I have many alternative worlds, all on my bookshelf. Working at BookLikes.com Say hello: kate at booklikes dot com
I had really mixed feeling while reading the book. I even thought that I won't finish it. Luckily the ending came fast.
The concept is very simple. Julia, the main protagonist, has got very special gift. Deadly one. She can kill anyone with her touch. After an accident with a child who died her parents rejected her (she was never lover nor liked child) and gave away to mental hospital. She lived there alone, without a second person to talk to or touch for couple hundred of days. One day is different though, a boy is brought to her cell. After this unexpected visit she is taken by soldiers and moved to a new place and the boy (sweetheart from the school) appears to be on the wrong side.
But then nothing is as it seems. The beast (the cruel leader she was brought to), got obsessed, fell in love in the beauty and wants to make use of Julia's deadly gift to pacify or kill - for him it's the same. The only thing Julia knows is that she needs to run away and stay close to Adam, her teen crush and the only person who can touch her.
The world in Tahereh Mafi's book is divided into two camps powerful, cruel one (soldiers and their leader) and all the rest having no chance with the strong regime. What's more, the Earth is dying and the one responsible are humans for exploitation natural resources. There are no animals, fresh water, clean air. Everything is dry, dead and polluted. If there is something good to eat, drink, touch or smell, it in first camp's possession. Others have no chance.
But if you add 1 to 1 the outcome is always 2 so if there's a camp led by power-obsessed maniac, there needs to be a resistance camp close by. And there is. After Julia and Adam run away they were taken to a safe heaven where everyone is clean, honest and good. What's more it's a place where live many people with different gifts so Julia finally feels like home there. Ohhh...
OK. Did you get the picture?
The book was too sweet for me. I got it all after several pages and was disappointed. The plot was so predictable that I actually was thinking whether I need to finish this book. The construction is really plane with hardly any twists and surprises. All of this was already written, I've already been there. The eco-theme was mentioned but not developed. We don't know what happened. You can think about it but you won't get the answer. And that could be interesting.
Good thing is that it's a fast reader, the language style is very loose and very often we're inside of Julia's mind. However, the language was full of metaphors, every third sentence could be used as an inspirational quote (I'm cautious where I see something like this). And then Julia and Adam are a perfect couple (too sweet, too sweet), they love each others, kiss and drink their tears from chick and hugs ... (seriously, they will kill you, run away, do you really have so much time for all of this?).
Did I completely do not like this book? No, but for me it was just childish, nothing new or special. I wanted something different, with stronger emotional component, some mystery and surprise. Unfortunately I didn't find any of it in Shatter Me. If you're looking for a simple book but fast reader with plot that won't make you ponder too much, well this is it. For me there's no sparkle. I will double think before I grab the second book in the series (I don't like leaving series open and not finished).
P.S. I really don't like writing negatives about books. It's not that it's so bad - it's just not for me. And I had to say it loud.