Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Don't Touch Me

“All I ever wanted was to reach out 
and touch another human being 
not just with my hands 
but with my heart."
--Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me 

Genre: YA Dystopia, Science Fiction
Publisher: Harper, 338 pages
Publication Date: November 11th, 2011
Source: Bought

Goodreads Description

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.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

My Thoughts

Oh. My. Gosh. I remember this book being amazing...but I didn't at the same time. Holy crap I think I need a cold shower. Hotachacha. So in anticipation of Unravel Me, I so needed wanted to go back and re-read Shatter Me and experience everything I obsessed over  loved the first time around, again. SO glad I did. I love this book. If somebody would ask me who I thought had the most beautiful writing style, Tahereh Mafi is one of the two authors I ALWAYS think of. Her prose and use of words is by far the most incredible I have ever come across. She is so skilled and creative, I just cannot say enough about it. Let's be honest. Destroy Me is the reason I started blogging. It was my first review...ever...and ya wanna know why? Because that piece of writing was so brilliant that I HAD to have an outsource to be able to expel the feelings I had about it. You can check out my very first review ever, it is pretty horrible a little rough but it holds a special place in my heart. 

Like I said, the writing in this book in unparalleled to anything else out there. Juliette's frame of mind is so precarious and fragile, Mafi captures the edge of insanity absolutely perfectly. I'm a nurse and I've had to read an insane amount (pun intended) more than my share about psychological issues and she hits the nail on the head with the inner monologues. The repetitive thoughts, the counting obsessions, the imagination about the world around her. It is just captured so perfectly, you can feel exactly what Juliette is going through. Unreal. And the strikeouts strikeouts?! Oh my word, phenomenal addition to the entire realm of Juliette's world. They were just so perfect. It enabled the reader to see her conflicting emotions about everything and the juxtaposition of her wants and needs was brilliant.

Juliette herself is a phenomenally developed character. She is a woman of extremes and I don't mean that in a negative way. She is quiet, shy, fragile, but oh so powerful, snarky, opinionated. Her sense of right and wrong is never jaded no matter how horribly she is treated. She does not fights back. She grows from a meek child to a strong and fierce woman. She is so grounded yet sits so close to that teetering brink of insanity. Keeps ya reading and wanting more constantly. Her characterization is just amazing.  

The whole idea of touch being so incredibly powerful on so many different levels is such a unique twist. That Juliette could kill somebody with her touch yet she is the one slowly dying due to her lack of human connection. The comparison of the same thing being used to such opposite extremes is so creative and nothing short of brilliant writing. And the dystopian world our story is set in? Amazing. This is a fantastic look on a future world that is terrifying believable. 

The boys. I think I need a fan. Adam. Wowza. If he isn't one of the sweetest, caring, selfless, most swoonworthy characters in YA today, you are a dirty liar. I forgot how amazing he was. I'm sorry friends *cough Betty, Jamie, and Judith cough* but I lost a little sight of Adam because I was so enthralled with Destroy Me. I still empathize and love Warner but not with Shatter Me. Warner definitely is damaged, broken, and twisted but there is something about him that keeps me wanting to know more. HOWEVER, Shatter Me is all about Adam for me. I just...I can't. He is too damn adorable, I just wanna squeeze him! And how he acts with James!? I die...I die a little right along with Juliette. He is just perfect.

I WILL say this for Warner though. As messed up and evil as he is in this book, he pushes Juliette to where she needs to go. NOT the scene you're thinking of where I wanted to throttle him in the throat, but their conversations. He is the one who constantly is telling her she is not a monster, she is not evil, she should make the people pay who hurt her. While I do NOT agree with the hurting people part, I do definitely appreciate his insistence for her to take back her life and make something of the curse gift circumstance she is put in.

This book is hands down amazing. One of the best I've ever read. The emotional impact it had one me is unreal. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. And the end?!? Oh my gosh!! I cannot even tell you what movie reference I thought of because it will ruin the book for those of you who haven't read it. Oh yeah, by the way, if you haven't read it, OH MY GOSH WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?! Ok, I'm gonna go binge read Unravel Me (eeeeeeep!!!!!) and will probably have to stay up until 3 am to do it. Oh well. Looking forward to it :)

Favorite Quotes

“You think that because I am unwanted, because I am neglected and-and discarded-"
My voice inches higher with every word, the unrestrained emotions suddenly screaming through my lungs. "You think I don't have a heart? You think I don't feel? You think that because i can inflict pain, that i should? You're just like everyone else. You think I'm a monster just like everyone else. You don't understand me at all.” 

“I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”

“Sometimes I think the loneliness inside of me is going to explode through my skin and sometimes I’m not sure if crying or screaming or laughing through the hysteria will solve anything at all. Sometimes I’m so desperate to touch, to be touched, to feel, that I’m almost certain I’m going to fall off a cliff in an alternate universe where no one will ever be able to find me.” 


  1. I have been seeing this book everywhere recently! I definitely need to get around to reading this!

  2. Oh man, everyone keeps talking about this author. I want to read this asap!

  3. An amazing book. Can't wait to read the rest of the series which I own. Team Warner here, haha. But both boys are awesome. Great review and great quotes, too.

    Thanks for sharing! :)

    Jennifer @ Dream Reads

  4. I felt the same way about Mafi's prose. I wasn't sold on this book until after Unravel Me, but I was fascinated by Juliette and the goingson in her mind. My heart broke for her when she described how she was treated by her parents. How awful would that be to live in a world where nobody wants to touch you?!? Touch is incredibly important, especially throughout the developmental stages of life (psych nerd here:D), and I can only imagine how terrible she had to feel about herself. AHHH I want to give her a hug.

  5. When I read Unravel Me I seriously highlight like half the book on my kindle because Mafi's writing is so beautiful.

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

  6. My favorite quote: "I'm oxygen and he's dying to breathe." *sighs*

  7. i...... told...... you...... so. :) adam is hotachacha amaze balls!

  8. Juliet sounds a bit like me. I'm also shy, but I can be pretty snarky and opinionated when I have to :p I have had this book on my reading list for a while now, but I guess I need to bump it a lot of places higher on the list! :D


  9. It's SO interesting that Tahereh Mafi's description of Juliette's psychological issues were so realistic! I always thought they resembled Juliette perfectly, but it's even better (for the book. Worse for real life.) to know that this actually happens. I can go on and on about Tahereh's writing, but all I will say now is that it is completely and utterly beautiful. I don't think I could ever get enough of it.

  10. Warner = NO.

    Adam = YES.

    Don't forget that lady.


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