For New Years, my husband and I spent the weekend with a group of our friends. While the boys played video games, I looked through our friend's bookshelf and was delighted to find a pristine copy of Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me (and an ARC no less). Around 8pm Friday night I began reading it, intending to savor it over the course of the weekend. By 1:30am I had finished it.
Shatter Me has done well in the month or two it's been out, which is unsurprising. The story is a mix of trends that are currently popular: one part post-apocalyptic, two parts romance, three parts superhero, with a dash of mild psychosis like peppermint in a chocolate chip cookie. Tahereh Mafi is a popular figure on twitter and tumblr, and for good reason—she knows how to be charming and inspiring and make her followers feel included in her successes. So I expected to enjoy my immersion into the world of her story.
What I didn't expect was to sink deeper and deeper into her imagery. I don't remember reading a single cliché in any of the 300 or so pages. The main character Juliette is multidimensional because she's packed full of uniquely-worded thoughts, so full in fact that she's dripping with phrases I wanted to pluck out of the book, prop on my shelf and rub for good luck every time I pass. The book left me saturated with the feeling that I had learned something new about how words might be used.
I know that not everyone will enjoy the writing style in the book. For some it might be a bit overpowering. But personally I'm glad that I didn't let this book pass by as “just another post-apoc novel.”