Shatter Me into Boredom

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

If you ever wanted to experience catatonia this is the book for you, because
The synopsis tells us that Juliette is a teen that possesses an incredible ability. Her touch is a curse. It can cause incredible pain or if her touch lingers too long, it can kill. Super cool, right? Xmen meet dystopia. YES! About four chapters in and that yes quickly becomes a no when Juliette meets a fellow prisoner named, Adam. Juliette for the first time in her life makes a connection with another human being, a person who isn’t afraid of her ability. (Think damsel in distress.) Shatter Me quickly becomes a lack luster romance novel.
There’s nothing I can say to add to what has already been said about the deranged metaphors, analogies, the repetitiveness of phrases, or the strike through text.
In case you are in the dark, here are some examples.
  • “This shaky pen is my esophagus.”
    “A steam engine hits me in the face.”
  • “I’m wondering why there are so many freight trains in my heart, why his chest is a broken harmonica.”
  • “…but I melt until I’m a handful of hot butter dripping down his body.”
  • “He’s a hot bath, a short breath, 5 days of summer pressed into 5 fingers writing stories on my body.”

Metaphors, analogies, and similes are fantastic tools to enrich writing, but these are nonsensical and so odd that I kept laughing hysterically. These writing techniques were overused. They filled the pages. Metaphors and the like should be used as seasoning, sprinkled throughout the book and not dumped onto every single page.

Adam. Dear, sweet perfect, Adam. He’s the knight in shining armor. He’s the boy next door with the not so nice home life. He loves Juliette with all his soul. He’d do anything for her. His eyes are blue pools of passion, as he whisks Juliette to safety. Bored yet? That’s the entirety of their relationship summed up, well except for that make out scene in the tank. How does one make out in a tank? There’s no room. There’s no comfort… unless dystopian tanks are built like Cadillacs, and you can flip the seats down to make a love den. Because when you’re on the run for your life, a make out session is a must… or so Shatter Me explains.

I am baffled by Juliette’s relationship with Warner. Warner is the villain all cloaked in dastardly good looks, coupled with the personality of Joffery Baratheon. He’s holding her hostage and at one point she starts to have some feelings. I’m starting to think poorly written YA is fueling bad relationships in the real world. He’s a bad boy, but I love him (or my body does at least). This trope curdles my blood. It creates this fantasy that any girl/boy/person can  change their “loved” one. Behavior is one of the hardest things in the world to change. It’s Psychology 101. These books make it seem possible, that if you love someone enough they’ll change their ways. Many authors gloss over the hell that the main character goes through to enact this change. Many times the MC experiences mental and sometimes physical abuse. This is not okay. Please stop romanticizing this.

All you need to know about this book is that it ends. My rating: star-clipart-black-and-white-yckMLaKcE

*I do recognize that this was Tahereh Mafi’s first novel, and I’m not a fan of picking someone’s work apart. But the romantization of Juliette and Warner was unsettling. It’s a trend that I pray goes away.

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