I was both blown away and thoroughly disappointed by this book. Since I stopped reading as much, I missed a lot of YA books. Shatter Me was one that I’d really looked forward to reading, as I’d heard a lot of good things.
What I loved about this book was Mafi’s poetic style. I know some people got annoyed by her constant use of metaphors, but the flow and the beauty of her voice was the only reason I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.
However, the content disappointed me. Eventually, it became the same kind of gross YA romance that reinforces the “appeal” of unhealthy, be-all-and-end-all relationships. Every character seems to fall at Juliette’s feet, but of course, she has absolutely no idea what they could possibly be finding oh so attractive.
Does it make the reading list? Yes. If things didn’t go on the list due to being problematic, there would probably be nothing on there.
SPOILERS BELOW THIS POINT
The opening of Shatter Me was so amazing that I knew it was too good to be true. The whole insane-poetry writing style worked best in the first few chapters, where everything was internalised and isolated.
As soon as Adam appeared, I pretty much lost hope. From the way she talks about him, immediately, I could sense the toxic, codependent, you-are-my-whole-life love story that was coming.
Unfortunately, I was right. The whole “I want to die but it’s ok because he loves me” thing is so tired and unhealthy already, but this book somehow manages to soak every. Single. Thought. With. It.
I guess it’s fair enough that Juliette would lose herself in her first romance after having 0 interaction ever, but Mafi does nothing to point out that this kind of relationship is not normal, and it’s not healthy. Not in this book at least. Maybe things improve later in the series, but for now, my point stands.
Even Adam, the one character who she can supposedly trust, “protects her” with closed doors. She somehow manages to be simultaneously the most powerful and most useless character in the whole book.
And that’s before you look at the fact that they try to screw EVERY FIVE MINUTES. Like has the fact that you’re on the run not done ANYTHING to tame your libido?
And then there’s Warner. Does he have nothing to do but chase after her? I have so many questions about the gratuitous assault scene, not to mention his random, psychotic feelings for her.
So, yeah. The plot is problematic, but told really, really well.