Google+ Reading Teen: Book & Audio Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Monday, November 28, 2011

Book & Audio Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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.

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 9 hours and 12 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Harper Audio Release Date: November 15, 2011
Buy the audio: Audible 

Wow, wow, wow.  Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.   WOW!!!  I'm not quite sure that I've ever had SUCH an insane emotional response to an audiobook before.  This audio was intense!  If you've seen the book, you'll notice that while "Juliette" is telling this story, she will write down her initial thoughts, then cross them out and rewrite them.  I was worried about how this would translate on audio, but Harper Audio did an amazing job!  The reader performer, Kate Simses does a fantastic job portraying Juliette.  You can tell that she is really feeling what she's reading.  It was SO incredibly heartbreaking intense emotional!  Then when she would pour her heart out, you could hear her scratch out her thoughts, and replace them with others.  Kate's voice was perfect for a 17-year-old girl.  I'm so glad she doesn't sound like a 40-year-old woman.  She also does a fantastic job with the guys' voices.  Each voice she does is distinct, and recognizable.  I don't have a single complaint.  She really made me feel what Juliet was going through, and I'm so glad that I decided to read listen to this book.  I can't recommend it enough!

Not sure if you'll like it?
Check out a clip of the audio here!

Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (November 15, 2011)
Language: English
Buy the Book:  Amazon 

I hadn't planned on reading Shatter Me.  Abigaile already reviewed it for the blog, and I don't read a lot of what we've already reviewed (for obvious reasons).  But after Abigaile's amazingly positive review  followed by the constant praise on Twitter and other blogs, I decided I needed to see what all the hype was about.  I was COMPLETELY blown away.

As in many other books, the story in Shatter Me is good.  The characters are interesting and loveable/hateable.  The mystery of what is actually going on, keeps you engaged and turning the pages, wondering what will happen next.  There are plot twists and turns, and many things you don't see coming.  I liked Juliette, though at times she was frustrating.  It's hard for me to read about a girl who can be....mousey at times.  But if you think about what her life has been like, you realize that she is absolutely what she should be.  Adam is just.....yes.  I've definitely added him to my list of top YA guys.  DEFINITELY!  I loved to hate Warner.  He's the perfect villain, filled with evil, but also a complexity that makes you question why he is the way he is.  I loved it all.

In the hands of any other author, this book would be great.  I would love it.  It would go on the list of all the other great books I've read this year, enjoyed, then put away.  But in the hands of Tahereh Mafi, this story transcends anything in it's genre.  I have never in my life been moved by the words of an author the way that Tahereh moved me with the beautifully crafted sentences that she created to tell this story.  This girl can write.  Her words are dripping with imagery and symbolism.  She takes a simple act, like riding in an elevator, or walking down the hall, or kissing a boy :) and turns it into something you feel with every fiber of your being.  The simple romance in Shatter Me is transformed into a tension that breaks your heart, catches your breath, and make your head spin.  It's simply intoxicating.

If you haven't had the chance to immerse yourself in the beautiful writing of Tahereh Mafi, you don't know what you're missing.

Make sure you check out our review with Tahereh here!
Wondering if you'll like the writing style?  Read the first chapter here!

Book Doppelgangers:

Wither by Lauren DeStephano, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Legend by Marie Lu

Will I buy it?


Book or Audio:

I'm going to have to go with AUDIO!
  • Sexual Content:  Heavy sexual tension
  • Profanity:  Heavy
  • Violence:  Moderate
For more details, check out Shatter Me on Parental Book Reviews.


  1. Oooo because of this review I am SO adding this to my TBL (to be listened) list :)

  2. "She takes a simple act, like riding in an elevator, or walking down the hall, or kissing a boy :) and turns it into something you feel with every fiber of your being".

    That's the part of your review and of many others that makes me think I won't like this book, too elaborated language to describe anything...

  3. I'm not a huge fan of audios but this one is making me itch to buy it!

    Great review!

    Reading is my cup of tea

  4. Jam, you should read the first chapter and see what you think! Even though it's very poetic wording, it isn't overly detailed, if that makes sense. I get bored with lots of details, and this book was far from boring.

    Check out the first chapter here:

  5. I've been eyeing off this book since I heard about it (which was before the official publication date) but I've tried to be self-controlled because I've asked for it for Christmas but your review has made it that much harder...


    When I first started this I fell in love with Mafi's writing style - instantly. But after a few pages I felt like I was drowning in it. I LOVE that kind of description, where it's almost like an analogy, but at times it just felt like too much.
    After a few chapters I just got over it, the book was what it was and I loved Mafi for being different. I accepted it as Juliette's way of thinking, it's her mind we're in so we might as well hear what she has to say and how she says it. It was special, it was different and I love that Mafi took such a risk at writing the way she did.

    Adam... *sigh* he is just something else all together. Their love story (and history) is so perfect it kind of reminded me of Violet and Jay from The Body Finder series. Adam, clearly gorgeous and Juliette so stunning everyone hits on her. At times I just felt like shouting "Reality check please?! A girl who's only been having one small meal a day for almost a year would not even look healthy enough to live." But of course in fiction she has to be drop, dead, gorgeous and dangerous.
    I have to admit when it came to Juliette I didn't expect her to be such a kick-ass. The times in the cell, the fact that she was up all night because her roommate was a boy? It didn't exactly show me all this strength she had hidden away. But telling Warner to go to hell when she was on the floor bleeding literally made me look up from the book and say "Woooaaahh!!!" :D I loved her in those moments of rebellion more than I did for her special way of thinking-through-analogies.

    This brings me to Warner.
    First I just thought he was a maniac and an annoying one too, but it was the scene with the baby that got me. I was crying as I read that scene, I felt SO bad for Juliette and the baby that was about to be harmed. How could he be SO cruel? I had a hard time seeing him as a 19 year old as well, after Juliette meeting him and thinking he was 25 he was stuck at 25 in my head. And I just recently watched Resident Evil Afterlife so he kinda looked like that bad dude from the film (Shawn Roberts).
    He is now at the top of my list of YA Villains, he beat Voldemort. Imagine that!

    I loved this book but I would give my brain some time before reading it again, all that analogy might kill me o_O

    1. haha, yeah, I think her writing is kind of hit or miss with people. I kind of wonder if listening to this on audio made it different for me. The reader was just so good, and had so much feeling that it really moved me. I tend to like more poetic (self-indulgent some say), writing.

      You are SO RIGHT about Warner. He is seriously the BEST bad guy! OMG Shawn Roberts would be awesome! Of course then I might fall in love with him instead of hate him....hmmm.....

    2. I think listening would be good for those who wouldn't enjoy reading this type of writing. I heard the clip and she does sound pretty good as Juliette :)
      Hehe, Shawn Roberts :D I think it should be okay as long as we love him for being bad. Or confused. Whatever he is.


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