A couple weeks ago it was announced that the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi would be getting three more books in the series. Because of that, it sparked my motivation to re-read the series and refresh my memory of the story. I read the whole series in college, so it's been a handful of years ago and I read them back to back alongside doing school work, which may have affected my ability to absorb the story. I am going to try to read the entire series before the March 2018 release of the new series. There are three books and three novellas, so I am going to be pairing one book with one novella when it comes to reviewing. The novellas are so small I don't see a point in giving them their own reviews.
So onto the reviews!
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Shatter Me follows Juliette Ferrars, a seventeen year old girl who has been locked in an asylum because she was convicted of killing a young boy by only touching him. She experiences a lot of self hatred because of her ability to hurt someone with just her touch. She has been thrown in a cell in the asylum by her parents after the accident. She is given a chance to escape the asylum, but that would mean that she had to use her abilities as a weapon for the Reestablishment. Is her personal gain of getting out of the asylum worth hurting people?
I really enjoyed a lot of the aspects of this book. First, starting with the author's writing. I absolutely loved her writing because of how unique it is. From the strikeout moments of Juliette's thought process to the lyrical but simplistic moments.This book is so quotable.
The characters are all well written and they all have specific personalities that are easy to distinguish which I appreciate because I remember when reading this series for the first time that there were a lot of characters. I really like Juliette as a character, which is a shock to me considering I remember now being the biggest Juliette fan when I first read the series. However, I found myself understanding and feeling for her a bit more as a character, especially with what she's gone through. Unfortunately, I found myself not loving the men in this book. Without going into any detail, I found Adam to be really creepy, Warner seemed a bit psychotic, and Kenji, although at times made me laugh, could have dialed back on the "bro your girlfriend is so hot" comments.
I think I remember who Juliette ends up with, or at least who most readers "ship" her with, but so far the thought of that relationship makes me a bit uncomfortable. Even if this certain character is a better person in the story, it doesn't excuse his previous actions. So I am expecting some serious character development to make me even remotely feel comfortable.
I think he author is talented at writing action scenes. One thing about action scenes for me is that most of the time my eyes just skim if the writing doesn't paint a clear picture. Otherwise all I see in my head is a tangle of limbs and nothing seems to make sense. But Mafi did a really great job, and it had me frantically reading.
Besides the con about men being less than ideal (at least so far, hopefully that changes) I had one other con. This con can be a bit spoiler-y, so I want to WARN FOR SPOILERS for just this paragraph. So skip until the next paragraph if you have not read the book and do not want to be spoiled. Last warning. My last con is that I couldn't get behind Juliette making out with anyone, never mind two men she really just got to know. She hasn't felt another human's touch in years, and she certainly hasn't been given any compassion or love seemingly her whole life. So it felt weird for me, that someone who has been gone though that would immediately go into making out with Adam. At least her making out with Warner had a specific reason. But she starts kissing Adam pretty early on, and she slipped into the "girlfriend" role a bit too quickly, and both her and Adam said "I love you" the moment they started acting on their feelings. It was too unrealistic for me.
Okay- back to non-spoilers. So overall, I did enjoy this story and I am really excited to continue on with my re-read. So far I recommend the series, but we will see if and how that changes as I keep reading.
Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi
Warning: if you haven't read Shatter Me, then reading this review below will spoil events that have happened in Shatter Me. However, I do want to mention that I think reading this novella before moving on to Unravel Me, the second book in the series, is an important move. Anything after this paragraph will be spoilers for Shatter Me, so read cautiously.
Destroy Me takes place in Warner's point of view, he''s been shot by Juliette and he's dealing with his emotions on those events. From angry that his vulnerability has been taken advantage of, to feeling infatuated and shocked to the fact that not only can he also touch Juliette, but they kissed. Granted, right before she shot him.
This novella definitely helps you see Warner as a more complex character than you assume he is while reading in Juliette's point of view. Which I think is important for understanding the story as a whole, so I definitely think reading this novella is detrimental to understanding the story going forward.
Without spoiling the events that happen I can't go into much detail on this review, considering the book is only about 100 pages long. I think that because of the length of the book I couldn't give it a higher rating, because it's just a snippet of a bigger story. The writing, like the first book, is well done and engaging. I enjoyed learning more about Warner, even if he still really creeps me out a bit. I still don't know if the author is going to slip his character from creepy rich guy stalker jerk to possible love interest for Juliette, but we will see.
Overall, I am really happy I read this novella because I think it's important for Warner's character development. I recommend this book before reading Unravel Me.