Book Review: Shatter Me (Shatter Me Book 1) by Tahereh Mafi

When Juliette touches people, it hurts and sometimes kills them, and she has no control over it. At 14, she was taken from her parents and eventually ended up being left to die in an asylum, watching through her one window as the world outside continued to collapse. But then a boy is put into her cell with her, she finds out things she never knew, and she's given a chance to live a better life... but at a price she's not willing to pay.

Book Review: Shatter Me (Shatter Me Book 1) by Tahereh Mafi | reading, books, book reviews, science fiction, dystopian, young adult
Title: Shatter Me
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 357
My Rating: 3 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher


Honestly I don’t have a lot to say about this book because I didn’t dislike it, but it fell kind of flat for me.

One thing I liked was Juliette. She had a strong moral compass and a lot of feistiness. I can’t even say I would’ve blamed her for caving in to what Warner was offering, but she was strong-willed. And she did what she had to in order to survive and save others (not in a bad way, she didn’t compromise her morals, she just kept her priorities straight).

But the thing is, even though I liked her, I didn’t connect with her, or any of the characters. None of them seemed that developed, and they seemed kind of like every other tragic-backstory YA character I’ve read about…

…Except maybe Warner. I found him to be quite the interesting villain. He seemed pretty mentally unhinged, and that was what made him so interesting. I actually kind of almost felt bad for him. I think he truly believed everything he was saying to Juliette about treating her right, giving her a better life, helping her, etc. And he was obsessed with her, thinking he was in love with her and that one day she’d come around and love him back. Of course that doesn’t excuse his actions, it just makes him a villain that gives me confusing, conflicting feelings :-P

Then there was the romance. It wasn’t entirely unbelievable, but it wasn’t entirely believable either. *MINOR SPOILER* Basically they fell in love before they ever even spoke to each other, but at least their love was based on the kindness they saw in each other rather than just physical appearances or something. *END SPOILER*

As for the plot, it also wasn’t bad, no plot holes that I noticed or anything, but it felt a bit meander-y. I wasn’t sure what we were heading toward.

Overall it wasn’t bad, but I think it just wasn’t quite what I was expecting and was a little more typical YA dystopian than I wanted.


Book Blurb

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

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.

Basic Info

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More Info (Possible Spoilers)

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  1. Greg

    Ooh you’re reading these. Bummer it wasn’t a bit better I’m conflicted on these. On the one hand I kinda want to try ’em, but on the other hand- I don’t know, seems like I took a peek once and the writing style seemed choppy or something. But maybe that’s just the narrative way of getting in her head? Like I said, IDK. :)

    1. Kristen Burns

      I read all three over a year ago actually. This is that whole problem of having more reviews than I can post lol. The writing style is different, crossed out words and stuff if I remember right. Kind of choppy, yeah. I guess it was kind of a way of getting into the character’s head?

  2. Lindsi

    I read this sooo long ago, like when it first came out, but I can’t really remember what happens. I had thought about re-reading it and finishing the series, because everyone raves about it. I remember liking the main character, but felt like all the new people she interacted with had ulterior motives. I was twitchy waiting on a bucket of shoes to drop.

    Now that you mention Warner, I do remember him being a little psychotic. Doesn’t he get a little possessive, too?

    Do You Dog-ear?

    1. Kristen Burns

      Honestly I don’t even remember what happens since I read it over a year ago lol.

      Yeah, I thought it was pretty much his possessiveness that made him seem so psychotic. But he was interesting.

  3. Sophie Eloy

    So I have read the series years ago and loved it! Of course I had only began to read YA dystopian so it felt new to me. I can understand why you did not really fell into it and yes Warner is a very interesting villain.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, it does sometimes make a difference when you read a book. Sometimes you get burnt out on a genre or start to notice cliches and things. I might’ve loved it too had I read it sooner!

  4. Lola

    This was a DNF for me, I could not get used to the writing style and had trouble connecting with anyone or the story. Sorry to hear you didn’t connect with the characters either. But it’s kinda interesting having a book we both read or tried to read in my case and how we agree on some parts. The villain does sound kind of interesting in a creepy kind of way. I think I only just met him when I decided to DNF the book. I think i got to 23% or so.

  5. S. J. Pajonas

    I’ve had this one on my Kindle for a long time and just never picked it up and read it. Hmmmm. And hearing it was a DNF for Lola is not inspiring either.

