With the Shatter Me series 27-year-old Tahere Mafi created a dystopian young-adult romance, which took the world by storm.
The series centres upon 17-year-old Juliette Ferrars whose world is crumbling.
All nature seems destroyed and intoxicated. Clouds have the wrong colour, food is getting hard to come by and diseases are further diminishing the population. An organisation called the Reestablishment is trying to save the planet. At least this is what they claim to do. People have lost faith and more and more of them are starting to think about war.
Meanwhile Juliette is fighting a war of her own. Since she has been a child she has a very special power: Her touch is lethal. She has always tried not to touch anyone but one day it happens accidentally and the Reestablishment locks her up for murder.
In the course of the first two books Juliette is not only saved from the Reestablishment, who soon tries to use her as a weapon, but also finds out, that there are other people like her. People with special powers of their own who form a rebellion against the Reestablishment. Juliette slowly learns to control her powers, learns to appreciate, instead of fear them and becomes a member of the rebellion.
Eventually war breaks loose …
Reviews about these novels have been mixed ranging from praises to devastating criticism. My opinion on the books is ambivalent as well. There were lots of things I loved about the series, first and foremost the story idea, but there were even more things I just found awful.
Juliette Ferrars, for example, is now number one on my list of the most annoying main characters in literature. That girl didn’t do more than whine, complain, cry and feel sorry for herself throughout most of the story. She was weak, especially when hot guys were involved, and never once stopped to notice that in the face of the destruction of earth and all the people living on it her problems might be ridiculous in comparison.
And they were! I promise!
It frustrates me that Mafi let Juliette rage on, giving her inner monologue way to much space, when there were so much more interesting things to write about.
Mafi could have included more details about the kind of superpowers owned by different members of the rebellion. She should have discarded that boring ass love triangle in order to explore the war between the mutants and the reestablishment, which deserved to be the main story from the start.
I also found Mafi’s experimental writing style pretentious and kind of awkward.
“I always wonder about raindrops. I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end.“
First of all: Your world is DYING and you got nothing better to do than to wonder about RAINDROPS?! And since when do raindrops have feet? I guess I understand what Mafi attempted: she tried to be artistic, but for me she overdid it.
Even though I am not a big fan of the series I would love to read other books by Mafi who I consider highly talented. As I already stated I loved the idea of her story, the world she built and I think if she concentrates on that her next novel will probably kick-ass.
All that said, I would rate the Shatter Me series with two of five feathers.
Have some of you read this novel as well?
What did you think about it?
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.