Tahereh Mafi lovers may be shattered by Bryan and Robert’s upcoming constructive review of her series starter Shatter Me.
Bryan’s quick summary:
Confined to an asylum for a deadly power she can’t control, Juliette thinks the crumbling world has forgotten her. When a madman seeks to use her abilities for his own personal gain, a boy from her past is her only chance of escape. As their plans to run solidify, Juliette learns that there’s a fine line between being a monster and becoming a hero.
Shatter Me is by Tahereh Mafi
So what did we think? (From a reader’s perspective)
1. (Bryan) Tahereh Mafi is a good writer. I have no question of that. Some of her descriptive passages in this book are killer. There are just too many of them for my taste and it prevented me from enjoying the book or completing it in a rapid manner.
2. (Bryan) A lot of people love this book, and I think they identify with Juliette’s melodramatic way of thinking. I used to think very melodramatically as a teen. It’s like going back inside my own teenage brain, which is not a place I’d want to be. Probably why I also had trouble.
3. (Robert) The idea is interesting – that we have powers developing in us that are dangerous and threaten society somehow, especially if this starts to occur in some dystopian world, but Juliette’s internal struggles seemed to go on and on, and I got fed up with hearing about her tortured thoughts. I wanted the action to start!
What did we think from a writer’s perspective?
1. (Robert) If Shatter Me had been cut down considerably to be a novella, and the editor chopped out all the painful “will I, won’t I?” “desperate” Juliette sections, I think this could have been a better read.
2. (Robert) The latter third of the book was more exciting, where there is more action and uncertainty – perhaps this will carry on into the rest of the series. I can see why this might appeal to 14/15 yr old girls, as it has some of the feel of Divergent.
3. (Bryan) The epilogue isn’t really an epilogue. It’s just an additional chapter. It didn’t really tell me anything new, and then it kind of ended abruptly. Even with the final 1/3 being more entertaining, she wasn’t able to stick the landing.
Bryan and Robert’s Famous Takeaways:
1. Bring the reader to the action quickly – even if it’s a love triangle. We won’t wait forever!
2. The antagonist needs to have believable motivations, and not just be a vanilla villain with lines from a B-movie. Warner could have been so much more, but instead he was inconsistent.
3. If readers don’t like your main character, they’ll have trouble getting through your story.
Prompt of the Week:
Your touch can kill any living thing. How would your life change if you had this devastating power? What would you miss most about reaching out and touching someone?