Disclaimer: this isn't a real review, hence the pseudo. It's also spoiler free. I've tried doing a couple book reviews, but as a writer, I feel all kinda queeby about it. I'd rather just tell you all what I like, and what I thought was interesting and what my writer brain latched onto while reading it. So here goes…
Shatter Me, in my mind, has two very distinct sections: the first three fourths, and the rest. I'll speak about them both individually.
The first three fourths of Shatter Me is a dystopian nightmare. It depicts a horrible not too distant and entirely plausible future where our hero, Juliette, is imprisoned in solitary confinement and is going insane. It is shocking, terrible, and gutwrenching.
But having said all that...
I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN.
By chapter 2 I was hooked and I didn't leave the couch for three hours. I finished it in two more sittings. This is UNHEARD OF for me.
But back to the book. As the story progresses, Juliette gets a visitor, and that's where things really start to get interesting. I'm not going to go into all the details, I don't want to spoil it, but suffice it to say that along the way we learn things about Juliette, and her visitor, and the world in which she lives and, oh yah, did I say I couldn't put it down? Because it's AMAZING!
The last quarter of the book caught me off guard. Again, no spoilers here, but Shatter Me took a real drastic change in tone and direction. I've never listened to any interviews with Tahereh Mafi and so I don't know this for a fact, but it seems that this was done to set up the sequel's. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but it was unexpected and I don't think I would have wrote the same ending. But maybe that's what she intended all along and I don't know what I'm talking about. Entirely possible!
So now for the big question: will I buy the sequel? Abso-frakking-lutely! I wouldn't typically buy a book of the genre set up at the end, but Shatter Me is such a tour de force that the writer in me wants to know what Tahereh Mafi is going to do next.
And don't tell anyone, but I may have a little bit of a fan boy thing starting up here. :-O
PS - more later on Shatter Me and YA in general.