Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Mafi’s debut novel will keep you on the edge of your chair until you finish the final chapter. It’s action-packed, but unfolds the details of the plot slowly, so it keeps you paying attention. As the story opens, readers join Juliette in her 12×12 prison cell, where we quickly learn she has been locked up for 264 days, without any human contact and under miserable conditions. We also discover that she has some type of disease/power that destroys people when she touches them.. Because of this, she’s been an outcast her entire life; even her parents were happy to be rid of her when the “Reestablishment” government wanted to imprison her. This post-apocalyptic world is a disaster: pollution everywhere, food and water shortages, and rampant disease. The Reestablishment has convinced the population that their plans are the only solution, so they are now in control with nearly absolute power. And now the government has given Juliette the choice: become a weapon for them or die! But the young man they’ve sent to guard her reminds her of the boy she knew as a child, one who was one of the few people who wasn’t cruel to her. When they take her out of the 12 x 12 cell to try to convince her to cooperate with them, something feels off, but she no longer trusts her own perception of the situation. When Juliette learns that her army guard Adam really is the boy from her past, what she thinks is true starts to unravel rather quickly. Should she take the chance and try to escape with Adam, or resist the Reestablishment on her own?
Although this book has it faults, I enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next installment. Mafi’s writing is a little flowery for my taste. “I have to ball my fists to control the thrills tripping my heart,” is the way Juliette describes her reaction to being close to Adam. Despite this, I think dystopian fans and science fiction readers would like this title if they give it a chance. I can hardly wait for the next title coming out in February of 2013.