I’ve been half-unconsciously avoiding writing this review. This book is, by far, one of the hardest books to comment I’ve ever read in my life. As I’ve been saying to my friends who care about books, this is like The Vampire Diaries but in book-form – which doesn’t particularly make sense since The Vampire Diaries is, in fact, a book series. Still, if you watch the tv show, you must know what I mean.
“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.”
– From Goodreads because I’m not going through the trouble of summarizing the story myself.
Shatter Me is, pardon my French, shitty but entertaining. That’s simply it. I started reading it, started hating it and yet I kept reading it. Not because someone told me it ended beautifully or because I had faith it would get better as the story went on – but because it entertained me with all its silliness.
The writing is so bad – sorry, Miss Mafi – it actually made me want to close it after the first page. This is the worst thing you can say to any writer but it’s just the plain truth. “7 seconds of silence joined the conversation”, “my face is cast in a neutral mold” (how can you describe your own face whilst speaking to someone???), “the burn of betrayal blushes up my neck”, “the sky is raining bricks right into my skull”, “I’m so thirsty I could inhale a waterfall” (queen of hyperbole) and “my fingers are running a marathon down my thigh” are now some of the best lines in the world of literature. But let’s not forget my favourite: “the boot disappears”, said when a guy was stepping on her back and took it off after a few seconds. I was surprised she didn’t say something like “that boot felt as heavy as two hundred elephants on top of each other”.
But the writing is not the only bad thing about the book. Its main character is as bad as it sounds: weak, melodramatic, annoying, obsessive, undecided and silly. She is, as far as I can remember, the worst female character I’ve ever read about. There were times I skipped her thoughts and went right to the dialogues – but worry not, the dialogues are also really bad.
So, why did I keep reading it if I was hating it so much?
Because I want to be a writer. And to be a good one, I need to know what I must absolutely not do and this book is, more than anything else, a list of things no writer should ever do with their story.
If you like dystopian novels with problematic girls as main characters, click here: