Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

A couple of months ago, I mentioned to a friend that I considered reading Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, but couldn’t quite commit. Kayti told me to go for it. She loves it, as do countless others. Mafi is quite successful in the YA genre and I’m always down for supporting another author of color, so I said why not and dove right into the dystopian tale.

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I’m sure what I’m about to say will pique the ire of the Mafi Mafia but I’m going to get a little crazy and go for it anyway.

My initial impression upon closing the cover on Shatter Me is that if I could have gotten my head around the multitude of metaphors throughout the story, I might have found a book I actually liked.

Here’s what I put down on paper as soon as I finished Shatter Me:

Perhaps I’ve finally met a book I’m simply too old to enjoy, for I feel the writing is truly geared towards young girls, discussing swimming pool eyes and bricks of desire in an effort to get young hearts racing. Underneath all of that is an interesting story which sadly, quite often gets so lost amid all the puddles with no arms and no legs that I wanted to toss the book out the window (which, since it’s an eBook on my iPhone, I definitely was NOT going to do).

On the positive side, the story is unique and I’m quite intrigued by the character I believe I’m supposed to hate – Warner – but is, in fact, the only one I like. Do I like him enough to buy more of this series, probably not, but glimpses of him in Shatter Me kept me reading until the end.

And I love the cover. This is the kind of cover that sucks me in and gets me to read about a book and most likely, wind up buying it. Kudos to Mafi for skipping the typical girl-in-a-flowing-dress cover for something more artistic and stark.

So did I love it? No, but I think that’s more about Mafi’s writing style than the content of the book. I’m not awed by her word play and use of imagery, but can see how she gets some folks all in a tizzy.

And thousands of others disagree with me, so by all means, if you’re a fan of dystopic YA, grab Shatter Me and continue working through the trilogy. You’ll probably love it.

This old bitch? Not so much.

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