"You can't touch me," I whisper. I'm lying, is what I don't tell him. He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him. But things happen when people touch me. Strange things. Bad things.
No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.
But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time - and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever.
©2011 Tahereh Mafi (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
Listen mostly to urban fantasy and suspense/thrillers but also enjoy mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, adventure, classic, modern, spiritual or general literature. And I always like a bit of romance in any of my stories.
I was quite surprised by Tahereh Mafi's amazing prose. It is beautiful to listen to. Add in exceptional depth of characters and it's not what I normally expect from a young adult listen. Kate Simses' performance is wonderful adding even more beauty and her character voices are all quite distinct so it is always easy to know just who is speaking. If you've seen the book or used Amazon's look inside feature you know that the book has an unusual style. The audio book is produced in a away to truly bring that style to life. This is one of those rare books that I was ready to give five stars 2 hours into it and that opinion never changed. Can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Let me take a quick second to gush over this cover. The original cover of Shatter Me did nothing for me and I almost passed over the book just because of it. When the cover was redone, I had to stop and take another look. It is absolutely stunning. I am so in love with it and the covers from the rest of the series.
Okay, now about what was inside that beautiful cover, or in my case...on the recording.
I think that had a read the physical copy of this book I may not have liked it. In fact, I am fairly convinced I would not have liked it. Why? Well, Juliette thinks in prose and metaphor. Almost exclusively. She also has an obsession with numbers, counting and eyes. She is always, always, always counting and thinking about eyes. Oh, and breathing. She thinks about breathing a fair amount as well. Then there is the weird striking out of thoughts. In the physical book there are lines that are actually crossed out, on audio it is just a bizarre zipper sound and I had to figure out what the hell was happening. I think all these things would truly have annoyed me if I had been reading rather than listening.
“Killing time isn't as difficult as it sounds.
I can shoot a hundred numbers through the chest and watch them bleed decimal points in the palm of my hand. I can rip the numbers off a clock and watch the hour hand tick tick tick its final tock just before I fall asleep. I can suffocate seconds just by holding my breath. I've been murdering minutes for hours and no one seems to mind.”
However, Kate Simses does such an amazing job performing this read that I easily slipped into the crazy mind of Juliette. Simses should win some sort of award for this read. Do they have audio book awards? They should, and she should win one. She took me to a place I don't know I would have gone in my own head.
Juliette has been imprisoned in a mental institution, left in solitary confinement, for 264 days. She has not spoken to anyone and she has not touched anyone. But not touching is a good thing since her touch is a killer. It's how she ended up in a small dank cell with only a tiny window to peak at the outside world. An outside world that has fallen to rot and famine and severe military control.
Juliette lives inside her mind, within this cell. Her mind and a scruffy notebook she scribbles thoughts in are her only companions here. Until Adam is tossed in the cell with her. Adam with beautiful eyes that hide from Juliette his true intentions on being in the cell with her.
Adam's arrival triggers a series of events that lead Juliette out of the institute and into the military where she is to be a weapon. A tool. A destructive and dangerous torture device. A device that Juliette desperately does not want to be.
Juliette is an interesting chick. She likes to believe she is not insane, but I kind of think she is. I love her none the less. She's caring and she's brave while she's terrifying and powerful beyond what she even knows. Her every day struggle to live without touching anyone or being touched, is one wild ride. She thinks she's a monster, she's been told she is by everyone but at her heart she is just a selfless girl trapped inside a venomous body. Mafi has done an extraordinary job of writing Juliette, the way her mind works and where it goes. Utterly breathtaking.
Adam and Warner are opposites in many ways yet completely the same in others. Yes, this does appear to be the beginning of some sort of love triangle. Adam being a sweet guy would be the obvious choice for a love interest. He would be a good pick but my money says there is much more to Warner (the bad guy) than his militant tyrant mask portrays. I think he's going to be breaking his fair share of young hearts by the time this series is over. My scales are slightly tipped in his favor.
On a side noet ~ Some of the other characters are fantastic. I'm a tad bit in love with James & Kenji.
“I’ve come to believe that the most dangerous man in the world is the one who feels no remorse. The one who never apologizes and therefore seeks no forgiveness. Because in the end it is our emotions that make us week, not our actions.”
The pacing, action, drama and trauma in Shatter Me kept me at the edge of my seat. I was constantly anxious to see what would happen next and pleasantly surprised at how I rarely saw what was coming.
I know this is a love it or hate it type of book and I would suggest that if you are apprehensive about reading it, sample the audio. I have fallen face first into this series and look forward to its future; counting, breathing and eyes eyes eyes included.
'Shatter Me,' is a dystopian teenage drama by Tahereh Mafi. It takes places in an apocalyptic world with members of a resistance movement front and center. The main character is a seventeen year old girl who has the special ability of being able to kill a person with her touch. There is a bit of teen coming-of-age drams and romance.
I found this world to be interesting, the writing and characters adequate. It held my interest while I was reading it although I don't think I will be doing a re-read any time soon. As it is the first book in a series I am curious to see where the author will take this story and characters...I've heard from friends that the author does build on this story and it grows in interest and intensity and the characters become more multidimensional. I plan to continue the series as my curiosity has been sufficiently aroused.
I think the narrator did a fine job with most of the characters although occasionally I took a well need break from listening to the whiny voice used for the ten year old younger brother of one of the characters.
