I have a note that came with my ARC of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. It says “We expect this to be HarperCollins lead Young Adult title this season.” Sounds good, but I’m dubious. Is it really that good?
I loaned it to a good friend of mine who sat me down as she handed it back and looked at me very earnestly in the eye. She said “Will you promise me that you will read this book next?” I did, and I have.
Wow. You are all in for a treat come November. Wow. This. Is. Phenomenal.
Juliette has been locked up for 264 days. She cannot touch anyone for fear of hurting them. The last person she touched died at her hands and now she has a roommate; a man named Adam, who she once knew in her youth;who she was once in love with…
…and she can’t touch him.
There’s more, but it’s spoilerriffic. I won’t ruin it for the lot of you. Rest assured, it develops into Dystopian awesomeness with a nifty science fiction/superhero edge, and a really creepy villain. Like, top-notch creep. Like, haunt your dreams kind of creep. The story itself feels a little X-men, Juliette herself is very Rogue. However, Juliette’s back story is something else entirely. There are moments in her history that are really evocative, sad and sharp. She feels completely alone in a world where no one wants her.
There is something to be said about the power of Mafi’s writing. You will be hearing about this more than anything in the coming months, but her writing is simply stunning. Mafi writes bits of streams of consciousness that are actually (wait for it) streams of consciousness! How novel. There are moments where being inside of Juliette’s head is written very much how people think; in obsessive repetitive patterns, in tweaks and spurts, in broken fragments and crossed out lines. Simply put, in a realistic, believable way. I read parts of this aloud to my partner and he was just as enamoured as I am. Mafi’s writing is elegant like poetry; engaging and fitting perfectly into a narrative flow. It’s the perfect blend of so many worlds. I really enjoyed it.
5 out of 5 stars. This book has made my top ten of the year.
* Shatter Me releases November 15th, 2011.
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