Flu Review - Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Posted on Aug 19, 2022 by Anna Jackson | Comments (0)
So I came to Shatter Me with an open mind and I tried to avoid the reviews because so many of them are negative. I've enjoyed "hated" books before I thought, I could like this one. When I started reading the book, I read the author's note that warned about the strike-outs and the repetition, and I thought, that's ok, I like reading the psychological development. OCD characters who rely on numbers and repetition do not bother me at all. I enjoyed the first 10-15% of the book, but then it just got ridiculous. Here is Juliette imprisoned in isolation for 9 months and she meets this new, hot guy in her cell. She talks about how they only get to shower whenever the guards feel like it and they only get two minutes. How bad did that room smell??? Juliette even says that she didn't shower for the first 3 months and she only has one outfit. That room must have reeked, but they never bring that up or the fact that they never brush their teeth or that they are trapped in one small room and there is no mention of a bathroom. I get it, that's not sexy, and this book was pushing sexy hardcore.
Now I am a person who loves flowery prose, which is weird because I rarely enjoy poetry, but I think flowery books are fun to read; however this book takes the cake. If you are going to create metaphors and have your character only think in metaphors, those metaphors must make sense to the reader. The fact that the author had to clarify her writing style in later editions of the book demonstrates that there is a lot of poor writing. That's not to say that the author didn't work hard on this novel, but I am saying that an editor needs to say, stop with these crazy metaphors about eyes and death and evil dancing. Metaphors must make sense to the reader or be appropriate in context (i.e., a metaphor that only goblins know but it's spoken by a goblin or about a goblin or the person lived with goblins so it makes sense in that context).
The characters were also just flat. Why does everyone have to tell Juliette that she is so pretty? She lived in a prison for 9 months and wasn't allowed to fully shower or wash her clothes or face or teeth. She doesn't look pretty, she would look haggard. She never eats or drinks enough water. Please look at those poor people who survived POW camps, they don't look pretty. No one is lining up to kiss the girl who has no access to a toothbrush for almost a year. Also, the villain is just evil and nothing else. He comes out and is just evil to Juliette but then begs for her help. Why? Why would you not try to befriend her before you have your guards beat her up? She doesn't know you and you could have been nice to her and she probably would have tried to help, but no, the author has to show that this guy is evil and nothing more.
Finally, because I am getting tired of dogging on this book, how does Juliette know what is going on in the outside world? No one has spoken to her in 9 months, but as soon as she goes outside she knows that the Reestablishment built all of these cheap shacks around the country and that no one drives and that everyone is starving. No one told her this information, but she knows it. How?? That's pretty much all I can say for this book. I mean the romance when they are trying to flee is crazy too. I just can't with the metaphors, though. It makes the book unreadable.
Ultimately, if you want to read this book, be aware that there are many problems. Read more reviews, but if you start to hate it - just stop. Don't waste your time. If you enjoy it, more power to you!
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