Lost in Literature
Right up there at the top!
I really enjoyed Juliette... though I'm totally intrigued with Warner...
Yes, and it was a delight as always. :)
The entire book was intense and had my full attention!
The performance of the person reading. It would not have held near the interest in book form. And such an interesting use of descriptors. Always in the extreme and many times at opposite ends of the spectrum. I have never read anything like this. Very unusual ! The story is futuristic and about a time when the earth is more barren. But hope is found. The story is about how it is found and one young girl in particular.This is not the kind of thing I usually read but I loved this story. It had heart and soul and caring and hope for a better world.
Juliette because she was so resillient.
She read with such feeling and expression, reguardless of which character she was portraying. I seldom comment on performance unless the accent is so strong I have difficulty understanding. But to have just read this book I dont think I would have enjoyed it half as much. She made it come alive. It was real. Ahe was AMAZING!
Yes, but obviously could not.
As different as it is from what I usually read (mysteries) I would recommend taking a chance on this. The very interesting use of words in the writing and the extremely well performed reading will be worth your time.
i'm definitely going to check out the sequel to this; however, i have to admit that the writing style was weird, and the ridiculous metaphors got old about half-way through. there were some fabulous moments, but i sort of wanted to punch the 'heroine' in the throat a lot, and i'm not convinced on the romance. the story is interesting enough that i plowed through this pretty quickly, but it would never be a repeat listen for me. also, the sound effects at the beginning totally freaked me out until i figured out that they were pen-scratch strike-outs.
I'm normally not into YA fiction, but this recent influx of YA dystopian stories (where have those been back in the days when I was a young adult myself?!) has taught me to no longer shy away from this genre - and I'm more than glad, for else I would have missed out on this little gem.
Tahereh Mafi has an invaluable talent, both with words and with conveying emotions through them. I've heard others say there's too many metaphors in her descriptions, but in my opinion they are refreshingly imaginative (not the overused standard fare found in other books) and not even once did they feel out of place to me. Some of them are so utterly beautiful I actually had to replay them a few times to enjoy them again and again. Simply poetic!
If you're like me and don't enjoy over-the-top romantic we-became-a-single-being scenes, you'll have to suffer through a few of them, but nothing that would ever warrant taking away a star from the rating. Firstly of course because a personal pet peeve is not a flaw in the book itself, especially not in a YA romantic novel, and secondly because they are really well dosed - long enough for the romantic soul to enjoy them, short enough to not take away from the story itself. Another big thumbs up to Tahereh Mafi for accomplishing that feat!
There are some actual flaws - sometimes the pacing felt a bit off, the ending come off a little bit rushed and many of the plot twists were really predictable - but all in all I would give this story four and a half stars, since it managed to totally captivate me both language- and story-wise.
A valuable rough diamond - and here's where Kate Simses chimes in, turning it into a glistening brilliant. She puts so much feeling into her performance, does such a wonderful job at giving each of the characters their own voice and personality (wait until you come to the first scene featuring James - I felt like squealing at the cuteness). While listening to her it was very easy for me to forget she's actually reading a text, and in my opinion she manages to make both male and female characters sound very natural, from the soft and wispy voice of Juliette to the harsh and provocative intonation of Warner.
I cannot relate to the scratching "issue" others have mentioned. To me it added a lot to the whole inner monologue feeling, and constantly made me imagine her sitting in a quiet corner conveying her thoughts to the pages of her notebook. I think it's a wonderful concept, both in written and in spoken form, and the sound itself never was unpleasant to my ears, despite listening with earphones on high volume most of the time.
I really hope Unravel Me will be available in audible format soon after the book - and please, please let Kate Simses be the narrator once again!
I do not like to give negative reviews but I must say that I don't think this book was worth listening to. I am not sure if my download was corrupted somehow but the dialog was interrupted with weird scratchy sounds throughout the reading. I heard other readers indicate the printed version contained a lot of strikeouts so I will assume perhaps that is what the sounds represented. I don't know all I know is that is was quite distracting to an already distracting storyline.
Maybe I missed it, but nowhere did I read that this was one of those historical romance novels...just set in the future. Personally, I found the writing to be over the top in lyrical prose & romance descriptions...ie, "..his fingers press me up against the wall...his lips, his lips,his lips, his lips, his lips...my eyes are fighting not to flutter, my legs have won the right to tremble, my skin is scorched everywhere he's not touching me, his lips are so close to my ear I'm water and nothing and everything and melting into a wanting so desperate it burns as I swallow it down." I've read that the book gets better, but I don't believe I'll make it through. And yes, the scratching bits of noise & endless reiteration of words/phrases that can go with it are really annoying - I kept thinking the download was corrupted! I'm disappointed in my choice but I suppose it will be excellent for followers of romance novels.
I liked the voices and performance of the reader. I liked the story line. It starts off very slow and it's very poetic so if you are not into that like I am not, then listen to it on 2X speed and it should be fine. I almost didn't finish listening to this book because it was so slow to get anywhere in the beginning and I hate poetry but I am glad I stuck it out because it turned into an X-men thriller with a wonderful romance.
The super natural powers of the main character and how she discovers herself along the way.
She does a great job with all of them!
No, the poetry tends to drag the book on more than it should. I listened to the whole thing on speed 2X.
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