The book “Shatter Me” was written by Tahereh Mafi and is a dystopian style novel. There are six books in the whole series and four novellas, one in between each main book. What really drew me to this series was the suspenseful plot and the characters. The supernatural abilities of the select few characters and how it affected their lives was incredibly interesting to read. Mafi really kept the readers engaged with the several plot twists and the heavy emotions entwined in this book.
Firstly, this book takes place in a post-apocalyptic America. A powerful group called the Reestablishment have become sort of like dictators, similar to the Nazi, and have promised to save humanity by ridding the world of its existing culture and lead them into a better world, a new era. They do this by eradicating the current language and destroying all books and art pieces, essentially eliminating all existing forms of their present culture. The main character of this series is a seventeen year old girl named Juliette Ferrars. She has a lethal ability that kills anyone she touches. Because of this, her life was affected greatly. Her parents abused her as a child and sent her away three years ago. Currently, she is held inside an insane asylum due to an unfortunate accident with a small kid. She has been kept in total isolation for 264 days. We learn about her sad and lonely life, how her deadly abilities tortured her. She never experienced happiness or love. She lost all hope in life and fell into depression. Until someone joins her in her cell and changes her life.
As stated previously, the main character and narrator of the story is the seventeen year old Juliette Ferrars. Another main character is Adam Kent, the boy who changes her life when he joins her in her cell. Adam is quite a dynamic character. In the beginning of the story, Adam is seen to be a naive and friendly guy who tries to get Juliette to open up. He talks to her despite not getting any responses back and repeatedly asks her for her name, until finally she replies. Once she does, she starts opening up to him and we learn that she knew Adam as a kid. He was kind to her, unlike everyone else, and that stuck with her even though she tried hard to forget. But apparently, Adam doesn’t recognize her so she doesn’t say anything about it. It is also revealed, in an unexpected turn of events, that Adam can actually touch Juliette. But as we get farther into the book, we learn that Adam was actually a soldier who worked for the Reestablishment. He was assigned a task to learn more about Juliette, so he went undercover as a cellmate. Juliette and Adam are taken to a Reestablishment compound, which will later be known as Sector 45.
Here we will be introduced to the main antagonist of this book. Warner is the cruel and ruthless leader of Sector 45. He offers Juliette the chance to change her life forever, to live lavishly like him, but only if she allows him to use her powers to harm others. Warner is shown to be very possessive of Juliette and is also incredibly obsessed with her. He is captivated by her unexpected actions and emotions as well as her abilities. Strangely, he also repeatedly asks her to touch him despite knowing what would happen to him. He’s very distraught when he finds out that Adam can touch Juliette and that she’s planning to escape with him. He bursts in anger when he realizes that Juliette and Adam are in mutual love. And in an amazing plot twist in the end, during the final moments of Adam and Juliette’s escape, we learn that Warner is also able to touch Juliette.
This book was everything I looked for in a dystopian series. It had an interesting plot, dynamic characters, heavy romance, and a strong-willed protagonist. What really hooked me into this book was Juliette’s character. She’s a strong-willed but undeveloped main character which leaves room for character development in the next books. She has a good heart and always tries to do the right thing. Warner also makes this book very interesting with his multiple personalities and strange behaviors. Sometimes he’s cold and distant while at other times, he is kind. He has an obsessive side to him when it comes to Juliette as well. Warner is a character that confuses not only me, but Juliette as well. Somehow, I have a feeling that there is more to him than what we think. Overall, this book is incredibly addicting and it really reminds me of the book “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard. The main characters both have the same personality and both books include supernatural abilities. I hope the next book is as interesting as this one was!