Wednesday, January 29, 2014

#WednesdayYA Review of Shatter Me and February Poll

Hey everyone! Today's post serves two purposes.  Since we had a chance to talk about Shatter Me on Twitter last night, I wanted to share my official review of it.  The February poll will be at the bottom of this post.

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)
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.

(Summary from GoodReads)

I went into Shatter Me feeling uncertain about my expectations.  I knew the premise, and had read about 20 pages of the book at one point before, so I had an idea of what the writing would be like.  However, everyone I knew seemed to either love or hate this book—and a lot of those reviews came from people I’m trusted. I wound up really enjoying the story and writing in Shatter Me.

If there’s one thing that the synopsis of this book doesn’t convey, it’s how fragile Juliette is mentally and emotionally.  Few people have accepted her, and she spent 264 days in isolation.  Mafi made me understand why it’s hard for Juliette to connect with other humans and why she might not trust other people.

Juliette’s character is part of why the writing worked for me.  The writing is somewhat stream of consciousness, includes strikeouts, and is very poetic.  Misty described it as “purple prose” and Instagrammed several quotes from the book if you want to check it out.  I have to admit that there were a few instances when the prose went over the top and didn’t make sense. For the most part, however, it was stunning, and I think it’ll only improve as the series goes on.

The worldbuilding in this one started off a little iffy, but once I got past the first 100 pages I enjoyed it a lot more.  I absolutely loved where Mafi took the plot in the past 100 pages.  Warner made for a fascinating villain and I cannot wait to see his character explored further.  I don’t want to say more, because I think more answers are coming in future books, and I’m okay with that.

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Mafi writes a pretty steamy romance.  Although I’m not sure if I trusted Adam, I enjoyed reading the romantic bits. I also loved that he and Juliette had a backstory—to me, their relationship didn’t feel contrived.

Shatter Me is an experimental and unique dystopian novel that I thoroughly enjoyed.  More than anything else, it made me want to not only pick up the rest of this series, but see how Mafi’s writing would translate to other genres.  I would say that an author who leaves me wanting that much more in such a good way is one worth watching.

Disclosure: I was gifted an ARC of this book from a friend a long time ago, and intend to purchase hardcover soon.
So now that you guys know my thoughts on our first #WednesdayYA book, you get to help Misty and I select which one will be next.  We have three options for the month of February.  I thought I'd introduce them by sharing the cover and first sentence of each book.
Every town in England has a story.  One day I am going to find out Sorry-in-the-Vale's.
It looked set to become even hotter by the afternoon, just when the job was becoming more fiddly and needed extra concentration.  But the fair weather brought at least one advantage: dry air makes magic work better and fly farther.
Strangers never walk down this road, the sisters thought in unison as the man trudged toward them.  Certainly not strangers in business suits--there was just no reason for them to be out here in the middle of nowhere.
Have you read any of these?  Any first lines that intrigue you and make you want to join us? Let us know what you think by voting!  We'll share the winner with you next Wednesday and get reading.

What book should we read in February for the WednesdayYA book club? (Voting is now closed.)

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