Given that I’m half-way in love with Warner, the antagonist of the Shatter Me trilogy, I had to read this novella from his perspective before starting Unravel Me. I wasn’t looking for any justification for my affections but I found it anyway. I spent Shatter Me plucking petals off a flower to the tune of “I love him, I hate him, I love him, I hate him,” but Destroy Me did such a great job of explaining the background behind some of Warner’s more heinous behavior towards Juliette (the man he shot in front of her, the toddler he endangered in order to test her) that I decided I only love him after all. This novella takes place right after Shatter Me.
I picked a great time to return to the YA genre. Well, reading in general actually. I have not read a single dud this month and it’s not even over yet.
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.
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi is the first in a dystopian trilogy about a girl whose touch can kill. We find Juliette locked in an asylum where she has been in isolation with only numbers to keep her company. The number of cracks in the four walls of her cell, the 264 days since she last touched or spoke to someone, her own unwanted breaths… Then she gets a new cellmate and everything changes.
Shatter Me is told in the first person with a stream-of-consciousness writing style and frequent strike-throughs as our tortured heroine edits her own thoughts. This helped things seem very immediate despite the fact that the first book in the Shatter Me trilogy is mostly about introducing us to the main characters and to a world at once familiar and changed, where the ruthless Reestablishment rules.
Juliette has been deprived of any kind of stimulus for so long that her explanations are very detailed. This makes her a great vehicle to deliver the necessary world-building information to the reader without it feeling shoe-horned into the narrative. She’s a likable and sympathetic protagonist BUT being solely inside the head of someone so, well, emo will not be to everyone’s taste. Nor will the purple prose.
OMFG (Yes, I’m leaving the F in there). This was an amazing book. So amazing that I went on Amazon to read the synopses for the rest of the Divergent trilogy and utterly spoiled myself for the ending. This isn’t entirely my fault as someone had written it in CAPITAL LETTERS and in the TITLE LINE of one of the more recent reviews. Seriously???
Nevertheless, I’m going to review this first book for what it is.
For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs.
Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choices may yet lie ahead….
OK, so the dystopian world of Divergent is divided into five factions each cultivating different virtues such as selflessness, bravery, intelligence, honesty, peacefulness. Our protagonist, Tris, is born into Abnegation and struggles to conform to their selfless ideal until she is sixteen when everyone her age is tested, told which faction they are most suited for, and must chose for themselves which one to join for the rest of their lives. Choosing outside the faction you’re born into means you will most likely lose your family as the factions to not mix. Choosing the wrong factions means a life of hiding who you really are, or worse, failing the initiation and winding up factionless. It’s a tough decision and for Tris it is made even harder when her test proves unusually and dangerously inconclusive. In a world with only five labels, it is dangerous to be as diverse – as divergent – as Tris turns out to be. She must keep it a secret or risk dying for it.
Oh wow. Just typing that makes me want to read it again!
Hurrah! Book 1 of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series is MINE. Unfortunately I spoiled myself with the film first but as usual there is a wealth on the page that did not make it to the screen.
This book was written for me. And if you’ve ever felt closer to fictional people than real ones or stayed up late writing fanfiction about improbable pairings – if you know the meaning of OTP and/or slash – then it was written for you too.
Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair anymore – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not so easy for Cath. She’s horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she’s experienced in real life.
Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s learning that there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible . . .
So this is the story of Cath, a girl utterly dependent on the magical world of Simon Snow, a character similar to Harry Potter (and whom she has paired with the equivalent of Draco Malfoy!) Cath has just started college with her twin sister, Wren, and intends to hole-up in her dorm, pretend her unwanted roommate doesn’t exist and finish her epic fanfic rather than deal with actual people.
Cath broke open a box of protein bars. She had four more boxes and three giant jars of peanut butter shoved under her bed. If she paced herself she, she might not have to face the dining hall until October.