 2011
Genres: young adult, dystopia, paranormal
Pages: 357
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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two-stars

"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.

But things happen when people touch me.

Strange things.

Bad things.

No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.

But Juliette has plans of her own.

After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever.

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I had forgotten the announcement at the start of this month that Pixie and I did Epic Recs for September.

My pick for her: Uprooted. It seemed like such a Pixie book, and I know that the book kicked off a reading binge for me personally.

Pixie’s pick for me: Shatter Me. Because behind that cute little face is the soul of Satan.

Border Leaf

To be fair, I have wanted to try this book for a while, so I thought, “Why not?” It seemed that my friends either really liked it, or they hated it with the rage of a thousand suns. As I always say, what will sell me the most on a novel is polarizing opinions.

Well, go get me my suns, because this novel brought out the fuming epic anger deep inside of me.  There was so much wrong with this novel. Sexism, a water-thin plot, lazy arc, sexism, non-existent world building, sexism, crappy sugary sappy romance, sexism…this book left no tepid trope unused. 

I didn’t dislike Juliette as much as I thought I would. I really understand her prose-heavy flowery internal speech. The girl is literary going insane with guilt, neglect and bottled up emotions. If I had to say one good thing about the book, then it is that the author did an outstanding job creating her main character as a girl with a broken mind. Bravo. However, I had problems with how Juliette was treated in the book. She couldn’t use her powers, because she could hurt others in the process. So she doesn’t even use her “gift” to save her sorry hide. Adam, the horribly more-appalling-than-appealing love interest, tells her how good she is because she takes the abuse and doesn’t fight back, at all. I understand Juliette’s ruined self esteem, but when a male tells a woman that she is good and kind when she stays quiet and well-behaved, it is condescending and oppressive. It is so disgusting. Adam even takes on the verbal fights for Juliette, keeping Juliette quite and “well behaved”. He doesn’t let her speak for herself, and usually jumps in to do the talking FOR her. I just keep imaging this romance ending with Adam as a beer guzzling deadbeat with a pregnant, barefooted wife with 5 kids already underfoot. She can’t dare complain, because, hey she is just so GOOD.

But both genders get the short end of the stick – the males are treated like a group of drooling animals, just waiting to rape the next woman they see.  Practically every male-leaning character of the novel is portrayed as a staring, physically threatening sociopath. The men either tell her that they are going to touch her, even though the female MC asked them not to, over and over, or ogle her body while making suggestive remarks, or make comments on her beauty. Then they all blame it on the lack of women around them, like every guy is just unable to control any sexual urges. I’m downright sick to death of the media coloring a picture of men as roving animals that are lead by their genitals. Hell, even the Main Love Interest tells Juliette that he wants to touch her after she demands for him not to do so.

But what about the plot? Yeah, what a joke. Kissing takes more precedence than saving one’s own life or escaping a crazy maniac, but don’t worry, it is the easiest thing in the world for the two star-crossed lovers to get away with whatever they please. Need to get away? No problem, easy as pie. Need a place to stay? Got it. Need a convenient backstory to draw more sympathy? Two abused, neglected kids. DING. Need to make the two horny teens experience character growth? Make everyone around them a crappy person. Done.  Even the main character is thinking that escape is way too easy, and that it shouldn’t be. Well, Juliette, in a book with a story that mattered more than the mushy, special romance, it wouldn’t be that easy. Y’all just needed some make out time.  Because TUW LUV.

By the time the book reached the last 90%, the writer decided it was time to hook the audience in for book two, because things started happening, and the plot actually became interesting.

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I’m not the least bit interested in continuing on with the series. I feel horrible that one of my friends is urging me to read the novellas to better understand the story, but just the thought of continuing makes me feel ill.

Lyn Sig Plant

6 responses to “Epic Recs Review: Shatter Me

  1. I AGREE SO MUCH. Ugh. I hated everything about this book. The worst thing is that I read it in 2013 and I liked it. I reread it because I didn’t trust my 2013 tastes and I. Despised. It. So much sexism, and what with that overly cliched romance. You’re really not missing anything by skipping the next books. The 3rd one is ATROCIOUS.
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