Tahereh Mafi’s SHATTER ME was touted as HUNGER GAMES meets X-MEN, and as a fan of both, I was definitely intrigued. In reading the book, I can see why this book has been compared to the X-Men. Juliette, our heroine, has powers that are very similar to Rogue in the X-Men. Adam, our hero, appears to be immune to Juliette’s powers. When they meet, she has been in solitary confinement in a mental institution for nearly a year, and he is thrown into her cell. Juliette quickly comes to realize that Adam is actually working for the military that sent her into solitary confinement in the first place, while Adam has been in love with her forever (they knew each other as young children).
Told from Juliette’s POV, the novel’s writing style is certainly different and takes a while to adjust. Juliette’s thoughts are fragmented in the beginning of the story, which is reflected in the prose. Rather than hinder the story, though, I felt that this allowed the reader to get a better understanding of Juliette’s thought process. I was very curious to find out what happened to Juliette and why Warner (the big bad) was so desperate to hold onto her. Once she meets Adam, though, I felt that the book coursed more towards the romance at the expense of the action. I would normally be okay with this, as I love romances, but had hoped for a better balance between the action and romance. On the plus side, I liked the side characters in the book, especially Adam’s little brother (one of my favorite lines in the book: “I know what a girlfriend is!”) and Kenji, Adam’s frenemy and admirer of Juliette. I sense the start of a love triangle emerging in the upcoming sequel.
All in all, a fun weekend read.
3.5 out of 5 stars