My rating: 5 of 5 genies
Published: November 15, 2011 by Harper/Harper Collins
Source: Library Loan
Purchase At: The BookDepository.com or Amazon.com
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.
Wow, I think I should have officially finished this yesterday? But I never wanted to, so I made myself read slower on purpose, so my time with the fabulous characters and their heartbreaking stories could be lengthened. I love Juliette and I love Adam. Goodness, I have never felt so protective over a YA female protagonist before; nothing can happen to this girl, I love her story and I love her. She is broken and she is beautiful and Mafi is absolutely brilliant for having created her. I am a huge fan of these women both!
There have been a lot of comparisons to this and X-men; it becomes clearer why so closer to the end of the book, but I'd thought to say something in regards to the matter. I have long since had an on-going love affair with Gambit from X-men. He is my love and the sole reason I and Rogue never clicked, because she was the one thing standing in my way. That and reality of course, but leave a girl to her dreams! There have been many others since then, and since the barrier prevents us from being together, I have let Gambit slowly go. There will always be love in my heart for him, I will just never touch him.
*Sniffles* And where am I going with this, you might ask? Well, Shatter Me is kind of like X-men lite/rebooted; or at least it was very much this way in the first book, minus the Gambit-goodness. (HOW COOL IS IT THAT THIS IS A TRILOGY BTW?! BOOO-YAH!) Anywhosezen, Juliette is special. Not because she's incredibly sweet by any standards and just a great person. People have treated her like crap for years because whenever she touches someone, they go through this intense trauma - it really wasn't explained how it feels for afflicted individuals - but basically as long as contact between her and that person remains, they consistently weaken until death. Yikes, I know! Her parents won't hold her, kids stay far away, and after she kills someone unintentionally, Juliette is banished even farther so that she will never hurt anyone again.
Seems pretty straight forward, right? Nope. I came in expecting a lot of things - for Juliette to be angsty, bitter and hardened - my expectations were not met, they were destroyed completely and blown out the window. Allow me to repeat myself, this girl is so nice! Dang, I dealt with a mean Queen B. the other day and now all I want to do is go back and hug the broad and be like, "You know what? It's alright, because I don't care. Go ahead and be mean but all I know is that I'mma hug you like Juliette would if she could."
A little much? Eh. I love the girl, she's golden in my books. She's called a freak for most of her life and then locked away in an asylum, forced to eat minimum and sludge at best, bathe with slimy soap and listen to the screams of everyone else in the institution. That would break me I think and when I come out I'd be like, "screw this world, I'mma drop it!" But she didn't do that, even though she could.
That, folks, is something.
The setting is dystopian and very near-future in that it deals with portraying the world after our excesses have taken its toll and we're left with grey clouds, dying animals, unbearable heat and deceased people. It struck so close to home, I think I got chills. This is entirely possible; a world where everything once taken for granted vanishes and we are left with less than the minimal, we must do everything to stop this from happening. But of course a post-apocalyptic world never could be complete without a villain.
If I love Juliette, then I melt for Adam. He is very much so beyond words, actually. The two of them together was just magic to behold because she's never been touched before and he's so...electric. Haha, no pun intended! I love that their connection has history and that they knew a great deal about each other before falling in love. I really appreciated the back-story. Honestly, I just absorbed the pages with them together, lapped everything up; I wanted more and more. Mafi is a very gifted story-teller. Her words are always metaphors but consistently beautiful.
Whether it be for Juliette and Adam, or Mafi's brilliant writing alone, come this September I am picking up the next book! Cannot wait!