Friday, January 13, 2012

Shatter Me, A Refreshing Debut From Tahereh Mafi


Shatter Me is an impressive debut from Tahereh Mafi that girl comic book lovers will appreciate. The lead character Juliette has one of the most authentic young female voices that I feel most women will identify with, even with her supernatural powers. That is a difficult task in a world of vampires, witches, and all other supernatural beings. Shatter Me is a series that people will be talking about in the future. I would even go as far as putting Juliette on the same pedestal as Katniss. Especially after the forthcoming ending of Shatter Me.

Juliette has been locked up in a 16 square foot cell close to 300 days without being in contact with a single human in a dystopian future. Of course this is because people feared her when they realized she could kill a human with a single touch. So why now has another person been thrown in her cell? Adam, the boy Juliette thought she’d never see again will help her discover that she is not a monster and can be free for the first time in her life.

Juliette is X-Men’s Rogue reincarnate. She has a similar power of no touching or she will, well, kill you. Juliette is a tortured soul that has a heartbreaking past that makes you empathize with her. Author Tahereh Mafi writes Juliette’s dialogue and then includes an additional true voice that is scratched out. This is what makes Juliette so identifiable with a woman of any age. She says what she should say, but in her head says what she is really thinking. Juliette is also a force to be reckoned with. You wouldn’t want to get on her bad side. Even though she seems timid she is so not. Her inner thoughts are beautifully poetic but sadly caged within her cursed prison. Mafi put a lot of soul into Juliette when writing her.

Adam is a hero that is written perfectly. He is someone with a lot of secrets that allows him to stand on his own as a character. One of those secrets I’ll just spoil right now since it’s a major part of the story anyway. He can touch Juliette! He finds out before her and is surprised himself. So you can only imagine the romantic interludes that go on with these two. They were a bit steamy but I guess if you haven’t touched a human…ever, than that would be expected. Usually Adam is a serious guy who we come to find out is a soldier with his own reason for fighting. He has a great backstory that sheds a profound light on him that creates another book within a book really. The best quality that I took from Adam is that he never really rescues Juliette, she could have done that on her own, he just wants to be there with her when she finds the strength.

Warner the villain! I loved to hate this guy. He is intriguingly evil and being Juliette’s capturer made me as a reader nervous for her each time they interacted. He is around the same age as Adam and Juliette, ordered by his father to run things and doesn’t want to disappoint. Warren does not flinch when ordering his troops to do the unthinkable when it comes to Juliette. They are like sacrificial lambs to the slaughter. He even challenges poor Juliette with using her death touch in an incredibly gut wrenching exercise that I can’t even speak of. In a believable way, Warren is taken with Juliette and sees her curse as power. This makes for interesting reading and starts a third story within a single book. Warren’s character has a juicy twist that had me cheering for Tahereh Mafi as an Author. Well done!

Shatter Me is an awesome read that I feel comic book readers will appreciate. It does have a bit of steamy romance but I feel that the second book will offer even more action than the first. Tahereh Mafi has managed to take a story that really takes you into four worlds in a short time, a cell, a fortress, the desolate slums, and a prosperous future. The prosperous future is a quick kick in the head for a promising second book, the new characters, the expectations, and the infamous twisted love triangle that I hope for. Shatter Me will be a series of books that I can see stacks of in bookstores because of course the film rights have been optioned by 2oth Century Fox. So read it now!            

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