  6. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    This is on my TBR… But I’ve seen such mixed reviews and honestly I think I’d fall more into the 3 star category myself… I guess I just have to go ahead and try it? I’ll hit you up for a convo if I do pick this one up!!!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I did feel like the series got a little better as it went on at least. Honestly I read this over a year ago and don’t remember much, so I wouldn’t be very good for chatting for this one lol.

  7. Daniela Ark

    I cannot tell you how many times I tried to read this book. Bu tif there is one person in the bookiverse that can believe is you right? All the strike out text format just drove me totally ugh I tried and tried because everyone seemed to like it but me. And I was like.. it is JUST A FORMAT D! You can do this! Nope I couldn’t. I’m glad you enjoy it some.

  8. Rebeccah @ The Pixie ChroniclesRe

    I admit I haven’t had much interest in this book, but one of my favorite booktubers absolutely adores it and…it’s sort of making me want to read it? And despite all the negatives you listed, I noticed that “love-triangle” is NOT one of them, so I might just give this a go haha. Also, I haven’t read as many dystopians as a lot of folks seem to, so maybe this will still feel fresh for me :)

    1. Kristen Burns

      Well, there was kind of a love triangle in the second book. But tbh, love triangles would rarely be on my negatives list because I like them lol. But if you haven’t read many dystopians, I do think you might enjoy it more!

  9. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    Yeah, I think it’s easy to like a character intellectually but not really emotionally connect or care about them. I think Warner sounds fascinating though! Sometimes the villains are the most interesting. haha

    I’ve never read this book, and after awhile, it just didn’t interest me anymore.


    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, it does happen that way sometimes. Warner was definitely interesting to me!

      I have that happen with books all the time, honestly. Interested at first, but then time goes on, it get over-talked about, and I just lose interest.

  10. Karen

    I absolutely loved the starkness at the beginning of this book but by the end I hated it lol

    Did you end up liking the series more as it went on? Curious because of your comments on certain characters. I didn’t read it but I know what happens.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    1. Kristen Burns

      I did think it got better as it went on. BUT I found Warner more interesting in the second book, but less interesting in the third when it was basically like, “Look, none of the bad things he did were actually bad! Here are all the explanations!”

  11. Lilyn George

    I was really interested in this book when it first came out, mostly due to the absolutely stunning cover art. However, as time went on, I saw more and more reviews like yours. Don’t regret not picking it up, but lord, I’d love to have the cover art just to hang on my walls, you know?

  12. Danya @ Fine Print

    I loved this back in the day, but your critiques are so accurate…especially about Juliette and Adam’s romance. Juliette on her own is also a little dull (Adam is dull as dishwater). If you like Warner, I think you might be pleased with the direction the series ends up taking!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Ah, well, I read the whole series like a year ago lol. I just have a backlog of reviews XD But yeah, neither character was particularly interesting in this first book.

  13. Sam@WLABB

    I read this series back in 2016, and I immediately fell in love with the writing. I feel like I benefited from listening to the first book on audio, because the voice talent was that good. I am such trash for Warner and cannot wait to get updates on him and Kenji when Restore Me comes out. I will say, that Juliette needed the all three books to complete her metamorphosis, and I loved her at the end of the third book.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh, now I’m curious to know how the crossed out words would be handled in audio. I noticed Hoopla has the audio, and I need a new audio to listen to, and I’ve forgotten pretty much everything since I read this over a year ago lol, so I’m glad you mentioned it’s good. I might give them a listen before reading the new books coming out! Lol Warner was great! And I think Juliette grew on me too.

  14. Olivia Roach

    Well, I know you know my thoughts on this book. Although I didn’t feel much for Juliette either I didn’t have a problem with her at all. I didn’t exactly connect with her character either, but I could appreciate her resolve. And you’re right about Warner being so mentally unhinged and that is what makes him intriguing. I know there is more about his backstory in either the future books or the novellas, so I am curious to know more from them.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol yes. Same, I appreciated some things about her but just didn’t really connect much in this one. But Warner was so intriguing. My advice is to wait and read the extra novellas once you’re done with the trilogy. That’s what I did, even though supposedly you’re supposed to read one of them after Book 1. I think it works better and makes the second book more intriguing if you don’t know everything about Warner yet.

  15. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    A villain who gives you conflicting feelings? Well, that sounds like fun. I’ve just bought this and I totally don’t know what to expect. I am excited and the fact another book has come out in this series helps. I think I may have to just buy them all and have a good old binge read of them.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Unfortunately you won’t be able to binge the *entire* series now since there are still more books coming out lol. But you can binge some! I haven’t gotten around to the newest one yet.