I don't know where to start with this one. I bought this last year and waited to listen as I had a few others I purchased at the same time that were burning a hole in my iPod. I regret not listening to it sooner so I could have returned it. The narrator is talented, I will give her that. I don't think I have ever rolled my eyes at the radio of my truck so much. Juliette, the main character, is the maybe worse than Bella in that other terrible book series. EVERY time another character talks to her she has to describe every feeling going through her EVERY time. This book could literally be half the length if they would just spend some time on character development and less on over exaggerated prose. Too many references to gasping all the air out of the room, feeling rain in some kind of way, feeling fire, melting, "shattering" into pieces, being glass or marble and not moving...and on and on and on and on. I love a good YA novel but this one, I can't. I wouldn't recommend it unless your super into over described teenage rebellion.
I read the summary and thought "this sounds interesting - a girl that no one can touch". I also read the reviews, and while some were negative, many were almost glowing. In the end though, the writing style was way too emo and overly dramatic. Even for me. The author seemed to think she had to over describe every single little thing. The MC couldn't have a single thought without it being compared to some overly obscure, flowery reference. The story itself was interesting and the world building was impressive. I even became invested in the MC and her love interest; but ultimately the over-the-top writing style ruined what could have been a great book and I only finished it to find out what happened to the two MC's.
The narrator has a VERY unique voice and would not impress me for any other book I've listened to, but her voice definitely matched the MC, so I won't hold this one against her. I won't be listening to the rest of the series and could not recommend this one - even to a 15 year old.
Audiophile since the days I had to check 'em out on rickety cassette tapes at the local library. Currently working the other side of production as an author of romance and scifi/fantasy.
Oh, how to address this one?
Okay, let's start with the writing. And I'm not talking here about the mechanics of plot, characterizations, etc. I'm talking about lining up words like ants and making them work, work, work. In this way, the writing worked, worked, worked. Mafi uses words like Di Vinci used paint. It's utterly beautiful. She's a maestro of metaphors, a savant of simile. In every chapter, there were at least ten turn of phrases that could be framed and hung in a gallery. I'd put her ability to make language her minion right up there with Fitzgerald's. At times, she transcends the borders of poetry and prose.
In that other kind of writing, the one that involves tone and progression and conflict... That one wasn't as clear. I kept thinking the whole book about this beautiful bouquet of verbal roses she brought to the table, and kept picturing her trying them out in different vases. She just couldn't find the right shape to hold her art. This book seemed confused about what it wanted to be. It's not that I'm opposed to genre-bending, but I don't think it worked here. It was like, as readers, we kept driving on in the same car through different microclimates, and suddenly discovering we didn't dress in layers. Is it the examination of a girl's psychological state? Is it a dystopian adventure? An environmental manifesto? A teen romance? A superhero action/adventure tale? It just couldn't seem to decide, rather trying to be all of them and succeeding in being none.
Plus there's the fact that Juliette, while basically socially isolated for at least three years, physically isolated for almost a year, and shunned her entire life due to her gift/curse, comes off as way too mature, knowledgeable, and aware of what's going on around her. She gives us occasional background on how her society ended up where it is, on the events leading to it, yet it's not clear how she would have knowledge of such things. Despite having no more than a middle-school education, she has an exceptional vocabulary that exceeds many literary scholars. There's clearly been a complete breakdown of society including massive death and destruction, but I couldn't buy that things transformed so dramatically, so quickly, and were reestablished in such short order. A lot more time needed to be spent here on world building.
In all, I'm intrigued enough to add the second book to my TBR list, but I sigh when I think how this book could have been so much more than what it was. Mafi's gift for language, however, will keep me reading no matter what.
AUDIOBOOK NOTES: EXCELLENT narrator on this. However, given the specialized format of text I've now discovered was used in the print book, I'm not sure it adapted well to audio. The strike-through approach particularly didn't translate well. There really should have been an adapted script for the audio production, or a more experimental use of audio special effects.
I is my TOP book so far
Its like Twilight w/ the Hunger Games feel. Because it has romance action and thrill.
Kenji hands down
This book doesn't give anything away its full of surprises all around. I think that the way Kate Simses reads the book is just on point with the characters. Im definitely going finish this series and reading other books from Tahereh Mafi.
A book is a dream you hold in your hand.
Three words okay..."Did it hurt?"
You know, when you fell from heaven?!! Words cannot do this sjkfnrkjfsil book justice!! I've listened to the entire series 3 times already and I still have to pause and catch my breath every other minute. Tahareh Mafi is my definition of God! This book is dkjgnekrjn incredible and I solemnly swear that I shall not rest until every human being walking on this earth has read this skjnfelrkmf,dx book!! LGJLRKMDskjnsFOKVSLSgrjmr,,KGJNJKD I just had a stroke...
Juliette's internal thoughts were pretty amazing to follow, especially when she was still in the asylum. She has the biggest heart even though she has been through the worst things possible. I love her and I wish I knew her personally. She is everything I've ever wanted to be.
Also, I don't think I've ever fallen this hard for fictional characters before! I am truly, deeply in love with them all.
Yes and she's great especially in this book where her voice really brings out the innocence in Juliette's heart. And I have to give her credit for Adam, Warner and Kenji's voices!!
(It's a plead escaping Juliette's breath)
If you don't fall in love with this book there is something seriously wrong with you my friend...
I loved the story so much..... But....... Occasionally the narrator's voice would get shrill and hurt my ears...... Other than that it was perfect! Good work! :)
the style is different, and the narration intense, but it all comes together quite well. I found myself aggravated with the main character at times but, she is still a worthy protagonist. All in all, a very enjoyable experience!
Listen on dog walks, commutes and around the house. Welcome virtually any genre but southern fiction holds a special place in my heart.
Shatter Me is another 3-star dystopian novel that I read on the heels of Station Eleven. Whereas Station Eleven is a literary dystopian tale aimed at an adult audience, this is a young adult novel along the lines of Divergent. I was pleased with the promising ending, but was pretty irritated by the writing in the first three-quarters of the book. Imagine an entire novel written in the style of slam poetry with bunches of repetitive...repetitive...repetitive phrases and multitudes of over-the-top descriptions ("There are 400 cotton balls caught in my windpipe.") Fortunately, the author abandoned this writing style in the final stretch of the novel. Only then did it feel like she had finally settled into her skin, and was ready to give us the story we had all been waiting for. Because of the strong ending, I'm actually interested in the next two books in the trilogy.