Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Book Review: Shatter Me
TITLE: Shatter Me
Book 1 in a new series
AUTHOR: Tahereh Mafi
GENRE: Dystopian, romance
PREMISE: Juliet's touch can kill people and so she's been locked in a cell for almost a year now, but then she gets a new cellmate that changes everything...
MY REVIEW: Sigh, I wanted to like this one so much and too be clear it isn't a horrible book. Pacing is good, it's got the entertainment factor going for it, and some of the writing is spectacular. Unfortunately, it just isn't anything new that I haven't read before in a million other dystopians/other forms of entertainment. Literally this book was a mish mash of ideas that have been done in other forms. Girl who can't touch people because they die? Rogue from the X-Men. And actually when it's discovered there are other people with powers it starts feeling awfully X-Menish as well. Locked away for protection? Been done. Boy shows up and she miraculously (with no explanation) can touch him? Done. Even the mildly interesting world that Mafi had going on had a been there, done that feel and there was not enough focus on it for my taste because once again we have an author who apparently thinks the romance is the most interesting part (it kind of isn't).
Then there's my biggest problem which is Juliet herself. I'm sorry but she's a HUGE Mary Sue. And honestly an annoying one. I get it, she's had it rough but does she have to constantly remind us every page or whine about it at least once a chapter? Then there's the whole "you can't love me, I'm a monster!" trope that just annoys me to death. Also I'm sorry but how on earth was she even a weapon or how is this female empowerment? Okay, yeah she can kill people with her touch. Unless she can go around getting to really important leaders (unlikely) she's honestly kind of useless. As for the empowerment thing most of the time she had no backbone. The only time she showed any strength was when her man was being threatened and even then all she did was bitch at the bad guy and didn't back up the bitching because oh look, suddenly we're kissing him and liking it! So sorry, that's what I call a faux-feminist heroine. She is presented as a female empowerment figure but her actions aren't really female empowerment.
But that is totally a beef of mine, who knows maybe next book Juliet will actually gain a backbone. So I give, this is very entertaining and I certainly see why it's gained a lot of fans. I also am pretty sure if it becomes a movie, it'll be a entertaining movie as well. But me personally I just am tired of reading the same ideas like this over and over again. I really am starting to wish YA would cool it with the dystopians for a bit because it's already becoming stale and it's only been a year that the trend really hit.
WHO SHOULD READ: dystopian fans, those not tired of the cliches
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five crossed out emo sentances